This is the complete text of Pope Francis’ Speech to the Schoenstatt Fathers at the Vatican recently: Dear Brother Priests, I am happy to be with you at this meeting, and I thank Juan Pablo for his words, as well as the testimony of affection in the name of the members of the Movement. I also still keep alive last year’s meeting. The 5th General Chapter that you have just held took place on the 50th anniversary of the Institute’s foundation by Father Joseph Kentenich. And over these years you have been concerned to keep alive the foundational charism and the capacity to be able to transmit it to the younger ones. I am also concerned that you maintain the charism and transmit it, so that it will continue to inspire and support your lives and your mission. You know that a charism is not a museum piece, which remains intact in a showcase, to be contemplated and that is all. Fidelity, to keep the charism pure, in no way means to shut it in a sealed bottle, as if it were distilled water, so that it is not contaminated by the outside. No, the charism is not preserved by keeping it put away. It must be opened and allowed to go out, so that it enters into contact with reality, with persons, with their anxieties and problems. And thus, in this fecund encounter with reality, the charism grows, is renewed and the reality is also transformed; it is transfigured by the spiritual force that the charism bears.Father Kentenich expressed it very well when he said that one had to be “with the ear in God’s heart and the hand on the pulse of the time.” Here are the two pillars of an authentic spiritual life. Continue reading “Schoenstatt Fathers with Pope Francis: Support Families – Be Witnesses of Mercy”
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.
We received the sad news that Father Bryan’s dear mother Cathy has been called home to the Lord. Cathy died peacefully at home with her family in the early hours of Thursday morning. Father Bryan was able to celebrate the Holy Mass with her and the family at her bedside before she died. Fortified by the Sacraments, she has returned home to the Father. Cathy was well known by many of our Schoenstatt Families in Scotland and in England. She was a great lady of faith with a deep and tangible love for her family, who cared for her and treasured her till the very last moment. She leaves a big vacuum behind and she will be sadly missed by all who knew her and loved her. I’m sure our Blessed Lady will take her with pride to the throne of the Eternal Father in heaven. The Requiem Mass for Cathy Cunningham will be on Wednesday, 9th September – 12.30pm at: St. Bartholomew’s Church, 1 Trent St, Coatbridge ML5 2NT. Then Burial to follow at: Old Monkland Cemetery, Woodside St, Coatbridge ML5 5AH. Family and friends are gathering after the Funeral at: The Bank Social Club, 110 Dundyvan Rd, Coatbridge ML5 1DE. Please remember Cathy in your thoughts and prayers and light a candle for a great lady who has gone home. May she rest in peace and rise in glory!