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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

National Encounter of the Boys’ Youth in Brazil: an ember that ignites

By: Paulo Zambolin

The Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth (Jumas) from all over Brazil gathered for their 5th national encounter in the city of Frederico Westphalen, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. About 300 boys were welcomed in the Tabor Heaven’s Gate Shrine to strengthen national unity and rekindle the flame of the youth, sometimes weakened by the hardships of our times.

The meeting took place between September 7th and 10th. The program was driven by the motto “Daring with Christ, an ember that ignites”. Throughout the encounter, the country’s four regional centers prepared powerful moments of prayer and spirituality. There were also dynamics to bring people together, a soccer championship and a concert for the presentation of the new Jumas album. There were also moments of leisure, such as walks through the city of Frederico Westphalen, to learn more about the region’s culture, typical dances, music, and food.

Conquering the shrine’s balloon at the Engling pyre

The closing night of the gathering, marked by conquering the balloon on Joseph Engling’s pyre at the Frederico Westphalen Shrine, will remain engraved in the hearts of all those present. A pilgrimage with youth songs, along a path marked by flames and illuminated by a starry sky, marked the beginning of this unforgettable moment. During the ceremony, everyone was able to add to the fire, which brought the pyre to life for the first time. Fireworks celebrated this special night in the sky.

For Rafael Hashimoto, “the most memorable part of the national encounter was the interaction with people, meeting new people and reconnecting with old acquaintances,” he said. And he concludes: “In fact, watching this national unity that the branch has was extremely moving during the conquest of the balloon for the pyre”.

His brother, Mateus, participated for the first time in a national meeting and adds: “I would say that what I take away from the nationals is the desire to participate in more encounters of this type and to have many more unique experiences like this one”.

Two groups sealed their Covenant of Love with the Blessed Virgin Mary

Taking advantage of this historic night, two groups sealed their Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother, accompanied by their leaders and advisors. The boys from Frederico Westphalen and Ibiporã consecrated their lives to the Blessed Mother. In addition, those who had already sealed their covenant were able to renew it during the rite.

Photos: Gabriel Lenharo

New national secretariat

Members of the new National Secretariat team were elected and presented during the meeting. Lucas Moraes, from the Southeast Regional, will be the new National Secretary, accompanied by Edwards Petrassi, from the Paraná Regional, as Vice President. The four regional leaders were also elected.

Carlos Fernando Bezerra dos Santos Junior will be the representative of the Northeast region, which is the newest region to start Boys’ Youth groups. To get to Frederico Westphalen, Carlos traveled 3,600 kilometers from his hometown, Olinda. “The national encounter was what I needed to become even closer to Schoenstatt. Since my northeast region is still growing, being together with all the Brazilian Jumas further ignited the fire that was inside of me, so that I could take this burning ember to the northeast,” Carlos said.

The dream of a generation

Throughout the encounter, the youth were accompanied by the Schoenstatt Fathers in the Masses, moments of confession, gatherings, and special blessings. Fathers Gabriel Oberle, Filipe Araújo, Rafael Flausino and Rafael Mota were present.

For the young hosts from Frederico Westphalen, the encounter was a moment of great joy. “Hosting and organizing a national meeting has always been a great dream of our generation. We have fought hard for it and we have achieved it. In the days leading up to the meeting, I must admit that we were all worried, but the MTA was guiding us. During the days of the encounter, we slept little and worked a lot, but it was worth every sacrifice. To receive almost 300 youth in our city and to see them so happy, focused and moved by the meeting was beautiful,” said Ariel Stival.

Decisions of the National Forum

After some time for discussion during the national meeting, the leaders met in plenary to vote on the future of Jumas Brazil. In a synodal spirit, they decided together, by voting, the next steps to be taken by the branch. This way, they reached common guidelines that will direct the branch’s trajectory until the next national meeting.

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