ORIGINAL SHRINE, Fr. Bladimir Navarro Lorenzo •
On 18 October, Fr. Bladimir Navarro Lorenzo, a Cuban priest of the Schoenstatt Federation of Diocesan Priests in Cuba, was in Schoenstatt. He con-celebrated the International Mass in the Pilgrims’ Church. At Fr. Egon M. Zillekens’ request, he shares his experience of those days.
For me, Schoenstatt is a place of encounter and rest. It is clearly an encounter with the Blessed Mother, but at the same time in a special way with Fr. Kentenich. I arrived at the “beautiful place” with two young couples from Madrid, and together we traveled to the places where Father Kentenich lived or stayed with the help of a Sister of Mary. They were places that helped us to encounter Father Kentenich’s personality. He was a man who was close and a friend. As a young priest, I feel what the Father and Founder experienced and left as a legacy to the entire Schoenstatt Family, but above all, to the priests, as a challenge: that of a committed life like that of the good shepherd “who gives his life for his and for love.”
A place of encounter with other Schoenstatters
It is also a place of encounter with others. It is impressive to feel like family with many that I do not even know or speak the same language as I. Once more, I experienced Schoenstatt’s universality and the extent of the Father and Founder’s favorite idea. The greatness of this place is such that one feels the need to share what you are experiencing with others.
It is also a place to encounter myself. Schoenstatt is a special place for silence and prayer. It is a place to re-encounter oneself with one’s being– and in my case, with my priestly being and the reason for my commitment today. It is place to return to the “first love” and to renew my yes to God and the Blessed Mother: and I did precisely that on this day of covenant renewal.
Rest in good conversations
Why rest? With time, I have learned that it is necessary to stop and “re-charge the batteries.” That is, to rest, and if it is done in God and with friends, so much the better. Marienau House, of the Priests’ Federation, helps to accomplish this in addition to the company and good conversations. Jesus also went to rest on the mountain with his friends. Here on Mount Schoenstatt I have found rest.
I feel the need to reach out
Lastly, the encounter and rest launched me to the mission. Just like the Jubilee of Schoenstatt’s centenary two years ago, I feel the need to reach out, to announce, to communicate the many graces experienced within the family. In his homily during the International Mass of that day, Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio told us: “A merciful and missionary Schoenstatt.”
Photos: Vicky Forn, Madrid
Original: Spanish. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA . Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA