The third day of the Pentecost Congress began with a talk from Professor Rodrigo Guerra-Lopez called “Vision of Tomorrow’s Church.” He stated that, when people talk about the church of the future, there are two main views: we want it to be like it was (radical traditionalism), or we want it to follow the progress of society (radical modernism). Traditionalism and modernism are two opposite extremes. These extremes reduce the Church to merely active projects, but neither of these are the church of Christ. The most important message of the church is the gospel: Christ came to give his life for us, to redeem us.

He also spoke about what Synodality means. Synodality means to talk with courage and listen with humility. It is the means that the Church is using to move towards actively embracing every human person. It is a movement towards continual renewal within the Church. Synodality was a key point of discussion throughout the rest of the day.

Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Guerra-Lopez, Rom, Sekretär der vatikanischen Kommission für Latein-amerika
Prof. Dr. Rodrigo Guerra-Lopez

After a short break, Professor Guerra-Lopez returned to discuss the ecclesial and political path of the Church. He began by exploring the mission of the Church as seen from the beginning of Christianity. The mission of Christians is to live in the world and transform it from within. He compared Christians to the soul of the world; if the Christian leaves the world, the world begins to decay. This idea is wonderfully expressed in the ancient text a Letter to Diognetus.

He also emphasized the relatively new understanding of the importance of the laity in the great mission of the Church. As a lay movement, this is very important for our Schoenstatt family. He also stressed the relationship of Schoenstatt to the Church: Schoenstatt is in the Church and acts in the world as Church.

After Professor Guerra-Lopez’s talks, there was a time for the participants to ask him questions. There was a common theme of wanting to clarify the relationship of Schoenstatt to the Church. He answered that Schoenstatt is within the Church but that it should keep its identity and charism; Schoenstatt should draw from its Catholic roots and walk in the world as part of the Church.

Schoenstatt Goes Out

Workshop im Pater-Kentenich-Haus
Workshop in the Father Kentenich House

Once again, there were five discussions in the afternoon. Each participant chose one to attend.

  • Power and Participation: Professor Dr. Mariano Pasquale Barbato
  • Economics: Eduardo Jurado
  • Education / Knowledge / Formation / Pedagogy: Laura Ramirez
  • Spirituality: Luiz Carlos Susin
  • Ecology / Future of Creation: Pedro Weizenmann

 

These workshops all explored areas in society where Schoenstatt can be lived. After the initial talk, the participants discussed how they could apply what they had heard to their own lives in these areas. These ideas were shared with the whole congress in the plenary session afterwards.

Come to Me

After supper and a long day of intellectual speeches and discussions, there was a peaceful time of guided meditation. The musicians played calming music and sang sweet songs in between short reflections and meditative pauses. It was a time to place all of the excitement and difficulties of the day into the Lord’s loving hands and simply rest in his presence.

The Bar

The evening closed with “Conversations at the Bar.” All of the participants were encouraged to socialize and chat with participants they hadn’t met before. There were beverages and snacks, and the atmosphere was inviting and laid back. Participants were encouraged to write what they learned from each other on little cards that were on every table, and those were shared with the reflection team afterwards.

Youth Congress

The evening didn’t end there for the youth, however. They were hard at work into the early morning hours finalizing their proposals. They were getting ready to present the fruits of their mini Pentecost Congress to the rest of the Congress, and they were presenting first thing in the morning.

Inspirations from the Day

Silvia Granja, from the youth of Ecuador, was touched that the youth and older generations shared many similar perspectives on the topics discussed today. Throughout the day, she had many older participants coming up to her to offer her support; they were conscious of the struggles of the youth and were putting their trust into the youth being able to make changes for the better. She also loves that the spirit of the youth at the congress is very strong.

She hopes that the youth can exchange more with the older members of the family of Schoenstatt and communicate with each other in ways that leave good impressions. She hopes that the congress will set goals for a clear path for the future. “I am filled with hope.”