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Unity in Diversity from the Beginning

The Schoenstatt Priests’ Federation is the first of the Schoenstatt communities. Its beginnings lie in the foundation of the Apostolic Federation in 1919. Exactly 100 years later, on August 20, 2019, its International Extension officially took place. Today, it is represented by 260 priests in 15 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe.

Freedom and generosity are characteristic of the Schoenstatt Priests’ Federation. It is in this spirit that the federation priest lives the evangelical counsels and his apostolate in the community of confreres. The Priests’ Federation does not have superiors in the legal sense and is structured nationally and federatively throughout the world.

The experience of an international community broadens our view of the diversity of the worldwide Church and of the priestly ministry. This experience is our encouragement and commitment to live and promote unity in diversity.

Contact Information

Priest and Guest house Marienau
Höhrerstr. 86
56179 Vallendar

Telephone: +49 (0)261-96262-0

The Schoenstatt Priests’ League is one of the four Schoenstatt priestly communities. Its members live and work in their parishes and dioceses where they live out their priestly vocation. They are incardinated in their home diocese.

The Spiritual Orientation

Like the other Schoenstatt communities, they strive to form and develop their personality in a holistic way. In their attachment to the Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt, the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt, and in the spirit of the founder, they know that they are carried by the promise of God the Father’s love in Christ Jesus. They know that they are at home in him and in their priestly community, secure in the midst of a pluralistic, digitized, and secularized society. They are committed to serve the ever ongoing internal reform of the Church and the new evangelization wherever they are. They especially offer their priestly service through their spiritual accompaniment of other Schoenstatters and their communities. It is important for them to seriously consider the psychological laws of growth and development in the human soul, not only in the lives of the people they serve, but also in fostering and striving for a healthy spiritual and physical well-being in their own lives.

The members of Schoenstatt Priests’ League of strive to shape their personal lives and pastoral activities in the spirit of active, practical faith in Divine Providence: They trust that God is a God of history and of all life. He is a God of the covenant which he has made with each individual person and which he wishes to lead into his glory. In respectful listening and the mutual search for the guidance of God in the life of every human being, they focus on the shaping of life and work according to Gospel values. They strive to reverently and humbly listen to and accompany people in their personal and current journeys. In this regard, Father Kentenich often spoke of empathetic and uplifting understanding. Their pastoral care is meant to be one of fostering love rather than demanding rights and laws.

Pastoral Commitment

The members of the Schoenstatt Priests’ League, knowing that they are assigned to their bishop and his presbyterate and that they are committed to him like the other communities of Schoenstatt diocesan priests, strive to be especially attentive to the needs of the confreres of their own pastoral unit or deanery. They work on the renewal of the image of the priest in the spirit of the Church after the Second Vatican Council, which Father Kentenich described as a ministering, spirit-filled, humble, fraternal, and poor Church, a Church that is a friend of the poor and the soul of a new world.

They advocate cooperative pastoral care in parishes and communities and especially appreciate working along with the social and ecclesial service of all the baptized. In the spirit of the Council and its realization, which is still to be achieved to a large extent, and in the spirit of the covenant of love with all people, they engage integratively in interdenominational and interreligious efforts and search for ever new possibilities and ways of reconciliation. With all people of good will, they work for a responsible handling of the life resources of humanity and for the preservation of creation. As a member community of the Schoenstatt Family, the confreres of the Priests’ League are, if at all possible, available to the entire movement for priestly ministries and spiritual accompaniment.

The Organization and Life Structure

The Schoenstatt Priests’ League is organized at the diocesan level like all other league communities of the Schoenstatt Movement. This is what distinguishes it from the Federation of Priests, which is organized on a national level, and from the Institute of Priests, which is organized on an international level. It was important for Joseph Kentenich to emphasize that the different types of communities of the Schoenstatt Family are equal but different. The members of the Priests’ League are not obliged to live in permanent communities of priests. Membership has fluid boundaries. But those who want to can, of course, meet in regional groups on their own initiative. Where such local groups exist, experience shows that the confreres meet monthly or several times a year for a spiritual exchange and to cultivate their professional and personal solidarity.

On a national level, members of other Schoenstatt priestly communities offer personal and inspirational help to the confreres of the Priests’ League at the headquarters of the Schoenstatt Movement of a country. They can offer national meetings and retreats. Many members of the league take part in the annual events offered by the Central Office. The independent diocesan communities of the Priests’ League can each choose a speaker to represent them at meetings with other diocesan speakers organized by the Central Office. These meetings serve the inter-diocesan exchange and the common spiritual and pastoral orientation of the community.

Contact Information

Schoenstatt Priests League
Priest and Education House
Berg Moriah, 56337 Simmern, Germany

Telephone: 0049-2620-9410

Passionately 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

Spirituality and Mission Awareness

The Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Fathers is one of more than 20 different communities of the International Schoenstatt Work.

Many of the Schoenstatt Fathers came to know Schoenstatt through their belonging to Schoenstatt as youths, which is why each of them has an inner identification with Schoenstatt. The vocation of discipleship is linked to the service of the Movement: As a community of priests, they are called to serve the international Schoenstatt Family and its projects. There are many ways to work for the Church in the current context. Their path is that of the covenant of love and faith in God’s guidance.

The Schoenstatt Fathers have the task to further develop the charism of Father Joseph Kentenich in the world of today. This includes involvement in schools and social projects, as well as other initiatives that contribute to the education and formation of people all over the world.

The Fathers live from the sources of Schoenstatt’s spirituality. They identify with the person of the founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, and orient themselves on his experience of God, his mission consciousness, and his love for the Church. Father Kentenich’s relationship with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is a model for them; his pastoral style is orientation in action.

The community was founded as a secular institute on July 18, 1965, making it the youngest Schoenstatt community. Meanwhile, it is approved as a secular institute under papal law. This means that the members of the Institute are incardinated and can be appointed worldwide by their superiors. Depending on their pastoral tasks or internal community ministries, the members live in house communities (filiations) or as individuals (externs) at their place of assignment. In the countries and on continents, the members are organized in delegations, regions, and provinces each with their own leadership structures. The International Generalate has its seat in their central house, the Father’s House, in Schoenstatt, Germany, the place of foundation.

Currently, the members live in 19 countries and serve the Schoenstatt Movement in about 20 other countries

These include Argentina, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, Ecuador, England, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Austria, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the United States.

Contact Information

Schoenstatt Fathers International e. V.
Mount Sion 1
56337 Simmern