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Apostolic Movement

The Schoenstatt Family of Zimbabwe holds its “October Weekend” 2023

By: Gilbert Happi

The members of the Schoenstatt Movement in Zimbabwe held their “October Weekend”, which are days of formation and spirituality. This year, the meeting took place on September 23 and 24 in Harare, the capital of the African country.

For this meeting, the Schoenstatters welcomed Father Michael Hagan, of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Fathers, who came from Germany directly to Harare to participate in the October Weekend.

Fourteen members of the Schoenstatt family were able to attend the Saturday session and a few more were present on Sunday with the characteristic eagerness and devoted spirit of Schoenstatters everywhere.

Analyzing the voices of time

Father Michael began by asking us to reflect quietly on the signs of the times – natural, geopolitical, economic, spiritual, personal, social, and local. He encouraged us to look, with an open mind and without judgement, at worldwide issues as well as issues, both positive and challenging ones, dealing with Africa, Zimbabwe, the Church, our communities, and families and reflect on their impact on our Schoenstatt family here in Zimbabwe.

Father Michael Hagan

Having identified the signs as we see them, Father Michael led us through the process of discernment, quiet reflection, mindfulness, listening and responding. After animated discussion and exchange of ideas, we all agreed that our only hope is a Mature Hope, grounded in Jesus and His Resurrection. Mary, Our Mother Thrice Admirable, will guide and educate us in developing, living, and believing in this Mature Hope.

Our main conclusion from the October Weekend was to focus on growing deeper into the Schoenstatt Way of Life, its Charism and Spirituality. This requires us to reflect, discern, and listen to what God is saying to us on a regular basis, and living in His Hope. To help us grow deeper and more broadly into the Schoenstatt Way, Father Michael challenged us to form smaller working groups – women, men, and youth – and to share our encounters and experiences in these groups for the greater good.

The finale of our October Weekend was the joyous renewal of our Covenant of Love with our MTA and receiving a special blessing from Father Michael. Our deepest gratitude to Father Michael who has been coming to Harare year after year to lead and guide us through our October Weekends.

Following our October Weekend and guided by the Holy Spirit we discerned the following motto for the year ahead:

“In deeper Faith and Prayer, united in Love, we Listen and Respond.”


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