Kentenich Year: Input of Fr Eduardo Aguirre, Postulator in Fr Kentenich’s process of beatification •
Fr Kentenich’s Process of Beatification to Date
Many in the Schoenstatt Movement are asking when they can expect the next steps to be taken in the process of Fr Kentenich’s beatification. As the Postulator of his beatification process I would like to make the following points:
The diocesan process for the beatification of Fr Joseph Kentenich is largely completed. The Schoenstatt Movement is grateful for the prudence and benevolence with which the diocese of Trier has and is dealing with Schoenstatt’s desire for the beatification of its founder. Schoenstatt continues to rely on trusting collaboration with the diocese in clarifying the still open questions.
It is well known that the process for Fr Kentenich is very comprehensive and extensive, and is not free from controversies. He is the founder of a large, multi-faceted and worldwide work. His beatification is not attached only to a place, but has a strongly international significance for the entire Church. Fr Kentenich underwent fourteen long and hard years of trial by the Church. The innovative aspects of his foundation and pedagogy were questioned by the Church. Also on that account much in his beatification process has to be thoroughly studied and clarified.
As with every beatification we are concerned in this process for Fr Kentenich both with his personal holiness and his mission for the Church. Both aspects were taken into account in the process. Outstanding work has been done with regard to both important aspects in the past decades since his death by the postulators and the Fr Kentenich Secretariat, as well as many members of the Schoenstatt Family. Fifty years after the founder’s death we have to thank them all most sincerely.
Today we are justified in noting that we have done everything in our power that could be done for the beatification of our founder. Now the time has come for us as a Schoenstatt Family to consciously place all these efforts into the hands of God and the Blessed Mother. Tua res agitur! Now heaven has to speak. And we may listen with patience and confidence for it to speak.
What could God want to be telling us in this time of waiting? What can we do?
It is possible that God wants to give us time so that our father and founder, both as a person and with his mission, can increasingly come alive in our midst; so that we get to know him better and make his vision, his spirituality and his pedagogy more our own. Indeed, the entire Schoenstatt Family has to commit itself far more consciously for his beatification. We have by far not come to the end of discovering his charism and passing it on. The founder spirit can become far stronger and more alive in us. It is the spirit that imbued the Pentecost Congress 2015 in Schoenstatt, and is intended to prepare for “Schoenstatt on the move”
Filled with missionary spirit we offer the covenant of love, as a way and hope, to all people beyond all boundaries – reaching to those on the periphery of society. In this way we cooperate in developing a comprehensive covenant culture. The prophetic charism of our father and founder urges us towards a new founding of Schoenstatt in the midst of the conditions of the present time. (From Memorandum of Pentecost Congress, Schoenstatt, 23 May 2015)
We can continue or start making Fr Kentenich’s mission known. Whatever we do can be understood in this sense. We make our contribution to putting our founder’s objectives into practice at every group meeting and every encounter. Our founder and his mission have to become far better known in parishes, dioceses, countries and the universal Church, but very particularly in Rome.
What is decisive for us in any case is that Fr Kentenich is raised to the honours of the altar as soon as possible, because it is only right and just that the founder of a great work is honoured as a saint. We are not working for Fr Kentenich’s beatification just for ourselves, or for our Movement. Our greatest hope is that through the recognition of our Father’s holiness by the Church, his charism and mission for today will be acknowledged, accepted and become fruitful.
Fr Kentenich never spoke about his charism, but of Schoenstatt’s charism, and of Schoenstatt’s mission for the Church and world in the newest era. That is the heritage we have received and want to take up again and more consciously in this Fr Kentenich Year, so that we can carry it into the Church. Fr Kentenich’s charism is our charism. So, fifty years after his death, we are challenged and reminded of our responsibility for realising his charism in the Church and world, and making it fruitful. However, it is never separated from him as a person. That is why we are working for his canonisation by the Church. We want to set off into the future with founder spirit and with him.
Above all, each one of us, and the community or group to which we belong, is invited to walk the path of personal holiness. Pope Francis has invited us to do so through his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate of 19 March 2018. If we do this we are the best witnesses of the holiness of our Father and Founder.
The statements of the Founding Document are given us again today: “Do not worry about the fulfilment of your wishes. Ego diligentes me diligo. I love those who love me.” If we live our personal mission in conjunction with Fr Kentenich’s mission, his beatification and canonisation by the Church will follow at the right time.
Rome, 5 July 2018
Fr Eduardo Aguirre
Original: German. Translation: Mary Cole, Manchester, UK @schoenstatt.org