PARAGUAY, by José Aníbal Argüello, Lala Pires Ferreiro, María Ester Cáceres, Gabriela Bolaños y Maria Fischer •
Father’s Pilgrim MTA went on mission…When Father Heinz Kuenster, who is in charge of Father’s Pilgrim MTA, celebrated his 90th birthday, Monina Crivelli, a great friend of “Herr Pastor” took the opportunity to ask him, once again, for Father’s Pilgrim MTA, taking advantage of Maria Fischer’s trip to Paraguay and Argentina.
When Joao Pozzobon found out about his friend Brother German Arendes’ trip to Schoenstatt, in March 1968, he gave him two Pilgrim MTAs: one to begin the Campaign in Germany and the other one for Father Kentenich. Brother Arendes gave this Pilgrim MTA to Father Kentenich at House Marienau in the Schoenstatt Valley on March 19, 1968. She was always in his room in this house. After his death, it remained in the care of the House rector at the time, Father Heinz Kuenster. In 1979, when Joao visited the Original Shrine, he asked for this Pilgrim MTA, and in the joy of the re-encounter in his own handwriting on the back of the picture, he wrote: “This picture from Brazil was given to the Father and Founder in 1968. It was in his hands.”
Father’s Pilgrim MTA had already been on pilgrimage throughout Paraguay and Argentina, and it was also at the Blessing of all of us Shrine in Belmonte, Rome, in 2004. Since then, it has remained as a treasure, as great as it was unknown in the cabinet of Father Kentenich’s room in House Marienau. Swearing not to let it out of her sight, let it out of her hands, or allow anything that would make it disappear or cause it harm, with permission the coordinator from schoenstatt.org received it to take it to Paraguay and then to give it Monina Crivelli so that it could be with the Campaign in Argentina for some weeks.
When a Pilgrim MTA can go out to encounter, it does not stop…and it went out, from the first moment after its landing in Paraguay. What follows is the story of her most daring adventure. Against the advice of all the Schoenstatt Fathers in Paraguay and resulting in a “desperate” comment by someone from the Dreamteam to María: “I knew that I was going to lose sight of it for a minute and see it go out alone with the boys…”
She, the great missionary, wanted to go out…and she always wanted to return safe and sound.
“Subject: special request” – testimony of José Aníbal Argüello
“Subject: special request,” was the title of the email that I sent María Fischer, Communication Team Leader of schoenstatt.org, who was the person the Blessed Mother used to come from Germany to Paraguay, and to share Holy Week in the nation of God. With this email I made a daring proposal:
“Greetings Maria! There is a saying in Paraguay that is used when something is going to be requested that is complicated or that is difficult to fulfill.
The phrase is: “You have to ask anyway…the worst answer that can be given is no.” Dear Maria, I dared to write to you to know if you will allow Father’s Pilgrim MTA to go on the University Missions.
I know that it is a super special relic, but I also know that she is full of special graces that deserve to be taken to encounter those to whom she wants to carry out a second visitation.
It is a very daring proposal…but it is filled with the desire to “make noise” of the good kind. Blessings! Will see you tomorrow!”
Since he did not receive a response from Maria, he presumed his request was a negative. Maria Fischer was present at the “sending forth,” at Asunción Cathedral minutes before departing for the Missions, and before the invitation I had made to her weeks earlier, of course this response left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I told myself, not everything was said.
Then I accompanied Mara Fischer through the esplanade of the Cathedral, where 700 university missionaries were ready to go out to the country’s peripheries to take the Word of God. They were enthusiastic faces and filled with Christ, just like Mary’s desire to go out to meet her children, those who touched the heart of the one that was taking care of Father’s Pilgrim MTA, and finally she consented to this daring request.
Now it is only necessary to thank God for allowing us to take Mary to visit her children…her desire to go out on this encounter was truly felt that had been pending for who knows how many years, but which finally happened.
In the Rosary Campaign, we say that when a Pilgrim MTA is not on “mission” or traveling to the homes, then it is “caged.” So here we share some of the testimonies of the Mission that the Father and Founder’s Pilgrim MTA carried out after going out of its confinement of so many years. And it is great that it was in Paraguay!
“She saw Mary in you” – Gabriela Bolaños’ testimony
On Wednesday morning of Holy Week in the school chapel where we stayed during the Catholic University mission, they explained how honored we were to have this original Pilgrim MTA in our country, a special Pilgrim MTA of March 19, 1968. They told us that it had passed through several hands and several homes in the world, but the special thing was that it had been in Joao Pozzobon’s own hands and those of the Father Joseph Kentenich.
That morning before going out on mission, they entrusted that very special Pilgrim MTA to me. At the third house that we visited, we were received by a lady of a very humble family who had seven children three of whom suffered from microcephaly; they were close to thirty years old, but they were like children; they did not understand very much.
The lady welcomed us very kindly, and in a moment one of her special daughters was looking through the porch window and from afar she showed her the picture of the Pilgrim MTA. She smiled in a special way, she came running directly to the picture of the Blessed Mother and she gave her a kiss. The girl’s gaze of tenderness and joy was unique, it was an inexplicable moment, and I was in awe at this gesture.
When we bid farewell, the daughter returned to me, and she gave me two kisses on the cheek; she only gave them to me. I felt a strange sensation of so much love and joy and even of gratitude from her part that she could extend this gesture without the ability of understanding much.
As we left the house, we were all very much in awe at what had happened, and one of my brothers told me “she saw Mary in you;” I believe that it was exactly what I felt.
It was a gigantic blessing to go on mission with that Pilgrim MTA that has so much history. Thank you!
It is necessary to love – Lala Pires Ferreiro’s testimony
I introduce you to Aurelio and Siriaca Argüello. Today I am not going to stress the impoverished situation in which they live in Potrero Guazu, District of Caazapá (7 km from Buena Vista). I am going however to emphasize their loyal accompaniment of one another without regard to their circumstances in life. They have been married seventy admirable years. One may even think: “Is it possible to be together for so many years?” Aurelio is 95 years old and Siriaca is 85, they showed me that to live longer on earth, it is not necessary to have much money or material goods.
It is not necessary to invest in large amounts in medicines that promise to improve the quality of life, nor is it necessary to be someone who is well known in society, or to live in a place that I would say is “livable.” But it is necessary to love.
Love? It can sound a little “cheesy” for some, but it is necessary. There may be days when Aurelio does not even remember where he lives, or who the person is accompanying him, but for these seventy years he had and he has someone who sustains him in every aspect. I can assure you that what keeps them together and alive is love: the respect, and the loyalty that they have being with each other. In poverty, illness and pain.
It leads me to think: What/who do I love to prolong my life on this earth? It does not matter if it is something or someone, your family, your mate, your work, your dreams. Wherever or whoever there is more than one person involved. Because by extending my time here, I am generating more time in the lives of others. Let us know how to classify what life gives us and that doesn’t take life from us. I believe that we all agree that hate, bitterness, rage, fear, intolerance among other things diminish life minute by minute in us and as a result in others. Let us generate a time of life, and let us not take away life from those who surround us especially from one’s self. Then the question is: How much life can you generate today?
Where will the Queen take us? María Ester Cáceres’ testimony
We went on mission during Holy Week with the Catholic University Missions. 800 youths joined this great madness of love; I went to the town of Buena Vista (Caazapá – Paraguay).
When I found out that Father Kentenich’s Pilgrim MTA was going on mission to Buena Vista, I jumped with joy. In the beginning, I believed that they were kidding me, but when I saw the picture I realized it was not a lie.
I prayed to the Blessed Mother that if it was the Father’s will, that I would be allowed to mission with her. And so it was. On Holy Thursday, I had the opportunity and the blessing of going on mission in Compañia Potrero Guazú with the Pilgrim MTA in my arms, and it was very touching… for me this picture means a lot.
When we arrived, we divided into groups of three people, and I went on mission with Fausto and Lala. After saying a short prayer, we went on mission.
It was a dirt road and it was muddy, we walked almost three kilometers or more. During the walk, they asked me, “Where will the Queen take us?”
At the end of the long road, we entered a very humble house that was hidden. There we were given a great welcome. It was a whole family, very poor, the couple had about eight children, the oldest was twenty years old, and he was a very special boy, since he has Downs’ Syndrome. When he saw the Blessed Mother, he got emotional and said: “Amen.”
Upon arriving, we sat around a table and we began to talk with them. After a while, Fausto, who plays the guitar, began to sing, and we all accompanied him.
Little by little a very beautiful atmosphere was created, a united family singing, praising God and the Pilgrim MTA in the center. Everyone looked at her with great amazement.
Before bidding them farewell, the owner of the house took the picture, she looked at it and she began to talk with her; I suppose that she was praying. At a given moment, I approached, and I could see her eyes were shining. She looked at me, she embraced me, and told me: “Thank you for coming, may God bless you.” It felt so good to hear these words because I truly felt like an instrument. I am very grateful for having this experience.
|May 23, 2015 – University Missions|
Source: Magazine Tuparenda, May 2015
Photos: MUC/Magazine Tuparenda, Ani Souberlich, Maria Fischer, José Argüello
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA