Today, Fr. Esteban Casquero answers: He belongs to the Schoenstatt Secular Institute of Priests. He carries out his pastoral work in the southern zone of the Province of Buenos Aires – Argentina (Coronel Dorrego and Monte Hermoso with its adjacent towns). He has belonged to Schoenstatt since his youth; he was a member of the Boys’ Youth. From there, he began his Covenant Road in the heart of the Shrine of the New Shores in Mar del Plata. “I have lived beautiful times in the Schoenstatt life and that of the Church, I have had my Dachau moments, but I always experienced the Blessed Mother’s protection, which has spurred me to continue “to pull her triumphant carriage” •
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 a Family, where attachments are truly lived among the members-brothers/sisters. Where we co-participate in the task of inviting to the Covenant of Love, attracting many because they see us as a…family.
Heroic Family: I dream of heroic men and women, where each one is concerned about the life and growth of the other. Where no one is excluded, instead they are allies. Family that goes out in search of allies…it takes risks like our Father and Founder, who as a Prophet, was encouraged to take steps that were very “daring,” impossible for his era, but exactly ‘the mission of a prophet carries with it the fate of a prophet, although one mortal leap follows another.’ “I prefer a bruised Church…because it has been out in the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy because it is confined…” (Pope Francis – 18 May 2013)
Communion Family: I dream of a Family where every “column” looks out for the fruitfulness of the other. Where every Institute, Federation and League, shows the “fan of vocational realities that we have within our Schoenstatt charism,” (that) it accompanies the person in his/her own reality of “calling” and guides them toward those who will orient them so that they may be fulfilled. A Confederation of living apostolic forces crossed through the attachment of fraternal love. A Communion Family where there is no apostolic envy, but instead concern to generate zealous apostles for the Father’s Kingdom. “Let us protect Christ in our life…it means caring for each other: Protect yourself! Protect life, protect nature, children, the elderly…let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our life!” (Pope Francis – 19 March 2013)
Ecclesial Family: I dream of a Schoenstatt that is implanted in parishes, vitalizing the life of realities and parish institutions. A Schoenstatt Family that offers itself to the local priest for whatever he needs. “Use us according to your will. Through Schoenstatt may the wide halls of the holy Church be filled again and your praise resound to your throne. You may use us for your work and send us crosses, suffering and hardship; whether we meet with failure or success we want to proclaim your love.”
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
- Set aside quarrels, jealousies, resentments, differences, masks, and ‘making negative or critical remarks’ in order to be merciful. Accept others as the Father accepts us.
- Egocentricity and favoritisms: Do not believe that we are better than others or that we are indispensable. That only we can carry out the task that our Father and Founder entrusted. That we are Father’s favorites while others simply eat the crumbs that fall from our table, and that they cannot sit at it. Do not think we are indispensable. Upon sealing out Covenant with the Blessed Mother, we become co-responsible and co-heirs of our Father’s mission: “Father your inheritance is our mission, we are yours, we go with you, our hand in your hand, our heart in your heart.” (Conference 2014)
- Column hermetism: When we think that ‘others should not know the accents that we have as a Community, or what the Father and Founder thought for us.’ Sharing helps us understand others and to identify the gifts that God the Father has given each column of Schoenstatt to enrich ourselves and to enrich the Church.
- Top to bottom advising: The Adviser/is the one who “decides”. Well, in Schoenstatt, the Adviser should advise and “not impose” (he awakens life in others and encourages them). He advises, he serves life following our Father and Founder’s principle: “freedom as much as possible, obligations only as much as necessary cultivation of the spirit as much as possible.” (Chapter Six: About Schoenstatt’s Pedagogy, 119). He respects and values opposing opinions. He knows how to be quiet and to respect without being ironic about the idea of others.
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
- To always make the Holy Father’s mission our own and to insert that “voice of time” in the life streams of our International Schoenstatt.
- To work together, sharing the apostolic tasks among the Schoenstatt columns. To look out for the growth of others. To strengthen attachments of fraternal love. To generate more projects between the men’s and women’s communities within Schoenstatt. That others see that we can work together, that we value and respect each other.
- Daring to risk…to go out more. Not only in the youth or family Missions. Every Schoenstatter should make the Holy Father’s commission theirs…“to go out to all kinds of peripheries” (existential and concrete).
- Prioritize the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign… It is a Campaign in which we should all be involved. To take the Blessed Mother to people’s homes and not wait for the people to come to the Blessed Mother’s home (the Shrine). Undoubtedly once the people learn about it through us, they will find a way to reach this source of grace…our beloved Shrine.
- May the International Family continue to make “our Father and Founder’s request” of the International Center in Belmonte its own! So far, our Family of Institutes, Federations and Leagues need to make this ideal their own. It is not only the task of the Diocesan Priests… To be in Rome and to sustain the works that are being carried out is everyone’s task.
NOTE: I want to express gratitude to schoenstatt.org for the opportunity it gives everyone to freely express their desires and what is in their hearts. May our International Family assume and make what was lived in the Jubilee of Schoenstatt’s 100 years a reality.
Blessings, your Fr. Esteban