ITALY, Federico Bauml •
The traditional mission also took place during Holy Week this year. After two years in Vico Equense we were in Sant’Angelo d’Alife this year: new destination, old – amazing – successful.—
A tradition, which despite many difficulties, is renewed each year, finding new life and new fire.
Yeah, fire. In Latin Ignis, the name that was chosen as the title of Mission 2019, together with the statement “Mary”, was born from the enthusiasm of a group of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 and accompanied by the Schoenstatt Fathers Facundo Bernabei and Beltrán Gómez.
With this fire, we departed for Sant’Angelo di Alife, a small town in the province of Caserta, with a little more than 2,000 inhabitants, which, thanks to the work of the Schoenstatt Fathers and Sisters, has become one of the main centers of the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in Italy for more than ten years.
The atmosphere in our accommodation is that of an international holiday village. On the same table, there is mate, a typical South American drink, together with buffalo mozzarella, which gives a type of homage to the Santangiolesi, in an irresistible Italian-South American mix, spiced with the sound of guitars and an above-average volume of music.
And so the mission becomes a mutual stimulus. On the one hand, the missionaries who have left Rome to bring Our Lady to the homes of the people; on the other hand, the Community of Sant’Angelo, proud of its tradition and anxious to make it known to its very welcome young guests, who are very happy to be “spoiled” a little during these days of celebration.
The traditions of the place build the framework: the Good Friday procession, the Easter egg hunt in the garden of Lord Windisch Graetz (the moment that the children of Sant’Angelo await all year round), the Easter night and the excursion to the Norman castle.
The Madonnina, the Pilgrim Mother of Schoenstatt
For four days “our” home becomes the stage for the meeting with children from the village, between more or less improvised lunch and beautiful catechesis and meditation on the Easter triduum. In the meantime, the mission is on; the young people accompany the Pilgrim Mother to the houses, give those who open the door a few minutes of light-heartedness and comfort, and in return they receive warmth and, why not, a good cup of coffee and a piece of pastry.
Mission is exactly that: to welcome, to give, to receive, to grow together, to confront, to announce, to witness, to move, to take oneself out of the daily hustle and bustle and finally to breathe. And sometimes it is about reaping the fruits of the years of work of those who have quietly prepared the way for us.
While standing in a somewhat improvised home shrine, she turns her eyes proudly to her youth and rejoices in all this wonderful confusion.
Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti!
Original: Italian, 29.04.2019 Translation: Lindsay Burger, Akron, Ohio, USA