CUBA, Fr. Jorge Andrés Rubido Rosas •
Just like a year ago, this summer, missionaries from the Schoenstatt Movement in Spain have come to the parish. Five girls on fire with love for Christ and the Blessed Mother have gladdened us with the testimony of their lives.—
The mission experience was in Los Arabos, a town on the far east of Matanzas province, Cuba. In the mornings we went out to the streets to visit the sick and to invite the children to the children’s workshop. During the first week we had soccer, volleyball, handicrafts, dance and drama and we brought the children from the small neighboring towns so they could join this celebration. The motto for the workshops was «Awakening talents to change the world». That week was followed by a Schoenstatt gathering where the girls spoke in more detail on topics such as personal ideal, inner freedom and the importance of self-awareness and self-education.
A highlight of the gathering was the Covenant of Love sealed by a young girl of the group and a woman who coordinates a Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Campaign group in Colón, a nearby town.
The children evangelize their parents
From there we went to a Teen Mission at St. Joseph, a neighboring parish. We received abundant graces in the form of baptisms, a wedding and other gifts from the Blessed Mother. Like Mary we went to share Christ and we encountered humble hearts on fire with so much love that they enkindled us even more. The parish has a boys group between the ages of 8-10, who for the last year have met regularly to work on their formation and spiritual development. This summer they received the Unity Cross and they became the Blessed Mother’s Missionaries. Now they are taking the Pilgrim Mother to their homes, since most of their parents do not go to church and they, with the Blessed Mother’s help, will be the bridges so that God will reach their families. This desire is very clear for them and they want to conquer it this year.
The Blessed Mother transforms hearts
The Blessed Mother was at the center of the mission. She enlightened our hearts, she allowed us to experience heavenly moments and to deepen our attachments so that they can take a deeper root. The five girls fell in love with this country and we fell in love with their energy that makes their young lives flourish.
We are already dreaming about next year and with the project of a permanent mission that quenches the thirst for God in the people of my town. It is a desire that we place in the Blessed Mother’s heart. On the other hand, after this summer mission, the parish has flourished, but it is slow progress.
We do not want to run, we want to wait for God’s time. I happily see a girls’ group as a complement to the group that already exists. And in the future, I see the growth of a strong teenage youth group. For all of this to take shape, we need a presence and more accompaniment.
Experiences like these do so much good for the Church!
Schoenstatt reaching out!
It is about embodying what Pope Francis said to the Schoenstatt Family in 2014: “Schoenstatt reaching out, a culture of encounter is a covenant culture” and that is what we are called to be. It is impressive to see the familiarity and intensity of our relationships when we are united by a single heart, a single cause and a single Mother. What a gift for the Church! The crusade for organic thinking, loving and living is our gift for this world.
The author Fr. Jorge Andrés Rubido Rosas, is a member of the Federation of Diocesan Priests in Cuba
Original: Spanish, 5 September 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA, Edited: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa