COSTA RICA, Michelle Ramírez •
Red, White and blue…Any Costa Rican, who sees these colors, immediately thinks about freedom, democracy and homeland! Coffee plants, tropical flowers, typical carts – better known in Schoenstatt as the Blessed Mother’s carriage of triumph – as well as bunches of bananas and ribbons with these colors. All of this adorned the celebration of the 197th Anniversary of Costa Rica’s independence, the fifty year anniversary of our founder’s departure to heaven and the blessing of the Fr. Joseph Kentenich’s statue at the “Family of Hope” Shrine. –
The family is complete!
Can you imagine the celebration? Children dressed in their typical clothes, regional food stands and awnings everywhere to protect us from the golden sun…Entire families celebrating in 30°C (86°F), happy and emotional faces because soon they will be able to hug and contemplate the “famous” statue. The celebration was prepared: There was a parade of flags and symbols to welcome Fr. Joseph Kentenich whose statue was covered with a black cloth that had a white circle in the center with the logo of the branch shrine.
Fr. José Luis Correa, the national adviser, jointly officiated the mass with Fr. Francisco “Pancho” Pereira, who was visiting from Chile and Fr. Douglas Aragón, a Schoenstatt diocesan priest. Approximately 500 people relived what a little more than a year ago seemed impossible: To have a branch shrine and the Fr. Kentenich statue. The family is now complete: Mother, house and father.
As if that were not enough, 80 people sealed the covenant with Fr. Kentenich, after an intense preparation, to end this very special day.
A father made out of gold for the Church and for youthful hearts
“A fruitful seed, planted in the family, carries fruit from childhood onwards…Fr. Kentenich conquered youthful hearts for his great mission”, Vanessa Sotela expressed, as she marveled at a six-year-old boy, Joaquín González’, that told his mother: “Mommy, let’s take a photo with the golden father!” A very genuine and very real expression…we have a father with a golden heart, our father is made of gold, a very valuable treasure that we must continue to discover”, Charlene Ramirez, one of the branch leaders commented.
Fr. Kentenich changed my life
It was a very special celebration for Rocío Prada de Sauter, even more so than for everyone else. She related: “The great day has finally arrived; our founder came to stay with us, to listen to us, guide us, accompany us, intercede for us and show us that we have a father who loves us with all his heart. He came to entrust us with his mission so that we can deliver it to everyone. It is a very special day for my family. Thanks to Fr. Kentenich’s intercession, today I can not only walk, but he changed my life and my faith, alongside the unity and solidarity, not only to my direct family, but also to all the Schoenstatt Family, which has been the best thing that Fr. Kentenich has given us. I am grateful to God and I pray for the sculptor of great works, Mr. Juan Fernández, who I had the honor of meeting alongside my husband Rudy Sauter, because Mr. Juan allowed me to get to know Fr. Kentenich more deeply and the stories that he told me about father were very penetrating, since he knew him in person. Mr. Juan is completely connected to father and I also want to live that way!
Original: Spanish, 21 September 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Lindsay Burger, Munich, Germany