ORIGINAL SHRINE, Ruben Elizondo •
It has been six days since we officially started the International School of Leaders 2018 that started 10 July. Twenty Schoenstatt college-age young men comprise the school: four from Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, and two from the United States, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Spain. —
The goal and mission of the International School of Leaders is for us to deepen our formation in Schoenstatt with a strong emphasis on how to be leaders for the Movement, the Church, and the world.
Learning about everyday sanctity and a few other important things
We are accomplishing this by studying the history of the Movement, the life of our Father and Founder, Fr. Kentenich, and by meeting the different communities within the Movement and learning what their purposes and missions are. Another one of the school’s goals is to bring new life and joy to the Original Shrine and to Schoenstatt!
This week, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to meet with the Institute Our Lady of Schoenstatt, the Sisters of Mary, and the Schoenstatt Fathers. We learned about each of their histories, missions, and works that they do. It has been incredible to see how each of these different communities has a strong devotion to its mission and to the Blessed Mother. Their hospitality and care for us is beyond description! They truly resemble what sanctity is like!
The Grand Tour
Additionally we also got a tour of Bundesheim, Fr. Kentenich’s house, and we also visited Fr. Kentenich’s tomb. These were all great experiences in which we got to learn more about the history of the Movement. Visiting Fr. Kentenich’s tomb though, was by far one of the most meaningful experiences that we’ve had. Being there in the presence of our founder made everything we have learned about him and Schoenstatt feel tangible. The man we have heard so many great stories about was right there in front of our eyes! The School’s students were deeply moved and inspired by this time they got to spend with their founder, and they are looking forward to going back to visit him soon!
Feeling right at home
We have also had the opportunity to attend daily mass and the evening blessing every day at the Original Shrine. This has been a fruitful time for the School, not only because we get to make a pilgrimage to this holy place every day, but we are also making it our own home. We sing songs, meet new people every day, and also learn a few German words as we go!
Overall this first week of our school has been fruitful, challenging, and filled with love from the MTA and everyone in Schoenstatt. We are excited to begin our next week of work and look forward to continue learning about the Movement and how with the MTA we can change the world!
Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA