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Apostolic Movement

An Experience of Family

Sr. Ann-Marie Nicholas – South Africa

At times life overwhelms us!

This was my experience during the second week of January. The Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth were due to have a Mini Camp at Villa Maria in Cape Town.  Just a few days before it was due to start, the number of girls booked in had doubled. I wondered how I would manage to cope with all the work that needed to be done. I reached out to a co- sister and asked if she would be willing to assist me? Without hesitation she put her own plans on hold and agreed to do so. In addition, one of the older leaders of the Schoenstatt Girls agreed to arrive a day earlier and assist with the preparation of the food and rooms. I was deeply grateful for their help and trusted that the camp would be a success.

Posters offering the activities of the past year

How did the camp go?

It was the best! The girls ranged in age from eleven to eighteen and came from various areas of Cape Town. Some had been before, others were new.

Because it was the start of the new year 2023, we took time to look back and savour all the gifts God had blessed us with during 2022. This was done in small groups. One group creatively divided their reflection into four categories:

  • New Skills learnt,
  • something they achieved in the previous year,
  • their relationship with God and
  • their ‘favourite moment’ of 2022.

Another group had two other headings for their reflection,

  • namely the best compliment they received;
  • and a project/assignment they carried out during 2022.

Sharing with each other awakened renewed joy and gratitude for the past.

The Girls’ Youth thanked the adults for their help at the camp

We then looked towards the future. Once the evening grew darker, the participants had adoration in the Shrine. Despite being in a relatively noisy city, only the praying and singing of the girls could be heard.  As they sat before the Blessed Sacrament, they wrote letters to Jesus sharing with Him their goals and dreams for 2023.

There were moments of games and great joy

The following day during Holy Mass they brought these forward as their own personal petitions. During the offertory, the girls brought their lives to the Lord as they presented their posters depicting the past year.


Finally, as I reflected on the camp, I can say the experience of ‘family’ was not only that my co-sister generously agreed to help me, but also that I witnessed a group of young catholic teenagers coming together, sharing their faith in prayer, discussions, and laughter!Yes, there was a lot of laughter as we played games, shared memories and enjoyed the originality of each one!

What’s next?

Before they left, the girls shared their ideas about future meetings: Charity Outreach programs, Arts and crafts, outdoor prayer stations, discussions on mental health, peer pressure and the importance of the sacraments and how to value and practise them.

Days of joy and generosity at the camp.

We look forward to 2023 and all that God has planned for us!



with your loved ones

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