It was a day of joy on the 15th of August, 2020 (the Solemnity of the Assumption) when the course, Marianum Testimonium Puritatis, sealed their first contract consecration.This solemn event brought the tough novitiate journey, which began on the 20th of September 2018, to a close.
The contract was received by Fr. Charles Ozioko who represented the General Superior, Fr. Juan Pablo Catoggio. Speaking during the homily, Fr. Charles said that the solemnity of the assumption of the Blessed Mother invites us to appreciate God’s plan for the human race, namely, the assurance of an immortal life. With the assumption of Mary, we who are human beings like her can become tangibly hopeful that an immortal life and union with God at the completion of our earthly sojourn will become a reality. Like her, we are invited too to imitate her life of submission to the will of God, the will in which hope is assured.
But this solemnity occurs at a time when there is a growing and worrisome uncertainty about the image and person of our father and founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich.According to Fr.Charles, this uncertainty must evoke a deeply personal worry in the hearts of each of us because it touches on two fundamental aspects of our life as Schoenstatt Fathers, namely, the person of Fr. Kentenich, who is a contact and attachment point for us, and the ideal of fatherhood that is at the heart of our founding charism and task. While this could evoke worry, it should also raise some questions which we must answer: who is the author of these disturbing allegations and what is her intention? If, as she said, she intends to stop the veneration of Fr. Kentenich, can a woman, whose life-history is not fully known to me, stop me from venerating one whom I love, whose life-history I know and appreciate, and whom I have come to appreciate very deeply from my time in the novitiate? Let us think very deeply, Fr. Charles said, because by appending our signatures, these and many other questions become a very serious and personal business for each one.
The mass came to a close in the Victory Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable where the contract was sealed by Okpala Michael, Augustine Christophermary, Ogunta Johnpaul, Opara Darlington, Okpako Johncollins, Ajodo Benjamin and Anunike Kingsley. Present were: Frs. Charles Ozioko (who received the contract in the name of the PaterFamilias), Herbert Opara (Novice Master), Chochos Kunav (Socius), Nichodemus Okenwa,Patrick Ogbonna and the other brothers in the house.