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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Schoenstatt Quito held its regional leaders’ conference

By: María Isabel Chacón

On Saturday, November 18, the Schoenstatt Quito Regional Leaders’ Conference took place in the Basilica of the National Vow, which is located in the city’s historic center.

It was an encounter where very significant moments were experienced. The central topic was the Consecration of Ecuador to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an act of utmost importance that set a milestone in Ecuadorian society. On March 25, 2024, Ecuador will celebrate the 150th anniversary of this Consecration, being Ecuador the first country in the world to do so.

Quito: host of the International Eucharistic Congress in September 2024

Given this important event, Pope Francis chose Ecuador to host the next International Eucharistic Congress, which will be held in Quito from September 8 to 15, 2024 and which aims at making known, loving, and better serving Our Lord Jesus Christ in his Eucharistic Ministry, the center of the life of the Church and of its mission to heal the wounds of the world.

That is why the motto chosen for the 53rd IEC is “Fraternity to Heal the World”. The Holy Father hopes that the experience of this Congress will manifest the fruitfulness of the Eucharist for the evangelization and renewal of faith in the American continent. These two key elements were the framework of our Day.

Adoration and mission

To quiet our hearts, which were full of emotion, the first thing we did was to place ourselves at the feet of the one from whom we receive every grace and blessing. We went to the Blessed Sacrament and offered Him a time of prayer and adoration, an intimate encounter with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, an encounter we lived with great devotion.

To continue with the Day and learn in greater detail about the historical moment that was lived in Ecuador 150 years ago and that led the president at the time, Gabriel García Moreno, to make the decision of consecrating our country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we invited the renowned Catholic historian and long-time university professor, Dr. Carlos Freile, to share his extensive knowledge on the subject and make us ask ourselves what our role is today as consecrated Catholics.

Father’s family, consecrated on the Paten

Afterwards, Father Felipe Rios, National Director of the Schoenstatt Movement in Ecuador, delved on the current situation and challenges of the National Ideal “Family of the Father Consecrated on the Paten”. He spoke to us about how Schoenstatt in Ecuador is inserted in a holy history and comes to be enriched by it, but also to enrich it; that to be consecrated is to consecrate oneself to a mission and that our charism is what we want to give to our Church, so that together we can be leaven in the mass, being the seed of unity, hope and salvation.

Another significant detail was the fact that the Conference was held on November 18, Covenant Day. The Mass was concelebrated by Father Dario Balbontin, Father Phil and Father Pablo Gajardo, in the chapel of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Then we went to the altar, where the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt is enthroned, and where we renewed our Covenant of Love and received the final blessing. Our advisors, Sister M. Montserrat Darquea and Sister M. Lorena Sarria, were also present.

It was certainly an intense encounter that left us with great challenges and the firm commitment to remain united under our Ideal and to be able to collaborate actively with the Church in making the Congress a reality and being active instruments in the forging of a new country and a new world, where fraternity and love prevail, in order to heal the wounds of the world.

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