KEYS: What is Hakuna?

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Hakuna is a Eucharistic family. This is what Pope Francis told the founder of the movement, Fr. José Pedro Manglano, in 2017. That same year, this ecclesial community, born in Spain, became official, even though it had started much earlier—in 2013, at the WYD in Rio de Janeiro.

Founder, HAKUNA

They are like groups, small Christian communities, and this is how we sometimes define the charism: "To live the joy of following Christ."
In this life of Hakuna, this has a nuclear role, we could say foundational, as it is the source, the Eucharistic encounters, which are expressed in the Eucharist, in the Mass, and which are experienced in a very concrete way in Adoration, which we call Holy Hours.

One of the central pillars of Hakuna's charism is its Holy Hours, which bring together hundreds of young people every week, especially university students, in different cities around the world. They consist of a talk given by a priest or a guest and, afterwards, a time of adoration.

Hakuna is officially a private association of the faithful, approved in the Diocese of Madrid, although it is present in 30 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Through its unique charism, Hakuna connects with parishes around the world.

Founder, HAKUNA
We understand that a charism is a charism and a parish is a parish, but that we are at the service of one another. We have Adoration or holy hours. The groups meet to pray in a church, usually in parishes, and in those environments, we put ourselves at the disposal of the parish priest for whatever is needed to help him in the things that, according to the charism, are the needs or desires of the parish priest. And, on the other hand, we do not start in any country without first talking to the bishop.

Fr. Manglano points out that it is essential that there be intra-ecclesial ecumenism for Hakuna's relationship with other religious organizations or orders. This means fostering union among all the members of the Church. But this does not imply that everyone should have an understanding of each other's charism.

Founder, HAKUNA
It doesn't matter if I have this charism or another because I will probably not understand every other one. A charism is not an intellectual concept, rather it is a gift of the Spirit that moves the soul. So, it is not necessary to understand each one. What we do need is to love each other and say: "I am missing something because I still do not know how to appreciate the richness of what the Holy Spirit is saying with this other charism. But I do not judge other charisms. I ask God to give me the sensitivity to learn what he wanted to give to the Church through this other charism.''

One of the cornerstones of the movement, although not included in its charter, is the band, Hakuna Group Music. Their songs have reached nearly six million listens on Spotify. For Fr. Manglano, the band is one of the fundamental elements of the movement and the backbone of the charism. It is not just an ornament.

Founder, HAKUNA
The important thing is not to want to make a song, but to tell the world something through song. There has to be something prior to that—an experience, a life, a prayer.
The band does not appear in the statutes, but in the book of charism. A book has come out containing the charism of Hakuna, and an important part of the spirituality is music. Music as a way of praying and of shaping the soul.

Currently Hakuna is in the process of evolving. It is one of the few Catholic movements that is managing to attract young people in secularized countries like Spain, where the practice of religion is decreasing.


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