Discover our family community

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Living and sharing faith as a family


Father Joseph Kentenich (1885 – 1968) founded the Family Federation in 1950 together with a group of young families as an independent community within the International Schoenstatt Movement, which he had founded in 1914. For him, the family is the nucleus of every healthy order in the Church and society.


In the meantime, more than 1,800 families worldwide belong to our community. They come from 19 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rica, the United States, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.


The members are united by the joy of the vocation to marriage and family. They seek to shape life by the power of the sacrament of marriage and in this way follow Christ. They are inspired by the spirituality of the Schoenstatt Movement, which finds its basis in the teaching of Father Joseph Kentenich. The focus is on a personal, living relationship with God as a loving Father. Devotion to the Blessed Mother Mary, who is venerated as a mother and educator and with whom a covenant of love is sealed, has a special significance.


The goal of our community is the education and formation of Christian personalities in the sense of the Catholic lay apostolate, which assumes responsibility in the Church and society and which is committed to serve others. It urges us to pass on to others our faith, the Good News of Jesus Christ, from which we ourselves live. We aspire to work in our society for a strengthening and renewal of marriage and family. But we also want, according to our abilities and possibilities, to participate in and shape the professional world, public life, and parishes. In all our efforts and our commitment to others, our primary attention is to our children.

Family Movement

The International Apostolic Schoenstatt Family Federation is one of the core communities of the Schoenstatt Movement and is particularly committed to serve the Schoenstatt Family League with its manifold activities to strengthen marriage and the family.


In a time of varying worldviews, values, and lifestyles, the members desire to strengthen each other. They offer support and assist each other in spiritual growth as individual personalities and as married couples. The community also supports efforts to pass on faith to children. In the Family Federation, the children experience a community in which God and faith naturally belong.

International Headquarters

The international Family Federation has its headquarters at Josef-Kentenich-Hof, near the neighboring town of Hillscheid in the Westerwald very close to Vallendar-Schoenstatt.

The Family Federation is in

Contact Information

International Apostolic Schoenstatt Family Federation
56204 Hillscheid

Telephone: +49 (0) 2624 945 100

Renewal of Marriage and Family

In 1942, as a result of his contact with protestant pastors in the concentration camp of Dachau, Father Kentenich clearly realized the radiant power of the pastors’ families for their congregations. Their families were role models and were the supporting and inspiring core in their communities.

Father Kentenich regarded these encounters as a message from God, and he came to the conviction that the Catholic Church also needs such families. His response to this message from God was the foundation of our community as a type of secular institute for Catholic couples with the aim that, in the course of time, they would also equally become a supportive and inspiring core of the entire Family Movement. He envisioned a community dedicated to safeguard the ideal of Catholic marriage and family and to live this ideal in our contemporary world.

The Institute of Families is guided in this objective by the evangelical councils. The lifestyle of marriage and family is naturally different from the celibate lifestyle of the religious. The goal, however, is the same: to live one’s calling in a purposeful way and resolutely follow Christ.

“For this reason the Institute of Schoenstatt Families, faithful to the founder’s vision, sees itself as a community of dedicated life for married couples with juridical ties. It endeavors through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, and by virtue of the covenant of love with Mary, to embody the ideal of the Holy Family of Nazareth in a modern way and to live it as perfectly as possible according to the evangelical councils.

It is its task to contribute to the formation of a new order of society by the Christian renewal of marriage and family. Together with the other Schoenstatt institutes it assumes the responsibility as defender and inspiring core of the entire movement.” ( Being and Mission – Definition of the General Chapter 2018)

17 countries in which the Institute of the Schoenstatt Families is represented

Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain and Portugal
The Americas: USA, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, México, Ecuador, Perú, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil

Contact Information

Haus der Familie
Höhrer Strasse 115
56179 Vallendar

Telephone: (00 49) 261-640060

Family is beautiful – and it is exhausting!

Family is beautiful – and it is exhausting! It is God’s wish that people grow in love. The Schoenstatt Family Movement wants to strengthen couples and families. When they meet in small groups or for retreats or holidays, they experience:

  • time for themselves as married couples, while their children have their own activities
  • community and exchange with other families
  • an increase of competence in questions of marriage and family
  • support and orientation in their faith
  • new strength from their encounter with God, in a special way, in the sacrament of marriage
  • Mary is active here as a coach and trainer for everyday life in marriage and family

In 1933 Father Kentenich initiated a family movement – which was something definitely unusual in ecclesiastical circles at that time.

Schoenstatt invests in marriage and family through

  • preparation for marriage: the direction is determined right from the beginning
  • talks, seminars, weekends, and holidays on and for marriage and education of children
  • addressing questions about life and faith
  • apostolic projects for strengthening other couples and families
  • courses for the formation of trainers for marriage and family (Family Academy, 2 years)
  • periodicals, books, films

Each family chooses from what is offered according to their preference. It is possible from time to time to take part in Schoenstatt events or to form fixed groups in order to share experiences and to give support to one another. Those who seek a spirituality and larger-family-for-life may find a haven and a calling in the core communities of the Schoenstatt Family Movement, namely, in the Institute of Schoenstatt families (link to the institute) founded in 1942, or in the Federation of Schoenstatt Families (link to the Federation of Schoenstatt families) founded in 1951.

Contact Information

Germany Office for Families
House of the Family
Berg Nazareth
Höhrer Strasse 115
56179 Vallendar

Telephone: +49/261/6400612