The General Chapter of the Schoenstatt Fathers had a special audience with Pope Francis in Rome on Wednesday. The Fathers’s Community gave the Holy Father a gift of a small replica of the Shrine and also the keys to the door of the Original Shrine in Schoenstatt. The new General Superior of the Schoenstatt Fathers, Father Juan Pablo Catoggio said to the Pope: “It’s a copy of the original shrine that Providence gave us definitively two years ago. Here is a small replica and as a symbol, we will also give you the keys to the Shrine.” While addressing the priests, the Pope reminded them that contemplation, service and fraternity should be the focal points of their priestly lives. He emphasized that their charism is not a museum piece that should be kept in a safe: “A charism is not meant to be stored away. It should be out in the open and free so it can have contact with reality, people, concerns and problems.” Reflecting on the words of the movement’s founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, the Pope reiterated the importance of practicing their charism, out in the real world. “Father Kentenich said it quite well, when he said ‘keep your ear to God’s heart and your hand on the pulse of the time.’ These are the two pillars of an authentic spiritual life.” The movement, which is quite young, now has a presence in over 42 countries. The Pope also called on them to reach out especially to younger generations.
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