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Apostolic Movement

Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests

Being priests out of passion with a special mission

Our community

Brother in priesthood and in mission

Priests are not lone fighters. That is why they commit themselves to the community and can therefore be sure of its care and loyalty.



Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Puerto Rico, Spain



It was founded on 18 October 1945 by Father Joseph Kentenich in the Original Schoenstatt Shrine

The vocation of life

Schoenstatt’s gift to the Church

The Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Priests is made up of diocesan priests who live Schoenstatt’s spirituality and pedagogy.

In the dioceses

First and foremost, however, they are at the service of their dioceses. In obedience to the bishops and in solidarity with their own presbytery, they are available for the pastoral tasks of their diocese.

In Schoenstatt

They also strive to live in loyalty to the founder of Schoenstatt, Father Kentenich, and to shape the Church and the world according to his concept. Together with the other five Schoenstatt Secular Institutes, they consider it their task to build and inspire the Movement.

In the Family

Prayer, friendship, joy and service

The members of the Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests present themselves as a worldwide, family-like community that thrives on committed relationships. Fraternal exchange, strong friendships, common spiritual activity and shared recreational activities are very important to them.

It was founded on 18 October 1945 by Father Joseph Kentenich in the concentration camp at Dachau in Germany with the goal of being a “sound community of diocesan priests who would serve as the basis for a great movement of apostolic renewal”. It was “re-founded” in 1964 and established by the Holy See as a community of pontifical right on 18 October 1995.


The covenant of love

At the center of the spirituality is the covenant of love with God and Mary, which is a source of strength for the clergy and inspiration for the priestly ministry – practical and oriented towards concrete life.


From small to large groups

So that community can be lived in a committed and concrete way, every member of the Schoenstatt Priests’ Institute belongs to a region, a group and a course. The path into the Priests’ Institute begins with the candidacy in the course . It remains for life and forms the core family of the Institute. In the groups, on the other hand, the regional principle applies. Here the priests of a diocese or region come together for regular meetings, which serve the exchange of life and further education.


Special points of connection

This community becomes concrete also in their Father-House on Mount Moriah or in the new, international Schoenstatt Center Belmonte in Rome. They gather for retreats and encounters at the place of origin of the movement in Schoenstatt, in Rome or decentralised in the countries.

Father-House on Mount Moriah - A special place in their Father-House is the "Dachau Altar", where Blessed Karl Leisner, one of the first Schoenstatt priests, was ordained a priest in the concentration camp and celebrated his first and only Holy Mass.
In recent years, the International Schoenstatt Center Matri Ecclesiae was constructed in Rome and since then it provides a spiritual home for the Priests' Institute and many guests.

In the world

Several continents, one mission

The Schoenstatt Institute of Diocesan Priests is an international community. The members of the Priests’ Institute are united in fraternity across national and continental borders. They work for the same mission in all parts of the world.

The community is divided into six regions:

Regio Cono Sur (Nuevo Belen)

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru

Regio Getsemani

Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico

Co-founder Region

Germany (Bavaria), Austria, Czech Republic

Moriah Region

Germany (North and Center), Kenya, Poland, Spain

Nazareth Region (Africa)


South/West Region

Germany (Baden-Württemberg), Italy


Our contacts in the world​​

Need more information?

Our contacts in the world​​

International contact

Generalrektor Dr. Christian Löhr