By Agustín José Lombardi, an argentinean living in Guarapuava, Brazil •
When we speak about originality within the movement, we normally refer to specific characteristics of Schoenstatt’s charism and pedagogy. Almost immediately, we connect this originality to the invitation our father and founder made to Mary, that she establish her abode in the Shrine and from there pour out her graces as intercessor. After a hundred years of history, we realize that Schoenstatt’s originality manifests itself through the characteristics that the Movement has developed in the countries where the culture of the Covenant of Love is present.
All of Fr. Kentenich’s direct or indirect interventions left an original mark on his collaborators. His footsteps, physical or spiritual, in the Schoenstatt communities throughout the world are real proof of this phenomenon. We need only look at the reaction that the historic milestones created in Schoenstatt families who were closest to these events. All of them shaped the personality of those who shared these processes of growth of the international Schoenstatt family with Father in a unique and profound way. Today, more than ever, we can stay that when all of the charisms in the world come together, we almost fully experience the Schoenstatt project that Fr. Kentenich envisioned. This is what happened during the celebrations of the Movement’s first centenary.
When we look at a world map and the expression of faithfulness to the covenant of love in the international Schoenstatt Family, we can identify the footsteps of the originality that Fr. Kentenich sowed: apostolic spirit in Chile and historic faithfulness in Germany. We also see the pioneer strength in Burundi and social responsibility in Paraguay. The living presence of Fr. Kentenich in Argentina and creative energy in Brazil. All of these are only some of the traces that, in my opinion, form the heterogeneity of our international Family. Each of these unique expressions are some of the foundation stones that complete the mosaic of Schoenstatt’s pedagogy, showing us the mission for the next 100 years.
Many things have changed since the time of the first sodalists. Without a doubt, the goal of living in covenant continues to grow stronger. We live in an age of information and exchange, and we should take advantage of this to spread and complement our way of living the Covenant of Love. We should, in no way, lose the original characteristics of the identity of each family, but allow ourselves to be complemented by the many positive things that are already a reality in other parts of the world. In that way, we will be giving continuity to the creative work of God who enkindled in us the fire of an individual mission expressed in the personal ideal.
This new century is a time to maximize the talents that we received as instruments of creation, giving the world and the Church the best of what we are and have. God created us to be unique and unrepeatable, and Fr. Joseph Kentenich identified a great potential in this diversity for the development of a new world. Let our light not remain hidden inside us, in our community or in our countries. Let us share our gifts and increase our ties in every dimension so that in this way, we can live Schoenstatt’s originality fully.