Posted On 2018-09-09 In Original Shrine

“Embraced and joyful” – That is how we experienced Leading for Love

SCHOENSTATT, Maricruz García Piñeres •

Leading for Love is the name of this family leadership seminar for Schoenstatt couples, which my husband Andrés and I attended from 14-21 August in Schoenstatt. —

We arrived at “Haus der Familie” on the Saturday, two days before the start of the seminar. From the first moment I felt welcome in this house. We excitedly took advantage of those first free days to get know the Original Shrine and the Family Shrine. It seemed incredible to me to kneel and to pray in those holy places that I had imagined so many times, and which have occupied a place in my and my family’s heart for several years.

On Monday, the couples from Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, United States and Costa Rica began to arrive; they attended the seminar with us. I immediately felt that I had always known them. They came from different places and different cultures, but yet everyone drank from the same source of love, we have the same Father, the same Mother, the same Covenant, we are all brothers and sisters! Very soon, these attachments continued to grow and strengthen.

The Team put their life, soul and heart into the program

We began the seminar and the various activities, which had been carefully prepared by the team, flowed well. Each activity was very interesting and deep. I remember commenting to Andrés that there was not a single situation that did not fill or surpass our expectations. The team put soul, life and heart into every moment of the program, made evident by their great commitment and love for this work of God, the clarity of their mission and the awareness of the great task that God has entrusted to them.

Family of families

It was very enriching to experience those days with other couples, all of whom already have a long history of journeying with God, couples with high ideals and deep desires. To speak with each of them, to listen to their life testimonies and struggles, to laugh together, to pray together, to cry together, in a word, to build stories together.

A great fellowship emerged naturally among us where we shared those big experiences; it was such a profound bond that it made the experiences of others our own.

Source of graces

“Your shrine radiates into our times, the brilliance and the glory of Tabor’s sun…It is good to be there, as in Paradise, because it is the Holy Spirit’s dwelling” (Heavenwards, Schoenstatt Office, Terce, p.51).

These words take life. We lived on holy ground for 13 days. The source of graces is abundant in this place, they do not cease to reach us, even without expecting them.

The team members were willing instruments, generously doing their part and living their part of the Covenant. The Blessed Mother was generous to the extreme in preparing all the details so that each one of us, who neither asked nor expected anything. She knows us, she knows what we need very well, better than we do ourselves. Thus, with this attentiveness that characterizes her, she presented situations, words, experiences, persons, etc to us. She used every kind of means to reach all of us and to fill us with the most absolute love: God’s love.

Leading for Love

May you feel embraced and joyful

Now we take a great task into our hands, this love cannot stay here. It has to be fruitful, it should give abundant fruit and we are imperfect channels for that to happen. The challenge is great, and we received so much, that in my limitations it is difficult to work toward them. But, I am not alone, I have Andrés who is shoulder to shoulder with me in this struggle, and above all, we have the grace of the Holy Spirit with our Mother who always shows us where to go.

“My desire is that you feel embraced and joyful” were the words with which we were welcomed by a member of the first course of the Family Institute when we arrived to “Haus der Familie”. Her desire was a plea that was heard and fulfilled, we were embraced, completely enveloped by that merciful God who knows only love.


What is Leading for Love

The Seminar “Leading for Love” emerged during the Pentecost Congress 2015, where the fruits of Jubilee 2014 were collected and drafted in the “Schoenstatt reaching out” Memorandum. It wants to contribute to the Schoenstatt Family Work in strengthening marriage and family life, and to project it to the world. A new aspect of the Seminar is the methodology that combines conceptual aspects with experiences, attachment to moments and places of Schoenstatt and its founder’s history. The application of individual, couple and community dynamics allows one to assimilate the spirituality and pedagogy of a great leader, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, in a tangible way.


Original: Spanish, 2 September 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa

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