ARGENTINA, Priscila Farías and Nacho Sanguinetti
During Holy Week, a group of young people left everything behind to live the University Missions “Ita Pater, Ita Mater”. —
University missions belong to the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement. Young people from this community take refuge during Holy Week in different places in the Chaco interior to live and experience a different Holy Week, far from everyday life and close to God. The basis of the university missions does not lie in the activities the youth carry out within the communities, however the most important thing is reaching out, “Covenant reaching out” because the first end is to take Jesus and Mary through the towns’ streets and homes.
This year for the third and last consecutive year, from Wednesday, April 17th until Easter Sunday, these young people visited places in San Ramón, María Auxiliadora, and Campo Grande in Colonia Elisa, located about 88 kilometers from Chaco’s capital.
Leaving the comforts of home and everyday lives
During that week, the missionaries lived in the area’s schools, where they slept, cooked, and spent their days searching and sharing the meaning of Easter and the spirit of Resurrection so integral to Holy Week. With the particularity of this year, many young people took bicycles for their daily trips, and set up tents for siesta or little restorative naps, and then continued on mission. Also during free time, children from the community were invited to play games organized by the missionaries and remembering the lunches and snacks shared with them.
Service becomes flesh and surrender becomes reality, when this young person was encouraged to leave the comforts and the daily things to go to unknown places, with trust placed in God and seeking to transmit even a little of the love that they themselves have received.
A touch of adventure
On Saturday the 20th, in spite of the fact that the whole day was rainy, the missionaries went on mission, completely soaked, muddy, in the harsh weather, but happy, fulfilling the mission. Once the mission was finished in each place, he went to look for the community tractor, which made the mission, besides being strengthened, had its touch of adventure, full of life and joy.
On Sunday, April 21st, at 10:00 a.m., the 2019 Missions’ closing took place. The missionaries shared Easter Holy Mass celebrated in the Santa Rosa de Lima Chapel of Colonia Elisa; Father Marcelo presided.
A Yes without manuals
Below we share our personal testimonies:
A yes with fears, doubts, anxieties— a yes without manuals—a yes in believing himself unworthy of such honor.
A “yes” experienced like Mary’s, trusting and giving completely, a “May your will be done in me and us.”
Does giving life transform a heart?
To give away my time, my tiredness, my hours of sleep, to give up spending time with my family and friends, revealing myself, thinking that everything has to be there. Would all that have its reward?
To be faithful to you in the storm and in difficulties, to unite as a team overcoming each test, not to let ourselves be carried away by chaos but trust. I want to remember “If it’s time for Cruz, it’s time for fidelity.”
Remembering that we are only instruments and that this does not depend on us, that it depends on those who can do everything, that it is their mission, and they are always there taking care of us.
To propose to “be parents”, like our founding father, who without being biologically so, generously gave love, sheltered, and formed a family. Correcting fraternally, being firm when we should and loving without measures.
Serving with humility and simplicity, fully enjoying our assignments, being children, allowing ourselves to be filled with all the graces that the Blessed Virgin Mary would like to give us as a reward. To serve with our humanity, with what we are with our history, without disguising it, to offer what we are.
Would all this be possible?
This mission was a miracle; a miracle of immense love. God manifested himself in every person, in every gesture.
God imposed his plans and we were submissive to them.
God showed us we do not have to expect physical or visible miracles—he is in the simple things.
“When we got to the top, I understood, that it’s for love.”
And so I returned to my home, “kindled by her love, and crazy for Schoenstatt,” holding my smallness in her hands, and completely grateful for so much love.
Why should we get all muddy, wet, and get little sleep?
I’m Nacho, I’m 25 years old, and I really don’t know where to begin to describe such madness. I have been a missionary for several years, but I never thought I could live such an incredible mission as the one I lived this Holy Week. Once again I went to Heaven for four days, a Heaven where 150 young people pulled for the same side, with the same madness, to be instruments of Mary and Jesus. 150 young people who didn’t keep anything, neither good nor bad, we took everything out and supported each other. Four days in which all earthly problems took a back seat, where Jesus and Mary walked among us, they were in every mime, in every embrace, in every smile, cry, and they never left us alone!
If you ask me today, why are we going to go on mission? Why are we going to get muddy, wet, and little sleep? I’d tell them why we’re crazy, there’s no other explanation. Crazy to see the one we have smiling, crazy to share and help, crazy to be the feet of Mary and Jesus.
Today more than ever we’re alive and we’re crazy!
I hope I have expressed a little of everything that my heart feels when I say: “Ita Pater, Ita Mater” (yes Father, yes Mother). Nacho Sanguinetti
Original: Spanish. April 2019. Translation: Maria Fisher, Germany.Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA