Fr. Borja Coello de Portugal, Director of the Movement in Spain •
We are back from vacation; for some it was a long time and for others it was short. And we have ahead of us a marked course by the person of Father Kentenich. From 15 September 2017 to 15 September 2018 as a Family, we are invited to prepare for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the death of our Father.
In this past course, we have tried to get set on fire by “Father’s Fire.” This means in his message for today’s world and in his spirituality. We did it remembering those people that we consider as “Schoenstatt Saints”…people that lived what the Holy Spirit gave to Father Kentenich in an exemplary way. But this message from God is not only seen in people, but also in the different Branches of our Family into which Father inspired a concrete way to live that charism, and thus being united is how we can better present our Father to today’s world.
Pope John Paul II reminded us of our responsibility in this sense:
“You are called to participate in that grace which your founder has received, and subsequently to offer the same grace to the entire Church. Then the charism of the founders proves to be an experience inspired by the Spirit which has been passed on to their own followers, so that they may live, protect, deepen and develop it further in communion with the Church and for the good of the Church.” (20 September 1985).
A charism is not a museum artifact that remains preserved in a glass case
In the same way, Pope Francis warned us:
“You’re aware that a charism is not a museum artifact that remains preserved in a glass case to be looked at and nothing more. Faithfulness or keeping it pure does not at all mean that we seal it in a bottle like distilled water so that the outside air cannot contaminate it. A charism will not be preserved this way. It must go out and come in contact with reality, with people and their problems and concerns. Thus in this fruitful encounter with reality, the charism has a chance to grow and renew itself. Reality is also transformed or changed through the spiritual power that this charism brings with it.” (3 September 2015)
Kentenich on the way
It is interesting to discover how the General Presidency has wanted to call this year “Year of Father Kentenich” and in German “Kentenich Jahr [year].” They did not want to call it “Year of the Father” or “of our Father,” since the emphasis is not placed on Schoenstatt Family’s internal life but on the outside.
Just as in the 2014 Jubilee Year, we were invited to be a “Schoenstatt on the way,” I asked myself if this year the Spirit may not be inviting us to transform our experience and knowledge of Father in a “Kentenich on the way.”
The world today has many problems and challenges, and from Schoenstatt, we think that Father Kentenich has many responses for mankind. Let us not be afraid to present them. Hopefully in this year, many and varied proposals may emerge regarding knowledge of the person and the message of our Father from the different Branches and life groups. We have an immense richness that is not just for us, but also for giving this richness to those who need it more. Therefore in this year, I invite you to go deeper into Father and ask him for the grace of apostolic fruitfulness to be able to be brave and creative in the hour of transmitting his message.
As instruments in the hands of Mary, may she use us to open up new Covenant ways!
Original Spanish: September 14, 2017, Translation: Carlos Cantú, La Feria, Texas USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA
Source: Boletín del Movimiento de Schoenstatt de Madrid, with the author`s permission