recall, reflect and renew
It is always good to come together to recall, reflect and renew! That is what the members of the Schoenstatt Movement in Cape Town did over the second weekend of October 2022.
Having visited the Schoenstatt communities in Zimbabwe and Johannesburg, Father Michael Hagan, a Schoenstatt Father residing in Germany, conducted the “October Weekend” in Constantia, Cape Town. He led the members in a series of talks and discussions, advising them to make use of Father Kentenich’s method to discern the way forward for the local Movement. The previous motto: “Be Mary – resilient and compassionate” had inspired the discussions and actions of individual members and groups during the past year. The question now lay open: What should be the ‘guiding light’ for our local Movement during the coming months?
A number of central aspects became apparent but, above all, HOPE! Looking at the current world and local situation, the situation of the Church and the Schoenstatt Movement, there is a call not to lose hope, but rather to live each day in joyful hope. What is hope? What is mature hope? It is the hope anchored in the cross of Christ, the hope rising in our hearts after Good Friday, the hope which encompasses the wounds of Christ but also the resurrection! It is the hope that Mary had as she stood under the cross; the hope that is anchored in God’s personal love for us and connected with our faith in him. After the Communion rite in Holy Mass, we pray “… that we may always be free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ”. Christ is ultimately the one who gives us hope!
Connectivity and relationships
Another theme centred on ‘connectivity and relationships’! How do we connect with each other and to God? Today the question is often asked: “Where is God?” Our founder, Father Kentenich, also raised this question. As a young person he experienced homelessness, abandonment and loneliness, and wondered if he would ever be loved? However a central ‘moment’ for him proved to be his own mother’s confidence in Mary as she entrusted him, her 8-year old son, to the care of his heavenly Mother. This moved and awakened in him a deep longing to lead others to a relationship with God. For him, Mary played a central role in doing this. She led people to Christ, in the love of the Holy Spirit, to God our loving Father.
Father Michael challenged the participants of the weekend to ask themselves: Where do I encounter God? How does our Covenant of Love with Mary help us to form a personal relationship with God?
Once the participants began formulating a motto for the coming year, it was clear that it should once more contain the word “Resilient” which had been part of the previous motto. Over the past two years we and the whole world had been through a time of upheaval. Covid and its effects had proved to be very challenging. To remain as resilient as Mary, to retain our faith, strengthen our hope and love, and to experience love in everyday life, is crucial to moving forward. This this in mind, a large majority of the participants settled on a formulation of a new motto:
“With Mary – resilient in joyful hope!”
We look forward to working with this motto for the next twelve months. It should inspire and motivate us each day and unite us as a Cape Town Schoenstatt Movement. Together with our South African and Zimbabwean members, we are united with the International Schoenstatt Movement as we strive together to live our Covenant of Love with our Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt.