SPAIN, Elena Martín Otín •
It has already been ten years since the birth of Betania Spain. What began as a small reality for four separated women, under the protection of its founder María Luisa Erhardt, and Fr. Gabriel García Serrano, our counselor, today is huge reality for more than 200 women integrated into twelve groups. They are united by the common factor of their marriage break-ups. Many of them are in the process of an ecclesial annulment of marriage, or they have resolved this; others are divorced or in the process of divorce, others are judicially separated…each one has their own particular story and experience.
Betania Spain has been forged, little by little, with its own spirit and personality. The first thing you encounter upon entering Betania is the warm welcome and the absence of any judgment. No one questions you, everything is open arms, and this constitutes the first stone in your opening up your heart and building a new life, a life based on renewed spiritual values and reaffirmation of the faith in Jesus Christ, that always accompanies us. Because Betania is like a divine beach where separated women arrive exhausted, wounded by the winds and torments of every separation’s bitter period, every broken union. And on this the beach, a beacon, María Luisa Erhardt, the Lord’s instrument, who guides us in our darkness, shelters us, takes care of us, counsels us, and makes us stronger.
Because Betania is like a field hospital. There we heal the wounds and traumas of a hard battle often times carried out in silence.
The Schoenstatt Fathers could say much about Betania. We find so much peace in their shrines, sheltered by the Blessed Mother!
Bishop Carlos Osoro’s visit
During the end of the 2015-16 Course celebration, coincidentally during the ten years of loving existence, we had the joy of the Archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro’s presence. Pope Francis recently named him a cardinal. His visit was like a salve for us; it was the Church’s recognition of our reality. Bishop Osoro concelebrated the Eucharist with Fr. Gabriel, followed by the precious and moving adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and an afternoon snack. Bishop Carlos was very kind and close, he encouraged us to continue to advance. He told us we were important to society, especially through the exercise of forgiveness that we carried out.
Everything passes through forgiveness
Everything passes through forgiveness: of ourselves, those who have hurt us, to the aggression the family of today suffers as an institution… Love is reached through the road of forgiveness, the one we want to sow on our way, to leave our children, and a world better than the one we have today.
In Betania we heal, as our founder says, if we heal ourselves, we heal our families, and we can heal society. Currently, the light of Betania Spain reaches more than 200 families. Betania is that space of healing that nothing or no one has covered until now within our faith. Thank you Betania, for being there. Without you, we only count on the Lord, which is already enough. With you, your Holy Spirit happily accompanies us in our joy.