PARAGUAY, Ani Souberlich and Maria Fischer •
What was the most touching gift Fr. Pedro received for his silver jubilee? The visit by his parents to Tupãrenda? The presence of the Superior General, Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio? The receipt of a generous donation to Casa Madre de Tupãrenda from Germany? The publication of his book Libertad en la cárcel [Freedom in prison]? We didn’t ask him (not to ruin the title of this article), but one of the most touching was surely the large rosary given by the boys at Casa Madre de Tupãrenda, a rosary made not only with lots of self-sacrifice and photos of life at Casa Madre de Tupãrenda, life that continues thanks to the massive efforts and generous donations during this funding crisis. But there is more. There are handwritten notes like this one: “Thank you very much, Father for remembering me. I’m going to behave for you and not smoke for a week.” —
This was written by a youngster who only a few months ago was still detained at a juvenile penitentiary, a youngster who has only ever experienced violence, abandonment, abuse, loneliness, hunger. A youngster who has stolen out of desperation at an age when other boys were playing soccer, receiving a new PlayStation, going to the beach and studying with varying levels of effort to do well at school.
A joint task for the Father who saved them
They worked for a long time to make this rosary. One of them drew a cross, more beautiful than any of their tattoos, others painted the sky blue beads, others carefully attached the photos, all of them sat down with their notes to write their promises and greetings to Fr. Pedro.
You don’t always need jars like the ones in all of the Schoenstatt shrines around the world to place notes that express contributions to the capital of grace. It can be a rosary and I believe that not only was this the most touching gift that Fr. Pedro received on 30 June, but also the most valuable for the capital of grace to our Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt as well.
Thank you, Father Pedro, for inviting me to the CMT program. It changed my life, and in thanksgiving I promise to graduate and get ahead.”
I promise not to go out on weekends to Parranda” (going to parties and getting into trouble).
Fr, I promise that from today 30.06.2019 I will not step inside a prison, even for a visit, and I promise not to abuse alcohol again.”
I am going to try to not arrive late any more. I am going to pray with more faith…”
The big moment
The big moment arrived. Everyone was ready early on Sunday for Mass at Tupãrenda. With pride and almost exploding with joy, they formed part of the entrance procession, carrying the Vatican and Schoenstatt flags…”The guys from CMT look like Schoenstatt Fathers` novices, if it wasn’t for the green t-shirts,” was one of the comments heard.
Finally, the offertory. Among the many who brought their offerings and gifts, the CMT youngsters also brought their sky-blue rosary. Emotion, hugs, tears, words that nobody could hear except Fr. Pedro and the Merciful God. There is a celebration in heaven and on earth.
Kentenich pedagogy on the periphery
To celebrate his silver jubilee, Fr. Pedro launched his book “Libertad en la cárcel?: – Kentenich pedagogy on the peripheries,” published by Fundación en Alianza, Paraguay, with texts published in four parts on Schoenstatt.org, largely transcribed from a talk by Fr. Pedro Kühlcke for the Tupãrenda Boys’ Youth in September 2018.
In this moment of hugs and emotions once could see the touch of Kentenich pedagogy on the periphery.
The existential periphery of these youngsters needs a Kentenich pedagogy, needs Kentenich educators.
It is a moment to fall in love again with the Kentenich pedagogy that we think we know off by heart.
And suddenly it flashes through head and heart: to develop all of its potential, Kentenich pedagogy needs the periphery…
Name: Schönstatt-Patres International e. V.
IBAN: DE91 4006 0265 0003 1616 26
Use reference: Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, Casa Madre de Tupãrenda
Original: Spanish, 8 July. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa