CHILE, Maria Fischer •
There is a new book about Fr. Kentenich that came out a few weeks before the 50th Anniversary of his death, which was to be expected in a year dedicated to him. But it is not one just more book about him or of him, nor is it a book of photographs or a book of his writings— there has already been a great deal of that. This new book has a different format from usual, it is in black and white (a lot of black, at first glance), the photo on the cover is of Fr. Kentenich with a smile and wearing a hat with his beard blowing in the wind. Fr. Rafael Fernández wrote it as a trip through the life, history and charism of Schoenstatt’s founder in his own words. —
“This book is a gift for our hearts. I invite you to meditate on it, savor and enjoy it,” commented María Teresa Ramírez, outgoing manager of Nueva Patris, Chile, in the invitation for the presentation of this book titled: “El Alma de José Kentenich” (Joseph Kentenich’s soul).
It is necessary to savor it
In the introduction, Fr. Rafael wrote, “It is a book that needs to be savored. We suggest that it be done in three steps.”
In the first place, get an overview of it by reading it slowly. It has fifteen thematic chapters. Each one of them is preceded by a brief introduction and a poem written by Fr. Joaquín Alliende. A photograph of symbolic character accompanies that poetry. Both the photo and the poem seek to open not only our minds, but also our sensitivity to the quotes attached.
The second step would be to read every one of Fr. Kentenich’s autobiographical quotes trying to unravel what he wanted to give us when he opened his heart with these words.
The third step would consist in asking ourselves what these words are telling each one of us, in our personal reality and in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. At the end of the book, we added a chapter titled “Álbum Familiar” (“Family Album”) that gathers different moments that allows us to go even more deeply into Fr. Kentenich’s soul in a different way.”
Beginning with the photos: there are treasures among them, there are photos that have never been seen, there are known photos that begin to tell stories because of the graphic edition…Joseph as a student with a serious and somewhat disturbed face, the seminarian, the priest, the traveler, the prisoner, the exile, the father, the one who was close to people, the orator close to his God…
“I placed myself at the disposal of his power and his maternal heart for the work that had been entrusted to me to carry out”
I opened the book again to look for a quote, and I found this one. Soul of Joseph Kentenich’s soul.
It is only one phrase of hundreds that we find in this book, which allows us to get close to the soul of the one who received a mission to found and to form Schoenstatt, and who does not want to carry it forward without us.
The book is expensive (26 €, 34 US$) and unfortunately it is difficult to obtain because of lack of distribution channels outside of Chile. But it is worthwhile to find a way to obtain it, disseminate it, give it as gift. Also, outside of Schoenstatt.
Original: Spanish. 12 August 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA