On October 18th, within the framework of the jubilee year for the 50th Anniversary of our National Shrine, the Schoenstatt Family in Ecuador celebrated a very special Covenant Day. The history of the Movement in Ecuador, this warm land of the Covenant of Love, was given as a present to the Blessed Mother.

The book “Roots of Clay and New Blood” is a title that evokes the spirit shared by those who began this great adventure. From its very beginnings there has been an inherent attitude of smallness which is consistent with what mud and clay represent. This perception of the smallness of the instruments coincides precisely with the thinking of the founder of Schoenstatt, Father Joseph Kentenich, when he wrote in his letter to the Family:

“Undoubtedly Schoenstatt in Ecuador will not happen without the laws of the kingdom: smallness of the instruments, magnitude of the difficulties and magnitude of the success.”

Schoenstatt came to Ecuador thanks to the openness of simple hearts. The expression “new blood” invites us to return to the origins to ignite a renewed life in an era that calls for heroism. Those who are immersed in the Schoenstatt spirituality know that the greater the difficulty, the more our greatest legacy is brought forth, the willingness to accept adversity.

Revealing the life contributed by the protagonists who fell in love with the foundation project.

“Roots of clay and new blood”, was written by Sister Virginia Álvarez, Inés Gonzenbach de Vernaza and Anita Loor de Dahik with tenacity, enthusiasm, and love. This valuable book addresses rich footprints from our Schoenstatt history in Ecuador. The book was completed during the pandemic and therefore has the trademark of our founder of never giving up and projecting hope.

It is not a chronology or sequence of events that take place over time. Rather, it aims to bring to light all the life contributed by the protagonists who fell in love with the founding project. The intention of the authors is precisely to pass on these experiences to our heirs. To achieve this, they tried to flood the pages with testimonies that evoke this passion for the mission.

Anita LoorSpecial attention was given to the Spanish diocesan priest, Father Juan Fernandez, who accompanied the founding members. He became enthusiastic about the Schoenstatt world through one of his students who had been in Chile and once told Father Fernandez that he was an idealist: “What you have told us about a better world is nothing compared to Schoenstatt”. This was enough for Father Fernandez to want to know firsthand that blessed land where noble hearts aspire to heaven.

These pages make current those words that the Father and Founder mentioned: “What will become of Schoenstatt, if these future generations are not taken and penetrated by the same spirit as you? Should it not be an invariable law of the Family, for all times, that each generation has to conquer Schoenstatt anew?”

Will our descendants see the light in our eyes? Will they see fire in our words?

Christian Castelblanco was in charge of the presentation. Afterwards there was a musical rendition with a string quartet under the direction and violin solo of Master Ecuador Pillajo. The presentation of the book was given by Sister María Auxiliadora Bohórquez. M. Virginia Alvarez and Anita Loor de Dahik. A video recorded by Father Eduardo Auza from Quito was also shared.

Then the celebration of the Covenant Holy Mass took place with about 500 people in the esplanade in front of the Shrine.

The words of Father Juan Fernandez directed to the first young women who made their Covenant of Love, sets the pace for many Schoenstatters today:

“Time is a hard test. Time will also be our test. Will we have the same straightforward view, the intense and profound love, the surrender, the loyalty after twenty, thirty, forty years have passed? Will our descendants see the light in our eyes? Will they see fire in our words? Will they see obsession in our lives when we speak about Schoenstatt? Let us ask the Blessed Mother, here in her little chapel, in our home, for the tenacity of a leader who overcomes the difficulties, who overcomes time.”

You can watch the video of the celebration in Spanish here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLPPozc0DsM&list=PL3SaRxpaA88BOgBI0KKziGLlSqufyVAa5&index=1

You can also read: Ecuador celebrated the 90th Anniversary of the International Girls’ Youth