Today, Alicia and Carlos Ferré answer: They are collaborators in the Family Work, Diocese of San Miguel, province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Carlos Ferré is the author of the book, “The Social Saint: Joseph Kentenich’s thinking and practice about the social doctrine of the Church” and co-author of “Francis: The Joy that Springs from the People.”•
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?
Renewing faithfulness to the original charism at this moment of special grace for the Church which we so desired and for which we prayed for to the Blessed Mother for over a century, by placing Jesus at the center of everything.
We are arriving at the Church of the new shores. The encounter with the Church that Father Kentenich dreamed and loved is in view. Pope Francis is revealing it day by day. Let us not close our eyes. Let us not look the other way.
In the midst of the joy of all the People of God, our Jubilee has passed and the prophecy of our Founder is being fulfilled. The Second Vatican Council’s announcement is being confirmed, and the Vicar of Christ invites us to make it a reality by announcing the joy of the Gospel.
We dream of a humble, victorious Family setting out and collaborating in building a culture of encounter that is the fruit of our covenant culture as a promoter of peace, a creator of attachments in every setting. We dream of a family that is encouraged by mercy with a commitment to the transformation of reality in the Kingdom that will make us worthy of the name of social saints as our Founder desired –creators of a poor Church for the poor.
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
We should avoid the “Tabor syndrome.” We should not propose to build three tents in order to stay on the mountaintop. Instead we should descend from the mountaintop transfigured by and with Jesus to take up the mission.
To stop “feeling good” in our small refuge, to take on and be daring in risking the dangers of the road with the people of God with an attitude that is truly in solidarity with the world.
Father Kentenich’s legacy cannot be a collection of memories. We are not a museum. He wanted us to be a movement, always on the move, always new in keeping with history, and taking on the new to announce salvation.
As a Family, we should abandon the temptation to “brush sheep” and decide to be on duty in this field hospital, taking care of the injured in our society who have been infected by individualism, relativism, and the idolatry of money and power.
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
Listen to Francis’ advice: be shepherds with the smell of sheep; love all people and like being a part of them. We are not the best nor the worst. We are what we are, useless servants, but if we endeavor to be missionary disciples, attentive to Don João’s example, everything is simplified.
Abandon all behavior that leads us to self-absorption and self-centeredness.
We are an apostolic movement whose aim is to transform the world and the Church. Our place is on the streets, in homes, and everywhere there is a need. Every wayside shrine and every Shrine should be the first “health center” for this field hospital.
To be close to Mary and closely walking with Christians on the road who who need the graces that the Blessed Mother distributes, and we should embody these in the works of mercy. Adopt a continual formation in action as educational methodology so that contact with reality will help us to discern the signs of the times.
To insist on being a large family, where everyone takes care of one another.
Photo below: Carlos Ferré (left) at a meeting of representatives of “Generación Francisco” [“Generation Francis] with schoenstatt.org, in Buenos Aires
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA