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Apostolic Movement

500 youth shall live the dream of visiting Schoenstatt before WYD

Karen Bueno

Fulfilling a dream. That is what it is all about for many youths who will come to Schoenstatt, to the historic places, to the Original Shrine, and many of them for the first time. Before traveling to Lisbon, Portugal, several groups will go to Schoenstatt. The International Pilgrimage Center expects about 500 young people, mostly from Latin America, during the weeks of July 17-28.

Sister M. Carolina Sandrone, coordinator of the organizing team for this youth week, shares that “the groups that will visit Schoenstatt have their own program planned. They will have guides around Schoenstatt and visits to the different Shrines. There will also be visits to Gymnich, which is the hometown of our Father and Founder, to the city of Cologne, as well as to Koblenz and to the Schoenstatt Center in Metternich, where Sister M. Emilie Engel lived”.

There is a group of volunteers who are working in Schoenstatt. They are from Argentina, Spain, Mexico, and Germany. “We are very happy preparing everything with hard work and much joy. We have decorated each one of the spaces so that the youth will feel embraced and welcome,” Sister M. Carolina relates.

The Original Shrine is preparing to welcome everyone

On July 25th there will be a main event with Holy Mass and the renewal of the Covenant of Love in the Original Shrine. A typical German dinner and an exchange of cultures and spirituality will follow.

The rector of the Original Shrine, Father Ignacio Camacho, is involved in the preparations and says that “here at the Shrine, we have placed the WYD cross on the altar since the beginning of June, so that it will be very present for those who visit it and also for those who keep in touch through the broadcasts. We have incorporated the WYD intention in most of the Masses and constantly encourage people to join in prayer for WYD. We hope that WYD will signal a Pentecostal moment, that it will be an experience for everyone of a Church that is alive and young”. 

Father Ignacio shares that in Schoenstatt everyone entrusts the final preparations for the international events to Jesus and Mary and adds: “The Shrine is preparing to receive the different youth groups. The agenda has been prepared for them to have a very viable experience of what the Original Shrine is all about, both during the day and at night.

We want to transmit fire and enthusiasm

Pia Kast, a young woman from Chile, is responsible for the mini festival that will take place after the Mass and renewal of the Covenant of Love on the 25th and she expresses that she wants to “transmit to everyone, on this pilgrimage, the fire, the enthusiasm of what participating in the Schoenstatt Youth is and what it means, before they leave for World Youth Day and the encounter with the Pope”. And she continues: “I have already had experiences of meeting with the Pope, and I know that it is very revitalizing for the spirit. To know that we are part of something bigger, to see that we are not alone, that is very beautiful”.

Regarding the organization of this youth meeting, Pia reveals: “For me, participating in this moment has been a great gift. It has also allowed me to be renewed in the strength of the youth. I have waited a long time for this moment. The gift of being able to be in Schoenstatt and to connect with the Blessed Mother, with Father, with all the life of the Original Shrine is very meaningful.”

Anticipation and expectation

The young Nicole Martins Silvério, from Brazil, has prepared extensively for this trip and is looking forward to everything with anticipation and joy. She will leave with her group on July 19: “I hope and am convinced that it will be a very special occasion, especially to see the places we have always heard about, where history took place. To be face to face with the place that, a long time ago, our Father and Founder believed would become a source of grace… and it really became one. Just as at WYD, I hope to meet young people from other countries who live the same charism, the Covenant of Love, and to be able to share everything. I can’t wait to experience it with such special people and friends.”


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