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Boys' Silent Retreat in Ecuador

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Spiritual Exercises for boys in Guayaquil (Ecuador), October 11-13, 2013.

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During Ecuador's national holiday, October 11-13, eighteen boys participated in spiritual exercises given by Fr. Dominic, S.H.M., in the Schönstatt Sanctuary in Guayaquil.

It was the first time that most of the boys had participated in a silent retreat longer than one day.  In the parish of Our Lady of Loreto we've had silent retreats, but only day-long retreats.  Father gave them two meditations and a talk about the discernment of spirits every day.

In the afternoon, we prayed the Stations of the Cross walking in the shrine, with songs.  At night, after dinner, we prayed the rosary to Our Lady walking and singing in her shrine.  The free time was used to meditate and to listen to the voice of the Lord in silence.  Many of the boys were surprised by the strength with which they heard the voice of the Lord in their souls.

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They left with much energy and joy, and with the desire to continue in the fight to be youth surrendered to the service of God.  The administrator of the Shrine of Schönstatt, a consecrated lay, told us afterwards that she was impressed by the testimony of these youth praying with devotion, participating in these spiritual excercises.  She said that it reminded her of the beginnings of Schönstatt, when the founder, Fr. José Kentenich began a group of young boys who wanted to give their lives to God.

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The retreat house where we were was the "Encounter House of José Engling". José Engling was one of the boys who began with Fr. José Kentenich.  He died when he was 20 years old offering himself as a holocaust for the good of the congregation when they were drafted in the First World War.  He wrote: "Dear mother, Mater Admirabilis, I offer myself again as a sacrifice... let me be holocaust for the mission that you have commended to our congregation".

- Servant Brothers of Guayaquil

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