The Path to Sainthood

A closer look on the legacy of Father Kentenich founder of the Schoenstatt movement.
by Father Nicolás Schwizer | Source:
Father Kentenich’s Legacy.
What would the Father Kentenich expect from the members of his Schoenstatt Family? It seems to me that he would want us to make his work present in today’s world. He wants each one of us to extend his charisma. This has to do with his canonization. Upon canonizing someone, the Church confirms that the person lived a holy life and is, therefore, a model for all Christians. The Church not only canonizes the person, but also what the person did. The Church proclaims the validity of his/her work.

Therefore, upon canonizing Father Kentenich, the Church should also be able to canonize his Holy Family. That would mean that this man was so holy that there are thousands of persons who have sanctified themselves because of his example. So, our desires and efforts for sanctity are a testimony for his canonization. A Saint is a reflection of Christ’s grace. Someone’s holiness mirrors the action of the Holy Spirit.

At Father Kentenich’s funeral, a German Bishop read a letter from for Father Kentenich regarding the Schoenstatt movement, in which he wrote “May the pastor say: These Schoenstatters are the best workers. May the Bishop say: You can always count on this movement. And may our friends and associates say: This person or this couple has really changed since they belong to Schoenstatt.”

Reflection of Jesus.
We believe that through him, God has wanted to give an answer to the challenges of our times. As a Schoenstatt Family, we must assume this answer in ourselves and give it as a service to the Church and world. We are to be extenders of the charismas of Christ.

The words “Dilexit Ecclesiam” – He loved the Church – which are inscribed on his tomb clearly express the great concern of Father Kentenich’s life: to give to the Church a great movement of renewal of the Church and world.

The Heart of the Church.
Upon returning from exile in Milwaukee, he said to the Family present: “We believe we have the vocation to be the heart of the Church. What does it mean to be heart? It means to be the power of love, a power which conquers the Church, a power which fills the Church with the heroism of love. To be a power of love, this is our mission.”

Therefore, Father Kentenich felt the need and took upon himself the responsibility to renew the Church so that it can be the soul of the world. The Schoenstatt movement has the task to be like Mary in the Church, to be the heart of that renewed Church. Thus Father Kentenich motivated us to take on the mission of putting into practice the Church of the Council.

If we want to help forge that Church of tomorrow, Schoenstatt must be an anticipation of the renewed Church, of the Church of the Council. Just as Father Kentenich did, we should dedicate ourselves to build the Church of the future.

The other way of helping to renew the Church is by actively taking part in the pastoral organizations of the Church. We must help in the parishes and in pastoral endeavors with a great spirit of service. I believe we are all aware of the gifts which we receive from the Holy Spirit and they are not just for safe- keeping, rather we should transmit them to others and enrich the whole Church. In the future, throughout the whole Church, something of our Schoenstatt charisma should be noticed.

Soul of the World.
Schoenstatters are called to transform the world. If we obey Jesus’ instructions, we cannot stay peacefully at home and live our heaven there. We are to go out to be light of world and salt of the earth
(Matthew 5:13-16). We have to strive that our world becomes a piece of heaven, a neighborhood of heaven.

Questions for Meditation
1. Am I working for the Church of tomorrow? How?
2. What is my present apostolate?

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