Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt
ALSO KNOWN AS
The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt was founded by a young Pallotine priest, Josef Kentenich (1885-1968) who was given the pastoral care of a student house at Schoenstatt, near Koblenz (Germany), in 1912, which has given the movement its name. In performing his task, Father Kentenich soon felt the need to combine the truths of the faith with the needs of the times, and for a new type of education for the young people entrusted to his care, springing from the intimate depths of man, making people free and capable of making responsible choices. The charter founding the Movement is called the Covenant of Love which Fr Kentenich and his students, on 18 October 1914, sealed with Mary and with the Blessed Trinity in the shrine chapel, of which there are 180 replicas in the world today, dedicated to the Mater ter admirabilis. It is at the shrine that the students entrust their lives to our Lady, asking her to make the Chapel a home in which to obtain the grace of welcome, the grace of interior transformation, the grace of the mission or fruitful apostolate. This experience was to become the core of the spirituality of the Movement, and the Chapel a Marian place of pilgrimage for millions of people from all over the world. The Movement was approved by the Church authorities in 1964, and today comprises 20 branches which, with different forms of commitment, gather together men, women, families, young people, priests and consecrated lay persons, in different forms of commitment.
Faithful to the teachings of the Founder, the Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt aims at forming personalities and Christian communities that are capable of freely supporting God’s plan in the world in which they live. The formation proposed by the Movement is based on self-education, faith in Providence, the pursuit of holiness in daily life, and readiness and willingness to be instruments in God’s hands. The particular purpose of the Movement is the spiritual renewal of Christians, which is achieved by promoting educational and religious activities and social projects, also in cooperation with other ecclesial movements.
The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is spiritually centred on Mary, on the Founder and on the Shrine of Grace in the place where it was founded. It is institutionally subdivided into the following: Pilgrims’ Movement, Apostolic Leagues without the obligation to live in community, Apostolic Federations (or Unions) with a nonlegal obligatory form of community, Secular Institutes, with the legal obligation to live in community, forming the core of the Movement, whose members live the evangelical counsels radically but without taking vows. All these branches are legally autonomous. The General Praesidium has a coordinating role and is made up of the leading representatives of the Institutes and Federations, as well as a representative of the Apostolic Leagues.
The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt has about 96,000 members, of whom 4,400 belong to the Institutes and 2,000 to the Federations, and is present in 42 countries as follows: Africa (6), Asia (5), Europe (17), North America (5), and South America (9). About 10,000 people make a pilgrimage every day to one of the Shrines of the Movement throughout the world.
The Secular Institutes of the Movement manage schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable institutions.
Regnum, a magazine published three times a year; Basis, published monthly; Pater Josef Kentenich, a newsletter published three times a year.
Schoenstatt International - Coordination
Am Marienberg 1
D-56179 Vallendar (Germania)