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Apostolic Movement

One single heart, one single Schoenstatt

By: Arturo Zarratea

The long day included 18 workshops for more than 300 participants.

On Friday, at the Sheraton Hotel in Asuncion, the day began with interesting workshops on topics such as addictions, family bonds, technology, educating children in the faith and feminism.

More than 300 people from Latin America arrived at the hotel where CIOF Paraguay 2023 was being held. The meeting began on Friday with the Eucharistic celebration followed by Father Correa’s opening remarks, which clearly conveyed to those present the need for this encounter in view of the many global issues of concern. Afterwards, Father Eduardo Aguirre gave a brief synthesis of the latest news on the process of beatification of our founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, in which he mentioned the importance of spreading his way of thinking, putting into practice projects based on his work thus providing the foundations for a reputation of saintliness.

Some of the workshops that took place were: “Addictions that infiltrate our families”, presented by Paulina Benavente and Patricio de la Fuente from the Institute of Families of Chile; “Real connection, let’s talk about technology in Schoenstatt coding”, presented by Milagro Castro and Irving Soto, members of the League of Costa Rica; “Home, source of attachments and welcoming”, Raquel Paz and Carlos García Cruz from the Apostolic Federation of Families of Ecuador; “Educating; a life of devoted and selfless service”. “Respecting the originality of our offspring”, by Jazmín and Eduardo Gustale from FAF Paraguay; “Education of children in the faith. Home Shrine” by Gislaine and Marcelo Mafre of FAF Brazil and “Feminine or Feminist” by the Institute of Families of Argentina.

The long day of talks and workshops continued in the afternoon with topics such as “Role of parents in the orientation and sexual affirmation of their children” with Father José María García and the Santiviago couple from Paraguay; “Schoenstatt Couples; like Martha or like Mary? “, led by Georgina and Victor Ferla, Viviana and Héctor Zinoni from Argentina; “Importance of relationships in educating in affectivity and purity”, by Victor Cárdenas and Miriam Touma from the Institute of Families of Ecuador; “Marian lifestyle in family life”, with Ligie Fougerat and Guillermo Barragan from the Institute of Families of Mexico; “Being families: Paternal and Maternal Role” by Flavia and Tomas Santos from the Federation of Brazil; the second round of workshops concluded with “The child as a gift, not as a right: Naprotechnology – Adoption, spiritual fatherhood/motherhood”, Dr. Angélica Sarmiento and couples from the Institute of Families of Paraguay.


Also discussed were topics such as: “Marriage crisis: opportunity for growth”, Ileana Montero and Gonzalo Vega from FAF Costa Rica; “An everlasting love: Sexus and Eros” with Florencia Gil and Miguel Lelo de Larrea from the Institute of Families of Mexico; “Nazareth. Workshop on the renewal of the Church” with Mercedes and David Escalante, Ma. Lorena and Leonardo Redeligo members of the League of Argentina; ” The mission of marriage to engender and cultivate life through conjugal love”, with Ana María Mena and Manuel Donoso of the Institute of Families of Chile; “Schoenstatters, married saints”, with Sister Gertrud Maria Erhard from Hungary. The first day’s workshops concluded with “Family, where are the religious vocations?”, by Elizabeth Muñoz and Juan Carlos Lobos, members of the League of Chile.

Sharing experiences to continue growing around the world

grupo compartiendo sus experiencias

Saturday’s workday at the International Congress of the Schoenstatt Movement of Families was filled with testimonies of Schoenstatters who work at being “heart for the world”. The laity influencing society, formation of the Schoenstatt leader, are some of the topics that were discussed in different workshops.

The testimonial panel “The laity influencing society” had several Schoenstatters who shared their experience in education, health, economics and politics. On the subject of education, Alejandra Grebe accompanied by her husband Jorge Herrera, who belong to the Apostolic Federation of Families of Chile, spoke about her job for the government in her country. On the subject of health, Hugo Kunzle of the Apostolic Federation of Families of Paraguay, who held an important position in the health sector in Alto Paraná, spoke about his experiences during the recently overcome pandemic.

On the subject of economics, Ivonne and Walter Póveda, members of the Apostolic League of Families of Ecuador, spoke about their experience of having God present in their workday and in their families. We also heard from Sebastián Villarejo from the FAF Paraguay, who encouraged the members of the movement to help others through politics, mentioning that we must go beyond the graces of shelter and transformation and ensure that the apostolic sending forth is actually about taking Schoenstatt’s example to all of society with concrete deeds that go beyond the apostolates.

In the afternoon, we received information about the newly formed family branch in Costa Rica, with the twist that couples join the Movement the same year they get married, and that is why it is called ” Zero Year. Newlyweds”. Carolina Cambronero and David Ramirez from the FAF of Costa Rica helped to implement this with the guidance of Father José Luis Correa.

We also had the opportunity to learn more about Schoenstatt on the go: external CAU from Elizabeth and Alejandro Robles of the FAF of Costa Rica. In the workshop “Formation of the Schoenstatt leader” we could, through the use of technology, listen to the Founding Father himself giving part of the talk, all made possible by Lorena and Walter Espindola, Nuria and Fernando Guirado, members of the League of Argentina. There was also the panel “The laity founding and leading Schoenstatt” presented by Lourdes and Manrique Gutierrez from Costa Rica.

The last part of the workshops was entitled “Leading to love” and was presented by Maria Luisa and Raul Robles from the Institute of Families. “A look at social problems”, the workshop was presented by Adela Cifuentes and Gonzalo Durán – FAF Chile and “One Schoenstatt, one heart: Internal CAU -COF”.

Source : CIOF Paraguay


with your loved ones

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