PANAMA, Fer Castro and Maria Fischer •
On 18 September 2017, the Blessed Mother’s Wayside Shrine was blessed in the San Francisco de la Caleta Parish, in Panama City. During the same celebration, two girls from Girls Youth were commissioned as Pilgrim Mother missionaries along with some of the women.
A play, “A Beautiful Place” was presented in this parish a couple of months ago. Inspired by the Schoenstatt pedagogy, it was directed by Dario Ramírez, a young political refugee from Venezuela, who schoenstatt.org interviewed recently.
This parish will be the headquarters for all Schoenstatters who participate in World Youth Day with its Marian motto in Panama, January 2019. At this time, the parish already has groups of the Mother’s Branch, as well as the Girls’ Youth, and of course the Campaign.
Schoenstatt life in Panama – bearing fruit
Fr. Rómulo Aguilar is the pastor of San Francisco del la Caleta; he sealed his Covenant of Love in the Bellavista Shrine in Chile, and in May 2011, he visited the Original Shrine for the first time.
Fr. Rómulo learned about Schoenstatt in the ‘90s through an encounter with Fr. Esteban Uriburu during his visit to Panama when he spread the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign. When Fr. Esteban perceived Fr. Rómulo’s closeness to Schoenstatt, he invited him to Buenos Aires to learn about the Campaign “more closely”.
“This visit took place when Fr. Esteban was already very ill; “he asked Monina Crivelli, his ‘right hand’, to organize this visit for me so that I could experience everything I needed to understand the spirit of the Campaign in order to carry it out in my country,” Fr. Rómulo explained. “I still recall all the details of that visit; it was a profound experience that marked my life.”
“Ah yes, Fr. Rómulo! We lost contact with Fr. Rómulo since there was no online contact at that time. I looked for him a great deal for testimonies about Fr. Esteban!!! It is good to see him! What a joy!” Mercedes Bonorino exclaimed. Simultaneously during those days, the re-launching of the wayside shrine initiative was being prepared, the photos of the wayside shrines will be used to create a digital mosaic of the Original Pilgrim Mother for the Joao Pozzobon Hall at Belmonte, Rome, a sample of the Campaign’s service to the Church. “It is a special joy that Panama’s new wayside shrine will be a part of this mosaic,” Ana Echevarria said, along with Mercedes Bonorino and a circle of missionaries from Argentina that launched this initiative.
Original: Spanish. 21 September 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA