The Manquehue Apostolic Movement

K asks: “Can you please tell me if the Manquehue Movement (began in Chile, lectio divina, communities) is an acceptable Catholic movement?  I am looking at a highschool for my children, where the Benedictine monks promote this.  Thank you so much!”

We should all be so fortunate to have a high school in our area that is affiliated with the Manquehue Movement!

This is a beautiful lay Catholic movement that began in Santiago, Chili on the Feast of Pentecost in 1977. In his own words, founder Jose Manual Equiguren says he was 25 years-old and was going through an “existential crisis” in his life when a Benedictine monk “handed me the Sacred Scriptures and taught me to read them in such a way that it seemed as though Jesus Christ himself was revealing himself to me, risen and alive, shedding light on my life and filling it with meaning.”

What the monk taught him is a simple but powerful method of praying/reflecting on Scripture. (See http://www.ccel.org/info/lectio.htm )

Not long after this, Equiguren was put in charge of a Confirmation class in his old school. He decided to teach his students what the monk had taught him. Their response was remarkable, he says. “We soon became filled with ideals. We wanted to do things, change the world. We became friends, very good friends. We decided to organise ourselves and we called ourselves the Manquehue Apostolic Movement after the school we all belonged to, Manquehue School.”

Manquehue (pronounced Man-kay-way) is the name of a nearby mountain and means “place of condors” in the native Indian language.

Eventually, Equiguren and his companions began to incorporate the Benedictine Rule into their lifestyle, becoming a thriving new apostolic movement of lay people who work and pray together.

The Movement is very involved in education in Chile where adults tutor youth on how to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through Scripture, daily prayer and the Sacraments, and to fully embrace their baptismal call to set the world on fire.

Because this is primarily a Benedictine spirituality, many schools run by Benedictines throughout the world introduce their students to the Manquehue Movement. In some cases, schools bring in Chilean members of the Movement to spend time in their schools and help students grow in their faith.

As for recognition by Rome, Equiguren has been received by the Pontifical Council for the Laity which indicates that some official status is probably in the works.

Congratulations, K! Looks like you found a great high school for your children!

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