Institute of Diocesan Priests
Priests are not lone fighters. The members of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests are a worldwide family-like community with obligatory bonds. Therefore, they bind themselves to the community and they are certain of the community’s concern and fidelity. Brotherly exchanges, lasting friendships, and free time spent together are of high priority for them. The members of this Institute are diocesan priests who live according to Schoenstatt’s spirituality and pedagogy. In the first place, however, they at the service of their dioceses where they are incardinated. They are to perform the pastoral duties in their dioceses in obedience to their bishops and in union with their own presbytery. Over and above this, they strive to live in fidelity to their founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, and to work according to his vision of Church and world. The covenant of love with God and with Mary is the core of their spirituality. It is for them a source of power and an inspiration for their priestly ministry – practical and orientated towards real life.
Together with the other Institutes of Schoenstatt, they regard it as their task to build up and to inspire the Schoenstatt Movement. In order that community can be lived in a binding and concrete way, each member of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests belongs to a group as well as to a course. The path to the Institute of Priests begins with the course, a group of like-minded priests who bond together in a common priestly ideal. The course lasts for life and forms the nuclear family of the Institute. The groups, in contrast, are formed according to the regional principle. Here the priests of a diocese or of a region come together for regular meetings that serve the exchange of life and further education. A special expression of the community is also their father-house on Mount Moriah. Here, at the origin of the Schoenstatt Movement, they gather as courses or groups for retreats and other meetings.
Of special importance in their father-house is the “Dachau-altar” (altar from the concentration camp of Dachau). At this altar, Blessed Karl Leisner, one of the first Schoenstatt Priests, was ordained a priest in the concentration camp of Dachau and here he celebrated his first and only Holy Mass.
In recent years, the international Schoenstatt Center of Belmonte near Rome came into being.
The Priests’ Institute is an international community and extends beyond the borders of countries and continents. The priests know that they are united with each other in a brotherly way. In all parts of the world they work for the same mission.
The community is divided in six regions:
Regio Cono Sur (Nuevo Belen): Argentine, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru.
Regio Getsemani: Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico.
Confounder-Region: Bavaria, Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany (Bavaria).
Moriah Region: Germany North and Middle, Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Kenya.
Regio Nazareth (Africa): Burundi.
Regio South/West: Germany (Baden-Württemberg), Italy, Switzerland