Yes, Father, we go with you!
The National Director of Schoenstatt in Argentina, Father Pablo Perez, asked Monsignor Jorge Gonzalez, who was consecrated bishop last September 15th, to celebrate the November Covenant Mass for the Movement in Argentina.
Bishop González was a member of the Schoenstatt Youth in the city of La Plata, capital of the province of Buenos Aires; he is a member of the Schoenstatt Federation of Diocesan Priests and the current Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of La Plata. Monsignor González accepted the invitation and celebrated the Mass in the Schoenstatt Shrine in La Plata, a Shrine thats was blessed by Bishop Antonio Plaza on August 15, 1965, a few months before Father Kentenich was rehabilitated by Pope Paul VI in all his functions as founder of the Schoenstatt Work.
Inspiration in times of uncertainty
In his homily, Monsignor Gonzalez gave a strong emphasis on the signs of the times and called to keep the faith alive, making a brief historical review of the crosses that Father Joseph Kentenich lived, during his childhood and then during the time of exile. His words invite us to remember the road we have walked as a Schoenstatt family until today. A homily that serves as an inspiration in these moments of uncertainty.
We transcribe below the parts of the homily that refer to this theme.
Kentenich: priest and prophet of our time
It is a new anniversary of the birth of our Father and Founder, Fr. Kentenich’s, in a year that has been strong in public repercussions, once again we face new challenges. We must learn to read what happened as a renewed test through which our Father’s charism must pass in order to reach an accurate and healthy knowledge of his contribution to the Church, which we from La Plata usually call “the liberation of his charism.
We must not be confused. In this framework that I have just shared with you, we thank God, on this Covenant Day, for a man, a priest and a prophet of our time: Father Joseph Kentenich. Born on November 16, 1885 in Gymnich, Germany, died on September 15, 1968, in the Adoration Church, Schoenstatt, ordained a priest on July 8, 1910, who exercised his ministry uninterruptedly for 58 years.
His great task and lifelong passion was the new man in the new community, laying the foundation for a new social order throughout the world. Not satisfied with an accurate diagnosis of the current crisis, he knew how to audaciously put his hands to work, giving on a small scale a global response to the present problems. A charismatic educator, his system was not developed in the abstract or from a desk, but rather in daily contact with men and women, with life, in the midst of continuous difficulties and struggles.
The fate of the world is decided for the next centuries
A time that saw the most unprecedented change in history: the First and Second World Wars, the Russian Revolution and the Chinese Revolution, the advance in science and technology, the Second Vatican Council. Fr. Kentenich even learned of the hardships of a concentration camp. With a prophetic vision he understood the background of the great contemporary historical process, when he wrote, as a prisoner in Koblenz in 1941: “On the horizon the great structural lines of a new order in the world are slowly taking shape: an ancient world is on fire
We can say then that Kentenich is a man of frontiers, the twilight of a time that is ending and the dawn of the future. Thus his life’s task also acquires secular dimensions. In relation to the past, he sought to carefully capture and keep alive in his work “all that is great and beautiful that the last four centuries have revealed about the still hidden splendor of the divine idea -of man”. (Oktoberbrief 1949). And towards the future his gaze extended to the next four or five hundred years: “The best of all nations instinctively feel that we are before a historical change of epochs of secular dimensions; that now the dice are falling that will decide the destinies of the world for the next four or five centuries”, (op.cit). This explains why he affirmed that his mission was not so much to break spears for the present effectiveness of the Church, but to commit himself deeply to its future destiny and vitality (1955).
His reputation for holiness is extraordinarily widespread
We should not get confused. His process of canonization was opened on February 10, 1975 in the Diocese of Trier by the same Bishop Stein who had sent him to Milwaukee years earlier. I bring this to mind, because it is a sign that already tells us a lot. We are witnesses too, that. People from every continent testify that in him they have found a convincing example of living the Gospel, they have felt supported in their faith and have entrusted themselves to his intercession before God. Hundreds of Schoenstatt Shrines scattered in so many countries are places of encounter with God.
We are filial, not immature adults or naive children
We should not get confused. On this Covenant Day, on Father’s birthday, as a Schoenstatt Family in Argentina, it is time to renew our YES FATHER, LET’S GO WITH YOU! And we go with you knowing that Fr. Kentenich was a human being, with all that that means… not a heavenly entity. We are affiliates, not immature adults, naive children. Nor does this mean that we should question Father’s sexual moral integrity, that would be foolish.
Lies are falsehoods told in a true context
I am sure that many of the brothers from La Plata will know to whom I am referring, because it comes to my mind what a great professor of Philosophy we had in the seminary used to say and who also taught in other areas of the city (of La Plata) and Buenos Aires, those to whom the city and the Church of La Plata should have honored more than what we have done. He always said: “a lie is a truth told in a false context or a falsehood told in a true context”. It is very simple. If I say that for six months the Schoenstatters from La Plata did not set foot in the Shrine, I am telling the truth. But if I do not clarify the context, if I give the impression that the context is the mediocrity of the faith of the Schoenstatters, I am lying. I lie and defame.
Yes, Father, we go with you!
We are facing situations that Fr. Kentenich has already experienced. But it is not up to me, who is just taking my first steps as auxiliary bishop of a diocese so far away from the events that are again being questioned 72 years later, to issue a statement on these very delicate issues. The diocese where Schoenstatt is located, the diocese of Trier, is already taking care of this. It is there that the process of canonization was begun and as such, a possible place to speak again of events that took place so long ago.
On the other hand, and it is important that we all know this, the General Presidency of the Movement created an Investigation Commission, not to compete with the diocese in any way, but to explain and to frame all the gestures, attitudes and words of Fr. Kentenich is a psychological, pedagogical and religious system of its own, founded on the tradition of the Church, which we Schoenstatters have certainly enjoyed, but which we have not sufficiently explained in a scientific way. The General Presidency of the Movement is committed to this. Our compatriots are working hard, children of this same Shrine of Liberation.
Let us place all of this in the hands of the Blessed Mother. Let us accompany this road with our constant prayer, with our Capital of Grace and with our Yes, Father, we go with you!