Silvia Hernández Concha

48 years old; Chile; fisheries engineer; Master in Aquaculture and PhD studies in Economics and Business Administration. Currently in charge of the administration of pelagic fisheries in the Assistance Secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism.
Women Apostolic Federation of Schoenstatt

What experience have formed you as a woman?

a. The most important experience to which I owe part of my being as a woman, is my Covenant of Love with Mary and in this covenant, I should write in capital letters and underline the word LOVE, because it has been precisely her unique, warm, maternal love, the one that permanently transforms me, educates me and inspires me. 
She has taught me above all to be the daughter of the Father, to discover my own originality, and the immense love that they have for me. The precious experience of this filial bond; it crystallizes and transcends all the love that sustains the network of natural links, which is ultimately expressed in the particular form of my total surrender today in the middle of the world. 
b.  Within the apostolates that I have had to carry out that deeply marked my life, is  the service of Schoenstatt family as Advisor of the Apostolic Feminine Liga in Chile left at least indelible marks, the first is the deep awareness of Father’s instrument, beyond from a smallness and limitations, it allowed me to experience the capacity for selfless love and service that the Lord gives to the feminine soul that allows itself to be by Him. 
Second, to know the silent testimony of so many women, who in the many daily situations of work, family and personal world cultivate a simple and deep faith and fidelity to Schoenstatt and its mission  The testimony of a woman who simply aspires to holiness always be a school of growth and inspiration to other women. 
c. For more than 20 years I have worked professionally in the area of fishing, and activity preferably carried out by men, when I chose my profession I did not have much relevance to, however as time went by, I realized the change that it generated the female presence in this environment, although most of the time the changes are positive, it is not always easy. 
That, with the passing of time, had led me to take permanent challenge of accentuating my own feminine originality and, to outline it with solid roots. 

At what points in your life did you experience God?

a. As a consecrated woman, one of the most beautiful moments where I have experienced God had been his personal call to live this total surrender to his love in the middle of the world. An experience so great that I could live my whole life from it, without more certainties returning permanently as if it were a source of life where love and strength are renewed to get up again and again. 
b. Accepting a vocation and looking for where to plan it are not always obvious things. When the Lord showed me the place in the Women Apostolic Federation, my question was: where are they? and the answer was: there is no Federation in Chile  The alternative was to enter in another country, doing it in Chile was simply crazy, it required a course, an educator, etc. It was a high-risk decisión, since there was nothing, nothing, but a deep conviction in the soul that God wanted it. 
Only filial trust of a child held by the hand of his Father made it possible. Without fear of been wrong, I can say that He was there, I witnessed how he led the beginning of the founding process of our community in Chile, how he opened doors, sent instruments, awakened vocations; making possible what seemed impossible, giving this first breath of life to the Federation after a little more than 50 years of waiting. 

What is the challenge you see for women today?

a. Faced with a change of era marked by uncertainty and relativism, women who are daughters of Divine Providence are required, with a broad and deep gaze, audacious and with a firm conviction of their mission: I dare to say that the pandemic we are experiencing has accelerated what many already predicted, a change of era. We find ourselves in a decisive time, deeply marked  by uncertainty, the speed of educational and economic changes, etc. Who will resist?  Only  those who master the act of living as children of Divine Providence and I believe that women have here a special sense and sensitivity, to observe and allow oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit – just as Mary did, who gave her “Yes” moved by her faith and trust. 
b. The ecclesial insertion of women through collaborative work in different areas and decision making levels:  when reviewing the magisterium of the Church, we can see that through time, important writings have been produced that make particular reference to the figure and role of women in the Church. However, it’s expression in life is still restricted to specific areas. A more collaborative work in different areas and decisions – making levels, could further enrich our Church. 
It is urgent to advance at this point, in a harmonious way and with a sense of family unity, considering that there are already sectors that have already radicalized their position in the face of the lack of response. During his pontificate, Pope Francis has challenged us in this regard, he had invited us to go further, this unavoidable challenge  remains before us. 
c. Calls to humanize society with feminine values:  in the face of the different claims of the Movement as a Catholic women are called to have a clear opinion, impossible not to have it, stay in the trenches and wait for everything to pass. It is not about going out to confront other opinions, but rather, about making ours visible as a path of fulfillment. We do not claim to be just another “feminist movement”, because our project  is much more than that, we are called to build and analyze society and the Church with the wealth of feminine values. There is therefore an urgent need to deepen the application of the role, value and charisma that women can contribute to our society and the Church. 
d. Unity, community and solidarity as a key element is all the transformation task led by women; the history of humanity shows us that the different transformations that women have promoted in society, whether to open spaces for participation, defend human rights, decent work, or defend life, etc., has always been in unity and natural solidarity, without discrimination of styles, age segmentation or others. As a Schoenstatt community, we have here the great challenge of enhancing the conducting work of the different communities that make up the female column making life the community of destiny. 
e. Promoters of a new covenant with creation, the urgent call made by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si, facing the care of the common home is a great, spiritual, cultural and effective challenge, which multiplies the generation of new convictions, attitudes and ways of life, promoters of a conscience that recognizes a common origin, a natural belonging and a future shared by all. A relevant role in this challenge is the responsibility of women as key attitudes such as care and donation are their own, when creating new lifestyles. 
f. Strengthening of female formation and apostolate in all areas of our society; women are called to collaborate and carry the message of Jesus to all areas of our society and for this it is important to create mechanisms that allow them to increase their training, both intellectual and spiritual, leaders and with a high level of commitment and Christian responsibility. 

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

That the human being turns his gaze to the Father, a way that can help this return, is to discover and know in creation, in nature, a gift of God, which awakens and increases gratitude and respect towards the creator and the created. I trust that sooner or later the human being can take conscience of what is part of this creation and can strengthen a renewed bond of communion with those who share the common house.