Today Claudio Ardissone responds: I am 45 years old, I have been married to Vicky Ramírez for 20 years, we have two children, Costanza (17) and Camilo (13) •
I learned about Schoenstatt in passing when I was about 15 years old, and I became part of the Movement at the age of 19, when I entered university. The name of my Boy’s Group is Hontanar [Wellspring] and our ideal is “To be a source for others,” because we were at the stage of the second re-founding of the Boys’ Youth at Paraguay. I am speaking in the present tense because we continue to be united and we are still continuing to get together as a group.
I sealed my Covenant of Love, and I worked actively in the Boys’ Youth during my university years. I was the leader of the 1st Leaders’ School in charge of the Joseph Engling Pioneers Group, and then I was Branch Leader. I have several milestones that have marked my love for the MTA and for the Father and Founder with fire. The first one has to do with the self-education that profoundly trained me in my temperament. The second milestone was my Covenant of Love that has made me give my heart to Mary since that day and she has taken care of me, blesses and protects me. The third milestone was the Generation ’92 Congress of the Boys’ Youth, which was held in Buenos Aires, and there, after a homily by Fr. José María García, I understood the concept of “giving oneself completely for an ideal.” The passion and the natural enthusiasm of the Boys’ Youth profoundly touched my spirit, living every day with joy. I am attached to the Movement to this day through our children, who belong to the Boys’ and Girls’ Youth, the priests, friends, Masses and visits to the Shrine and by collaborating in whatever way I can.
Almost a year into the pilgrimage through the second century of the covenant of love…what is your dream for this Schoenstatt in who we are, where we find ourselves in the Church and in the world, and in our mission?
I dream of a Schoenstatt that motivates us to: live with the awareness of being everyday saints that profoundly transmits to us the love for the family, that makes us live the Mass every day and that always reminds us of our responsible paternity.
A Schoenstatt that profoundly trains our youths in the moral and ethical values, that they not accept the relativity of things at different moments of daily life. I want a Schoenstatt that gives its all for those who most need the love, presence and consolation of the Blessed Mother. That Fr. Kentenich’s spirit penetrates and is present in the daily actions of Schoenstatters.
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
We should avoid training people who join Schoenstatt “in series” because it is in style or because it is “cool.”
I believe that to fulfill this dream implies that the Boys’, Girls’, Family, and Pilgrim groups, etc. receive training of a very good foundation about Schoenstatt spirituality, the nucleus of Fr. Kentenich’s thinking. Moreover, a thorough training of the liturgy and its meaning.
Schoenstatt should “sell” itself as a very strong brand that implies commitment, values, apostolate, generosity and total giving of self.
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
To establish a training program for the youth, as it is established for the family work, federations, and institutes.
To take care that the youths are solidly trained in the catechesis for First Communion and Confirmation.
To revise the way and the amount of commitment that is demanded, above all of the families, because many times, the parents are more occupied with the Movement than with their own families.
To favor the training of family groups of people who were in the Youth’s branches and who have to begin their training at zero when they marry, which many times causes these couples to fall away.