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Apostolic Movement

Coordinators’ Encounter in preparation for the Pilgrim MTA Jubilee

Organizing a national meeting in a country of continental dimensions is no easy task. In the case of Brazil, which covers more than eight million square kilometers, the challenges require months of planning. But it’s all worth it when you have a great goal in mind. This is why Neusa Castro Silva, from Anápolis, in the state of Goiás, traveled more than 12 hours along several highways, to be at the Atibaia Shrine, in São Paulo. “I came with great expectations, but what we experienced here was much greater than what we expected”, said Castro.

Just like Mrs. Neusa, about 400 people from 20 states gathered for the national meeting of coordinators of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother Apostolate. From North to South, they all carry on the mission of the servant of God, Deacon João Luiz Pozzobon, taking the image of the Blessed Mother to families.

The meeting took place from September 7th to the 10th, 2023 under the motto: “With the Pilgrim MTA, missionaries of hope”. Coordinators from 92 dioceses were present, as well as advisors and diocesan priests. It was the second national meeting organized by the Apostolate, and the largest so far.

Why hold a national meeting?

The main objective of the event was to prepare for the Apostolate’s Jubilee in 2025. For this purpose, a synodal path was planned and thousands of missionaries were consulted. The National Director of the Movement, Father Antonio Bracht, emphasized this at the opening of the meeting: “We want to listen to each other, we want to talk, to engage in dialogue. Those who go to the synod go further. And we want to go further, all together. Together in our diversity. All of this sets us on our way. What unites us all is an enormous love for the Mother and Queen”, said Father Bracht.

In Brazil, the Apostolate is divided into two central secretariats that work in collaboration but autonomously. Sister M. Márcia Silva, coordinator of the Atibaia secretariat, said “it is a great joy to welcome the Brazil-Tabor, which is so broadly represented.” She added that she hoped that the meeting would be a “time of grace, renewal and new zeal”.

Sister M. Rosequiel Lopes Favero, coordinator of the secretariat of Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul, mentioned the difficulties many had in getting to the meeting due to a typhoon that devastated cities in the southern region of Brazil. She expressed that “together we have to look at the present time and see how João Pozzobon would have the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate develop in our time”.

João Inácio Muller celebrated the Mass on the second day

An Exchange of Cultures and Experiences

The second day of the event began with Holy Mass presided by João Inácio Muller, Archbishop of Campinas. Among other things he said that, just like Mary, each one of us has a personal mission. He mentioned that “she [Mary] is a pilgrim and is always thinking about her mission. Whoever has Jesus within himself is a missionary. Jesus needs to manifest himself in us”.

The morning also included a presentation by Sister M. Claudete Rauen on the topic “Instruments of Renewal”. She analyzed the current situation of popular movements and the changing times. She also invited us to find new ways to fulfill our mission and attract young people. Finally, she posed some questions for the groups to work on.

Lucimar Marques, from São Gonçalo, commented during the group discussion that “it was very interesting to work with people from different states; we observed the experiences from different places and brought these examples to our mission,” she said.

Mr. Humberto Pozzobon, João Pozzobon’s son, was present and touched everyone by talking about his father’s memories

Service, initiative, and missionary spirit

On the 9th, Father Gustavo Hanna Crespo spoke about how João Pozzobon helps us to renew the Apostolate. He highlighted three characteristics of João Pozzobon: service, initiative, and missionary spirit.

As the current postulator of the cause for the beatification of João Luiz Pozzobon, Father Gustavo concluded by presenting the current state of the process. Finally, he invited everyone to pray for this cause and later other work groups were held during the afternoon.

Being sent as missionaries of hope

The last day of the encounter included a pilgrimage to the Shrine with the celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate. The climax of the day was the Holy Mass of sending forth presided by Bishop Pedro Luiz Stringhini, Bishop of Mogi das Cruzes.

Pedro Luiz Stringhini presided at the Mass of sending forth and crowned the image of the Blessed Mother

Monsignor Pedro mentioned the importance of the visit of the Pilgrim Mother to families, since “it is a visit by the Church reaching out to them”. According to Monsignor Pedro, the Apostolate allows the connection between the imperfect reality and challenges of the world and the perfect reality of heaven. This is what the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate does by reaching out to those who suffer, such as the sick, the incarcerated and many others in need.

At the end of the celebration, the coordinators crowned their Pilgrim MTAs. Meanwhile, Bishop Pedro crowned the replica of the original Pilgrim MTA. In a spirit of celebration, gratitude and enthusiasm, everyone set out to prepare for the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate’s Jubilee.

Various activities have been proposed for the jubilee year of 2025, especially an international meeting, to be held in Santa Maria. More information about this event will be forthcoming soon.

More photos – click here

Technology was part of the evening’s experience. In the drone image, the coordinators formed a “Living Pilgrim MTA”. Watch the video:


with your loved ones

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