Interview with Marité and Ramón Marini from Asunción Paraguay, leaders of the International Family Federation •
Under the motto: “Love is our mission; the family fully alive,” the Seventh World Meeting of Families will take place in Philadelphia USA from the 22nd to the 27th of September. Pope Francis will be present on the 26th and 27th of September.
What do you expect from the World Meeting of Families? What motivates you and other families from Paraguay to participate?
We wish that it be a moment of openness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit for all the Movements and persons who participate. This means that we should be attentive to grasp the richness of others, to open our hearts, to share our experiences, and to share the gifts we have received from God.
Only united to the apostolic strengths of the Church – each one contributing their charism – will we be able to face the ever more stronger attacks. Some are direct attacks and others are the product of poverty, individualism, lack of coherence, and others from social pressures.
We dream of the moment which we are sure will come, with the help of the Blessed Virgin, in which we would have overcome the differences which separate us because we have talked about this with openness and frankness. We feel there is a very strong current of unity and a predisposition to fight with all the powers which we have to save the sacred institution of the family.
We are accompanied with great strength since 2005, especially, by the words of St. John Paul II: “The future of humanity is forged in the family!” (Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio). For it, you should strive for a greater and deeper understanding of marriage and family in the light of faith. “Transmit to everyone your enthusiasm for marriage and family! If we strengthen the holy institution of marriage and family, in harmony with the Divine Plan, then love and solidarity will grow among people!” This mission sets our soul on fire.
What is the meaning of a meeting of this type?
It is a clear sign that all powers of the Church are determined to defend “the family.” It is one of the topics most in vogue at the present. The Church and all the Movements dedicate a great deal of time and reflection to it. This type of meeting offers us the best time to hold in common all that is being done in this direction. It is without a doubt that the Holy Spirit is inspiring methods and ways to face the great challenges of the present.
What can it contribute to Schoenstatt, to the Family Work and to Schoenstatt in general?
It can open our eyes to other realities, to new horizons. It can help us to create a strong inner current to overcome differences which far from building, are harmful, restoring power for the work in common.
What can Schoenstatt contribute?
As a Movement, we were born from a Covenant of Love, it is the great legacy from our Father and Founder and it is the gift we can contribute. Pope Francis emphasized it on various occasions; Covenant Culture is the Culture of the Encounter.
Our effort is directed to the families. As children of Father Joseph Kentenich, who assured that the family considered in its totality and in each one of its parts, will not be able to fulfill its task if all powers do not converge and ultimately flow into “holy families, islands of holy families, connected to each other by love.”
The other great gift is the Home Shrine, the small domestic church where we feel sheltered, where the Blessed Virgin educates us and from where she ultimately sends us forth, she helps us to be a Movement on the way. We have concrete examples which must be shared, apostolic tasks which are already being developed in many countries.
The love for Mary is the power which motivates us, to Her we must appeal….. Pope Francis shows us the way: “Let us feel we are one great family and let us turn to Mary so she may protect our families, so she may make them homes of faith and love where we feel the presence of her Son Jesus” (7-26-2013).
The interview was conducted by Maria Fischer from the schoenstatt.org editorial staff.
Through the Marini family in Paraguay, the Neiser family, leaders of the Family Institute, made the letter of invitation to the families of the Schoenstatt Movement available to schoenstatt.org: