COSTA RICA, Catalina Hutt Cabezas/Ana Prieto •
It was 3:30 p.m. when a small van with a group of sisters from the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), an international Salesian religious congregation, arrived at the shrine. Their main objective, together with the Salesians of Don Bosco, is the integral formation of young people. A member of their order, Maria Romero Meneses (Q.E.P.D.), a Nicaraguan Salesian religious, was beatified by John Paul II and is in the process of canonization. —
I was waiting for them, and greeted them as they came down. There were nine in all, including the one who drove the van. Their visit filled me with joy, because I know that “Mary Help of Christians” (as the Salesians are affectionately known there) has always been very important for all the families in Costa Rica.
What is Schoenstatt, in five points?
I gave them a brief historical account about Father Kentenich, our founder— his life, his work, and his mission. I also spoke about the meaning of Schoenstatt: An apostolic movement of the Church for the Church and of Mary as our Mother and educator.
I mentioned the graces given to us in the Shrine. That wherever we are, we will always find a home (shrine), and our Father and Mother will be waiting there for us: God and the Blessed Mother. It will always be our home.
Finally, I commented that Schoenstatt is an international work.
Praying for one another
Then we went to the shrine. They thought it was very nice being so small. I explained the symbols in the shrine (they asked me where the tabernacle was). Each one stood and prayed the rosary, praying for the sisters who were in Nicaragua. In each mystery, they called each sister by first and last name, they also prayed for a lady who had died. There was a boy from the Schoenstatt youth who sang a beautiful song, so they sang too.
The rosary ended, other prayers were offered, and we went out.
“How good it feels here”
I asked them if they wanted water, and they thanked me, but they already brought something to drink and eat (snack).
We went out and settled in the garden, since they wanted to be outdoors. There they shared their food, brought cookies, packages, and soda.
They were happy to get to know the place. They said there was a lot of peace, and they were going to return one day for lunch. They left at 6:30 p.m. with the testimony: “How good it feels here.”
Original: Spanish. 18 May 2019. Translated: Melissa Peña-Janknegt