A cordial greeting to everyone from the Tupãrenda Shrine in Paraguay. I am Father Oscar Iván Saldívar, a Paraguayan Schoenstatt Father. I am 33 years old; I was ordained as a priest on November 9, 2013, in the church in construction Santa María de la Trinidad, in Tupãrenda (Ypacaraí-Paraguay). I learned about the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement, right here in Tupãrenda on October 18, 2000. My first experiences in Schoenstatt helped me to perceive God’s paternity and mercy. For this reason, in Covenant of Love with Mary – I sealed my Covenant with her on September 16, 2001. I decided for the priesthood with the desire of giving witness to the mercy of God the Father. Along with this desire, there was also the desire of being father in and for the Schoenstatt Family. I practiced my first priestly experiences in Parroquia-Santuario de Ñandejara Guazu (Parish of Our Great Lord, in the Guaraní language) in the city of Piribebuy. Since the beginning of January this year, I live and work in the Tupãrenda Shrine (Dwelling of God in the Guaraní language). At this time, my main task is to accompany the Boys’ Youth of the San Lorenzo Diocese as adviser. (It recently completed five years since its founding), which is a great joy and a great challenge •
Six months into the pilgrimage through the second century of the Covenant of Love…what is your dream for this Schoenstatt in who we are and where we find ourselves in the Church, in the world, and in our mission?
I dream of a Schoenstatt that is very present in the ecclesial life and in the social life of every country, where we are present as a Family. A Schoenstatt that is open and at the service of the Church; a Schoenstatt without fear or arrogance that shares its spiritual life; a Schoenstatt that is motivated to insert itself in the life of the diocesan church and that is motivated to learn from other ecclesial experiences. A Schoenstatt that knows how to offer the Covenant of Love with Mary as the road to follow Jesus, a road that will make us more Christian, even, more Christ-like.
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
Perhaps we should avoid something very concrete…Avoid the pretension of knowing it all…Avoid the pretension of having an answer for everything…Undoubtedly it is not about not recognizing our charism; but rather of assuming it fully. The Covenant of Love with Mary as well as practical faith in Divine Providence opens us to the realities present in the Church and the world with trust. Part of our charism is to be attentive to the voice of God in the signs of the times, and to be daring to assume that which we interpret as God’s voice for us.
Father Kentenich’s thinking, life, and spirituality give us two basic categories to perceive reality: the theological and spiritual category of the Covenant and the philosophical and pedagogical category of organic thinking. Both categories help us to unite realities and to see them in harmony.
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
I think that we should be motivated to be more present in the different ecclesial realities on the local level. And to be present means to also be present where we do not coordinate or lead initiatives. To serve in communion with others, to get to know others and to allow ourselves to be known by others: a culture of encounter!
Another concrete step, which seems has already been taken – through the echoes of Jubilee 2014, is to present our spirituality with simpler and more accessible language without losing its depth and originality. To motivate ourselves to offer the Covenant of Love with Mary as a gift.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA