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About Schoenstatt

Schoenstatt is a Catholic lay movement that strives to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the example and guidance of Mary. Schoenstatt is deeply and devotedly Marian and has repeatedly experienced how love of Mary opens new avenues to a vibrant relationship with Christ, to the Holy Spirit, to God the Father and to a renewal of love of neighbor and self.

The Schoenstatt Movement roots go back to October 18, 1914. On that day, Father Joseph Kentenich and a group of high school seminarians made a covenant of love with Mary, asking her to take possession of their chapel -now known as our Schoenstatt Shrine - to help them become saints and draw many youthful hearts to herself. The ensuing years verified that Mary was indeed very active in this new place of grace, drawing Catholics since then from around the world. Rome approved our community as an institute of pontifical right on June 24, 1988.

Schoenstatt, a German word for "beautiful place", is the name of the valley in Germany where the Original Schoenstatt Shrine is located. It is very near the Rhine River at Koblenz about one hour south of Cologne.

It has also become the name of the international movement associated with the shrine. There are currently over 140 replicas of the Original Shrine around the world. The movement involves lay people, priests, and religious, with special branches for boys and girls youth and for the sick. It is the task of the Schoenstatt Fathers to help coordinate and inspire these many parts, which share a common spirituality.

Our charism as a community might be summed up with the words: love of Mary, love of the Church, love of the mission of Christ.

Love of Mary.

We love the Blessed Mother. She is at the heart of our spirituality as the "Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt" or "MTA" for short. Our spirituality is anchored in the form of Marian consecration particular to Schoenstatt, namely a generous and mutual covenant of love with the MTA in the Shrine.

Love of the Church.

From our founder, Father Kentenich, we have a strong love for the Church. He devoted himself untiringly to the mission of the Church in our times. We for our part make the inscription on his tomb our mission: Dilexit Ecclesiam --- He loved the Church.

Love of the Mission of Christ.

As sharers in the one priesthood of Christ, we are especially bound to Our Lord and Savior. This does not only express itself in love for the Eucharist (like our founder, we cherish the daily celebration of the Mass) and our striving for sanctity, but also in our desire to share Christ's mission of proclaiming his Father.

This proclamation takes special form in our understanding of the priesthood as a "priestly fatherhood" in the service of Christ and the Church. We strive to find God the Father's voice in our times and in our lives and to live a "practical faith in Divine Providence". This demands of us a strong spirit of prayer and active listening to what God might be trying to tell us through the events of everyday life.

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