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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Schoenstatt Fathers bless the foundations of their future house in Lekki, Nigeria

By: Vanesa "Chuni" Gomez

The Blessed Mother takes root in Nigeria

Schoenstatt Fathers

On November 1st, the sun shines brightly in Nigeria, so that the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt may shelter more hearts and lead them to Jesus.

In Lekki, Father Alexandre Awi Mello, the Superior General of the Schoenstatt Fathers, blessed with great joy the wayside shrine and the foundation of the future house of the Schoenstatt Fathers on the African continent. Lekki is a peninsula in the state of Lagos, with more than three million inhabitants, located in the southeastern region of the country.

Perseverance, precision and prayer

Schoenstatt Fathers

During the blessing, Father Alexandre spoke of the importance of centering the project around three “P’s”: perseverance, precision and prayer. To persevere with enthusiasm in the mission to evangelize, to share and to give the originality of the Schoenstatt Movement in the church: the Covenant of Love with Mary. Precision to be able to discern the goal and to offer capitals of grace in order to reach it. And to pray with the certainty that everything comes from God, and that the actions should be entrusted into his hands. It is time to live the process as St.Augustine suggests: Pray as if everything depended on God. Work as if everything depended on you.

In chapter 4 of the Gospel of St. Mark we read the following: “As Jesus walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon Peter and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the water, for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

32 Schoenstatt Fathers from Nigeria

Schoenstatt Fathers

Andrew and Peter, in response to Jesus’ call, did not hesitate for a second to leave everything and follow him. The Gospel resounds in Africa with the Schoenstatt Fathers who, after being captivated by Christ, dare to undertake the construction of the house together. Fathers Claudius and Paschal will live in the house.  The pastoral work they will carry out will be to dwell in this neighborhood, to walk its streets, to recognize Jesus in each one of their neighbors.

The Family is the source of life that provides the means and is the guarantee that when God wills it, a second shrine can be conquered in Nigeria, on the same property of the house and the wayside shrine. At present there are 32 Nigerian Schoenstatt Fathers working in Nigeria, Germany, Paraguay and England.

Victory Shrine in Ibadan

The Blessed Mother opens the doors of African hearts through the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate, which is spreading widely. Simultaneously, living fires are lit by people who are discovering the structures and life options that the Movement offers centered around the first shrine in Nigeria: “Victory Shrine“. The shrine is located in Ibadan. It was blessed on October 23, 2004. It is also home to the formation house for the country’s seminarians.

Following in the footsteps of Father Kentenich

The Schoenstatt Movement began in Nigeria in the early 1990s. The Fathers visited this country for the first time in May 1992.

Walking in the footsteps of St. Peter, the Schoenstatt priests continue the legacy of evangelization. In the footsteps of Father Kentenich, they are the home and guarantee of the life of the Schoenstatt work.

In Mary’s hands they entrust the fruitfulness of the life of the Schoenstatt Movement on the African continent.

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