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Apostolic Movement

Life within Schoenstatt after the Schoenstatt Boys’ and Girls’ Youth Branches

By: Suellen Figueiredo and Ariel Stival

Youth is undoubtedly one of the phases of life in which getting to know Schoenstatt and allowing oneself to be inspired by the great ideals is far easier and more contagious.  The organic transition of the youth to the other communities of the Movement was one of the challenges identified during the Pentecost Congress held June 8-12, 2022, in Schoenstatt, the place of origin of the Schoenstatt Movement.

Nowadays we observe the fact that many young people who have participated for years in the Schoenstatt Boys’ and Girls’ Youth groups in their dioceses, upon reaching adulthood, find it difficult to make the transition to other communities in an organic way. They are no longer completely satisfied with the content and activities of the youth. Although the ideals remain, their lifestyle and challenges are different. Thus, this necessary change, which should be second nature, can become a time of discernment.


From the Girls’ Youth to the Women’s League

Jaqueline Montoya, now in the Women’s League, tells us what that transition was like after years in the Girls’ Youth:

“I participated in the Girls’ Youth for many years and obviously when the time came to say goodbye it was not easy. All changes provoke insecurity and in my case, it was no different. Although I knew of the existence of the Schoenstatt Apostolic League for Women and knew some of its members, switching branches also had its challenges. For many, the first deterrent is the age issue, since the League includes women in various stages of life, some of whom are already advanced in age. However, this was something that has surprised me in a positive way.

The welcome we received from them was very special. In all the moments we have shared so far, we have seen the openness of the older generations towards the younger ones; we have seen in them the joy of encountering the new spark that has been gradually emerging and at the same time sharing the incredible experiences that the years in the league have given them!

We joined the Women’s Apostolic League during the Branch’s 100th International Anniversary and shortly after the Golden Jubilee – 50 years of its foundation in Brazil! So, we were soaking up the history – Note: I say “we joined” in plural because it was not only me, but also other ‘Sempre Jufens’ who went through this transition with me.

The challenges

I think the biggest challenge was to understand this new position in Schoenstatt, to absorb and understand the beauty of the ideal of the ‘Living Tabernacle’. It is not really about “turning a key in your head” and wiping out the ideal of “Lily of the Father, Tabor for the world”. Rather, it is about understanding that in this new stage of life we are being called for a new mission.

Another challenge is that, as young women, we are accustomed to being recognized by the entire Schoenstatt Family, etc. Now, when we talk about the Women’s League, they do not always know about us or about our branch. This is not true everywhere, but this was a little of what we went through. It is also a great opportunity to explain who we are, dispel some myths and explain that indeed, the Women’s Youth League exists, and that certainly those who are in Women’s Youth League can get married, among the many myths that are often heard.

Being open to new things

Like all “beginners”, in this transition journey, we have also decided to proceed slowly. Currently, I am in a group made up solely of young women who used to belong to the Girl’s Youth. We conquered the Women’s League t-shirt together mid-year, learning about the ideal, the symbol, and we are just about to renew our Covenant of Love with the ideal of the Living Tabernacle.

I believe that the most important thing in this transition process to another branch is to be open to new things, to give people the opportunity to get to know each other without prejudices and allow them to find their own space. Youth is a phase in our life, but it is not the last one. Once I was asked to record a video explaining the Women’s Apostolic League and I began with the phrase: ‘There is life in Schoenstatt after the Girl’s Youth. I think this statement is still valid. Each one should learn this and try to find her own space”.

From the Boys’ Youth to the Men’s League

For boys, this transition can be even more difficult. In many regions there is still no men’s league, as Ariel Stival, who today is involved in founding the Schoenstatt Men’s League in Frederico Westphalen/RS, tells us:

“It is not easy to reach a time in life when you have to leave the Boy’s Youth. The ideals of the youth are experienced very strongly, and for me especially, the Boy’s Youth was a watershed. But there comes a time in our lives when the yearnings of youth no longer have a place. We start thinking about our professional life, about starting a family, and we miss these aspects in our path. It is at this time that the fire of the Boy’s Youth begins to feel small.

But contrary to what many think, it is not necessary to leave Schoenstatt, join the community of brothers or get married to be able to join one of the branches in the Family League. The option for these young men who no longer fit into the Boy’s Youth is the Men’s League.

Yes, the transition is difficult, and in my case, it was even more so, because here, in Frederico Westphalen, this branch did not exist, and I had to establish it. It is still in the process of being founded and is just taking its first steps. However, I already feel that I fit into the men’s ideals.

Living in the professional field what I have learned in the Boys’ Youth

The Men’s League introduces us to the presence of Mary in the new society. How can we be the new men that the Boys’ Youth preaches so much about, within our social reality, in our projects? That which in the Boys’ Youth was applicable to school life and within the group, now advances to new frontiers to become true Schoenstatters in the society in general. I loved this because I see in these ideals a great challenge. It is not easy, but we have the means to achieve these aspects in our life.

I am very grateful to the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth. But today I feel fulfilled being a member of the Apostolic Men’s League.

Schoenstatt Men’s League

The Schoenstatt Apostolic Men’s League has the same goal as the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth: to form new men, educated by Mary, who will be “the Visible Face of the Father” here on earth. But with a particular focus on the professional area: in their work environments, with their colleagues and superiors.

In short, the members are called to live the sanctity of daily life through the Covenant of Love with the Mother and Queen and the attachment to the Shrine. In this way, they collaborate in Mary’s mission to bring Christ to the world, with the goal of forming authentic masculine identities with a childlike posture before God and a fatherly posture before men.

Schoenstatt Women’s League

The Schoenstatt Apostolic Women’s League is made up of women who are young at heart, professionals inserted and active in society.

We seal a Covenant of Love with the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt and discover in her the quintessential Woman, the Blessed among Women and regard her as our Educator.


The entry into adulthood implies a negotiation between dependence and autonomy. Within a broader socio-cultural context, the processes that permeate the transition from youth to adulthood today are quite complex. But, in Schoenstatt it is possible to get help for this.

If you are a member of the Boys’ or Girls’ Youth and want to become integrated into society, look for the adult branches – the Apostolic Women’s League and the Apostolic Men’s League – as this process will certainly help you in your social development.

Source: Schoenstatt Brasil 


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