URUGUAY, Juan Andrés Nopitsch •
Saturday dawned very cloudy and rainy in Montevideo, but that did not stop the educators from deciding to retreat. The meeting spot was in Plaza Cuba, and from there they traveled to Neva Helvecia, Departamento Colonia, where the Schoenstatt Shrine, the first replica of the Original Shrine is located; it was built in 1943 in the midst of World War II.
These times for educators are planned by the ministry as an ideal time to pause, to “recharge one’s batteries,” and its objective is to be able to think about oneself, in relationship with others and in their relationship with God. “This year the subject of both retreats had to do with encounter,” Florencia Ortigoza explained. She is the coordinator of the ministry. “The first one, at the beginning of the year was held at the Carrasco Schoenstatt House, where they worked on encounter from a transformative point of view.” Florencia commented that in a way we are agents of change through encounters. “We all change thanks to someone and someone always changes thanks to us.”
The objective of the second retreat was to re-encounter oneself and in this way to reaffirm or rediscover the personal mission that everyone has to give.
“It was very good; we were accompanied by Fr. Pablo Pol, a Schoenstatt Father who is the adviser of the Movement in Montevideo. He guided the retreat. Everyone was very grateful for the experience stating that it is very good to take time to re-encounter oneself, it is something we do not normally do.”
One of the strongest times was the personal time when everyone built a chest. “Our life is a small chest where we keep things; each wall of the chest is made up of our own history, our past, the projects we have, the fears, the times of sorrow, and by people who have filled it with experiences. It was planned as a 10-minute exercise, and it lasted almost an hour. It was impossible to shorten the time, it generated a very profound atmosphere,” they related.
My life is a chest of light
At the end of the retreat, everyone received their chest, but inside there was a light, as a symbol that all we have is a light for others. “This is my life, and it is a fire that enkindles another fire. A light that illuminate others.”
Overall, one of the keys of the Providencia Educational Center was deepened through the retreat: the transformative encounter.
Photo: Maria Fischer, 2017
Header photo: Johana Goodacre, 2017
Original: Spanish. 18 September 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Jankegt, Elgin, TX USAhttp://www.schoenstatt.org/en/schoenstatt-in-action/social/providencia-educating-for-life/