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Apostolic Movement

Um, dois, três – vai! – In the final stretch towards WYD

Theresia Strunk

The day prior to the official start of World Youth Day, July 31st, began in a relaxed manner for the young women who made their way to Lisbon with the young women of the German Schoenstatt Movement. While some explored the city in small groups, others spent another day at the beach.

In the afternoon, the group met with the international Schoenstatt Youth at the Shrine in Lisbon. There they began a procession with the image of the Blessed Mother to the Chapel of St. Jerome, with a view of the sea, where the sending forth Mass for World Youth Day took place. Father Alexandre Awi Mello from Brazil, President of the General Presidium of the Schoenstatt Movement, presided over the celebration.

Going out into the world with the 3 graces of the Shrine

Verena Flues summarized what remains especially in her memory: “Father Awi Mello used the phrase ‘um, dois, três – vai!’ (one, two, three – go!) to teach us not only a simple phrase in Portuguese. He stressed that Schoenstatt has the mission to go out, like Mary who went in haste to Elizabeth. It is about going out into the world, like the many explorers and missionaries who began their journey in Lisbon. At the same time, always sustained by the Covenant of Love and endowed with the three graces of pilgrimage to the Shrine”.


To read Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello’s complete homily, click on the button:

Complete Homily

The MTA Festival began with dinner, a celebration of the entire Schoenstatt Youth – announced as “a feast in honor of the MTA”. This was fulfilled: “This evening,” said Verena, “was a celebration of joy, because Schoenstatt unites us in community.”

A team of Schoenstatt Youth from Portugal led the youth through a colorful program consisting of music, theater, and dance. The focus was on three testimonies that related the vocational journeys of three Portuguese who have built different Schoenstatt branches in the country.

Foto: Johanna Langela

A great celebration reminiscent of the Night of the Shrine

Unfortunately, the language barrier made it difficult for the German group to follow the content, as Johanna Langela commented. On the other hand, she was happy to see parallels with the scenic program they have on the Night of the Shrine (NdH, for its original: Nacht des Heiligtums), which gathers the German Schoenstatt youth year after year around the Original Shrine: “Those who organized it worked very hard, they devised something similar to a show, like in the NdH, and they even had fireworks at the end. That was really good, in a great atmosphere.”

Verena also has a similar impression: “The International Schoenstatt Youth Festival ended with fireworks and confetti and now we are ready to go out into the world – to World Youth Day. Um, dois, três – vai!”.

Foto: Verena Flues



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