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Apostolic Movement

Argentina: 670 young people set out on mission

Virginia Gazal / Josema Sanguinetti / Fr. Juan Molina

Imagine spending your vacation sleeping on the floor, showering with cold water, perhaps in a town with no internet connection. It sounds strange and very unappealing at first glance. However, this is part of the life of hundreds of Schoenstatt youth in Argentina during the summer vacation, between the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.

Completely disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the busy world, but connected to each other, they live the experience of the missions. The youth dedicate their days off to visiting homes and sites, carrying the image of the Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt and the graces of the Shrine.

Ignis Mariae Mission

240 youth from the provinces of Salta and Tucumán gathered from December the 26th to January the 4th for the Ignis Mariae Mission. They spent the transition from 2023 to 2024 together.

Josema Sanguinetti, from the Boys’ Youth of Salta, shares, “To go on mission is the best state for a person to be in because it is a state of service. To become a pure instrument of God. Because God gives us the opportunity to put aside our problems, our concerns, to be his servants”.

According to Josema, the discomforts become small to a missionary heart: “When you have no more strength in those 10 days, you only need to turn and look to the side and see how around you there are people willing to help you to get up, to keep on doing the missionary work. These crazy people who when I asked them to jump, they did, who worked to serve the people in silence, without looking for the spotlight, and encourage you to be a better son, a better servant. There are not enough words to describe what one experiences there. Mission is the best state for a man,” he explains.

MTA Mission, “Come and See”

During the same period, university youth from Buenos Aires organized the MTA Mission under the motto “Come and see”. 200 missionaries, accompanied by four Schoenstatt Fathers, a diocesan priest and two seminarians, visited the city of Carlos Casares, in the Diocese of 9 de Julio.

Father Juan Molina commented: “The MTA mission is the way in which many youths of the Movement set out to take the presence of the Blessed Mother through the Pilgrim MTA who brings joy to our lives. At the same time, it is also a great opportunity for many youths to get to know the Schoenstatt Movement”.

On the 31st, all the missionaries gathered to celebrate the New Year together in a Holy Mass presided by Bishop Ariel Torrado Mosconi, Bishop of the Diocese of 9 de Julio. During the Mass, the bishop emphasized that “the young missionaries’ visit renews the hope in the communities through their testimony of generosity, sacrifice and joy”. And he added that “they are a seed that the Lord will make fruitful in due time”.

The missionary Pilar Durañona declared that “this mission has allowed me to find myself always open to the unexpected and to follow the spirit that sprouted day after day”. In turn, Pachi Ambroa shares that “during these days the Blessed Mother invited each one of us to be Her and Jesus’ authentic instruments. I am enormously grateful.”

GM Mission: “With our feet on the ground and our eyes on heaven”

From December the 26th to January 3rd the GM University Mission – “Gaudium Mariae” was also carried out in the city of Arroyito, in the province of Cordoba. They were nine days of giving of self and love, under the motto “Building in Christ, city of Mary”.

Some 230 young people from the provinces of Cordoba, San Juan, San Luis, Mendoza, Entre Ríos and Corrientes took part.

Virginia Gazal, from the Girls’ Youth of Cordoba, tries to summarize the missionary experience:

“She had always asked herself ‘what is GM for you?’ And every time she listened to an answer, she felt that it was not enough. When I had to answer it, I couldn’t describe that immensity either.

But it’s a bit close to the phrase: ‘with your feet on the ground, but your eyes on heaven’. With our feet on the ground, stepping out of our square meter that blinds us so much. Going out to the encounter. With our feet on the ground and many times in the mud. That mud that dirties our shoes, that mud that we often dodge. In GM we step in it. We step on that which we do not like to see. Realities that are next door that we only dare to touch in those nine days.

With our feet on the ground, walking and walking. Walking without stopping, many times with a companion, who helps us to make the step by step become lighter. Our feet ask us to slow down, our legs can’t take it anymore. But we know that we have to keep walking, reaching more people who really need a hand. They need a hug. They need company.

With our feet firmly on the ground, but with our eyes on heaven. That heaven that gives us hope, that gives us love and strength. Eyes on heaven and on the greatest of them all, the first one who went out to the field for someone else and left us that very task. Eyes on heaven, eyes on Mary.

With our feet on the ground, but with our eyes on heaven. GM teaches us to walk wherever, but always looking up, looking beyond my nose, looking and pursuing a hope that many believe is gone.”

Various forms of mission continue to take place throughout the year in Argentina and in several other countries, leaving a Schoenstatt missionary trail in the world and profoundly transforming the hearts of the missionaries and the missioned. With our feet firmly on the ground, and following in the footsteps of the “first one who went out to the field for someone else, and left us this very task. With our eyes on heaven. With our eyes on Mary”.


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