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Apostolic Movement

Schoenstatt’s Administrative Council meets at Belmonte

Sr. M. Cacilda Becker

From November 16-18, 2021, the members of the Schoenstatt Administrative Council of Rome (Rom-Kuratorium in German), consisting of a group of representatives of the Schoenstatt communities at the international level, met at the Schoenstatt Administration Center in Belmonte, Rome. On this occasion, they examined the mission of the Belmonte Center: what current of life has grown there and how all of Schoenstatt is carrying out Belmonte’s mission.


Certainly, the subject is new for the great majority of Schoenstatters in our large and ramified Schoenstatt Family all over the world. That is why we asked Father and Dr. Christian Löhr, General Director of the Institute of Schoenstatt Diocesan Priests, to tell us about this council:

What is the Administrative Council of Rome, and why is it so called?

Dr. Löhr: The Administrative Council of Rome takes its name from the location of the International Shrine Matri Ecclesiae, which is in Rome. Father Kentenich’s wish, especially after his return from exile in Milwaukee, was that Schoenstatt would be present here in Rome, close to St. Peter’s Basilica and close to the Pope and the Roman Curia, and that it would help the renewal of the Church and the world from this place. It is directed by the community responsible for the Shrine of Belmonte, that is, by the Institute of Schoenstatt Diocesan Priests.

What is the purpose of Rome’s Administrative Council and who are its members?

Dr. Löhr: The statute of Rome’s Administrative Council states the following:

1. On behalf of the Schoenstatt Family, the General Presidium promised the Father and Founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, on the occasion of his 80th birthday celebrations, the Shrine of the Mother Thrice Admirable as the nucleus of the International Center in Rome.

The MATRI ECCLESIAE Shrine wants to be a sign and source of Schoenstatt’s mission in the Church and for the Church and wants to keep active the promises made by the Founder to the Holy Father and the Bishops, and to contribute to their fulfillment.

2. The responsibility for this center has been granted by Father Joseph Kentenich, with the approval of the General Presidium of the International Schoenstatt Movement, to the Institute of Schoenstatt Diocesan Priests on December 7, 1965.

3. Since the responsibility for the center is shared by the entire Schoenstatt Family, the community of the Diocesan Priests forms an administrative council – the Administrative Council of Rome – to support it in the fulfillment of this task.

4. Rome’s Administrative Council is composed of members from various Schoenstatt communities. It is constituted for a period of six years. The current council was formed in 2015.


What are your expectations for Rome’s Administrative Council’s meeting this fall?

Dr. Löhr: That the great mission of the International Schoenstatt Center Matri Ecclesiae in Rome, Belmonte, will penetrate Schoenstatters anew and more deeply through the members of the Administrative Council in Rome. Everyone in Schoenstatt has a special and individual task for Belmonte.

Picture this as an image of a river’s delta: from the Original Shrine, in the last 100 years since the first Covenant of Love, an ever wider and deeper stream has been flowing in our Movement as well as in the Church and in the world.

According to the will of our Father and Founder, this current concentrates and them ramifies in Rome’s Shrine, so that what Schoenstatt has become can flow into the Church and the world and contribute to its enrichment and fruitfulness.

What is the main content of this year’s meeting?

Dr. Löhr: All the current issues concerning the Belmonte Shrine are topics that we are actively dealing with in the Administrative Council in Rome. We want to support and motivate those Schoenstatters who are responsible for Rome’s Center. This has to do mainly with the Shrine’s rector and his Pastoral Council.

At our fall meeting this year, the focus was on continuing to work on the fulfillment of the Belmonte mission. We received the Rector of the Shrine’s report on the current situation of Belmonte and the Schoenstatt Family in Italy.

We also heard the report of the person in charge of Belmonte and discussed how we can take the necessary next steps and make them feasible.

After the opening of the Kentenich House in Belmonte four years ago and the enthronement of the Holy Spirit Symbol in the Shrine, the priorities now are the work of the Italian Schoenstatt Family, the expansion of home shrines, the spread of the Rosary Campaign throughout Italy and the steps to take towards an international crowning of Our Lady of Belmonte.

Some impressions of the participants

Mrs. Busch – Institute of Families – experienced the meeting “being very encouraged by the awareness that Schoenstatt can reach the whole world through Belmonte, and that it is possible for all the Schoenstatt communities to take responsibility for it. It was a very beautiful experience: we discovered a good perspective for the path to the future”.

Father Markus Rometsch -Federation of Priests – participated live for the first time. “It was very nice, I will come back. I am excited by the results and the perspective, also by the Covenant Day celebration yesterday evening, it was very nice.”

The Müller couple have been part of the committee for six years. They represent the Family Federation and are impressed by the growth: “in the last six years the community has grown together, we have been able to speak very openly among ourselves, we have been able to share ideas about the mission of Belmonte and also about the use of the Domus Pater Kentenich House, which is becoming clearer and is gradually taking shape”.

Mrs. Beck, from the Ladies’ Institute of Schoenstatt, pondered “What do I take with me? That we should practice the great Synodal Way of the Church on a small scale, as we have done in the last few days at the Administrative Council in Rome.

Fr. Walter, representing the Fathers, experienced this meeting “as a transition from focusing on the issues of construction and financing to the perspective of how we can make good use of the center at an international level. The Rector’s hospitality, which we were able to experience first-hand, creates a good foundation for this.”

And Belmonte’s Rector, Fr. Marcelo Cervi expresses: “For me this meeting has revealed great new perspectives, such as the preparation for the crowning of Our Blessed Mother at the international level, and I take this opportunity to express our desire that all those Schoenstatters who come to Rome visit the Matri Ecclesiae Shrine in Belmonte.

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