Paula Inda Acuña

Born in Chile, 52 years old, married, four children (20-27 years). Studied German language and literature at the Universidad Católica de Chile – teacher training for the German language. She has lived in Germany since the age of 24. Here she completed her teacher training in Münster with a combination of Spanish and pedagogy. She has been working for 7 years as a secondary school teacher at a grammar school in Münster. Together with her husband, she belongs to the Schoenstatt Family Institute.

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

What has formed me as a woman in my life is the respect with which my parents raised me, and their example as human beings. They believed that I could achieve what I want if I set my mind to it. Without a doubt, my faith in God has shaped me, which has grown in the conviction that he loves me, accompanies me and guides me throughout my life. Feeling my husband’s love has also deeply influenced me, and the strength to become a mother and to accompany our four children in their growth and development. The suffering caused by my husband’s illness has deeply affected me. To feel God and the Blessed Mother immensely close in times when one does not know how to go on. To recognize what one is capable of doing out of love.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

I have experienced God in the fascination of a community of young people in prayer and singing and in social commitment. On every new day in the morning, when I open my heart to the greatness and closeness of God, I have an encounter with Him again. Every time I give myself to others with all my heart and soul, I feel that God is close to me, and I feel His love. I have also felt a supernatural experience related to the cross, in suffering. It was a time when it seemed as if everything was put to the test, but God, the Blessed Mother and the prayer of others were at my side and gave me strength.

What do you see as the challenge for women today?

From my point of view, the challenge for women today is to know and accept themselves as women as they are, and not in comparison to men. It is a task to know exactly where my strengths lie, which resources I can develop with and which I can use to make a special contribution to discovering the mission that each individual has. I am convinced that we must fight so that many women in the world can attain the dignity that so many of us have enjoyed since birth. It is a question of reflecting on what each of us wants to achieve from the depths of our hearts, from our own qualities, and not of being a mass woman and deciding what to “believe”, what women should be and do in the 21st century. 

What do you want to change in this world through your life?

I don’t really know if I can change anything in this world. What I want is to give myself one hundred percent as I am, with everything that I am, especially my fascination to form a family with my husband and our children, to carry God in my heart, in my smile, in a gesture towards others. Whether any of that changes the world, God will be the one to judge.