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Apostolic Movement

Volunteering at the Schoenstatt Belmonte Center in Rome

By: Heinrich Brehm

The Belmonte team: Elena Buosi, Administration; Marcello Cervi, Rector; Teresa Hofmann and Livia Carvalho, Volunteers; Alberto Barilà, Supervisor.

A young Brazilian woman visited us to have a look at the surroundings and will return as a volunteer.

Many new friendships with people from all over the world.

Teresa Hofmann has come from Germany. She does her volunteer work in collaboration with the Volunteer Services of the Diocese of Limburg. She arrived in Belmonte at the end of August 2022 and will be working until the end of July 2023 at the Guest House and probably also in an orphanage run by nuns.

Belmonte en Roma
Teresa Hofmann (Photo: Belmonte-Team)

The Institute of Schoenstatt Diocesan Priests, which is responsible for the Belmonte Center, collaborates with the Volunteer Services (from Limburg) in the execution of her service. Her duties at Belmonte include cleaning and housekeeping, as well as assisting guests. She lives in a single room in the Formation House.

“The most beautiful thing for me is being able to meet so many people from all over the world and making so many new friends,” Theresa says. ” Besides, my job is a combination of routine and variety, which is something I like.” However, she says you have to be flexible because “plans here often change from one hour to the next and on very short notice.”

When asked how she feels as an evangelical Christian in a Catholic/Schoenstatt environment, she emphasizes: “I was very well received here, and I never felt excluded. Above all, what was new for her was the strong attachment to Mary, “which I sincerely find very beautiful”. Meanwhile, Sister Julia, who also works at the Center, began “to engage in a kind of catechesis with me, where I have already learned some new things and will continue learning.”

Welcoming guests and cataloging the gifts Belmonte has received over the years.

After a five-month stay in 2021, Livia Moreira de Carvalho is now at Belmonte for the second time as a volunteer and will probably stay until September 2023. The Brazilian arrived in Rome in 2019 as a tourist. At that time, she recounts, the former priest of her parish in Brazil, who is now Rector of Belmonte, offered her a volunteer position at Belmonte, which immediately interested her.

Livia Moreira de Carvalho (Photo: Belmonte-Team)

She says her duties are varied: “I help with the cleaning and maintenance of the house. I also work at the front desk and help guests with all their needs. I help organize events, serve or work in the kitchen, and if necessary, I do some cooking. I also take pictures at celebrations and important events that take place here.”

Belmonte en Roma
Como se puede ver en esta foto, el Team se divierte mucho. (Foto: Belmonte-Team)

The most important work currently attributed to her involves the “Belmonte Treasure”. It consists of cataloging the objects that Belmonte has received as gifts over the years. “I do research to record all the objects with historical and spiritual value.” For this purpose, she says she is in contact with many people so she can prepare suitable translations in Italian, Portuguese, German, Spanish and English.

“This way I can contribute to making the history and importance of the gifts received over the years known to all those interested in the Schoenstatt Movement.”

Volunteering for spiritual and personal growth

Carolina Panosso, of the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth from Brazil, was in Belmonte this spring to get to know the surroundings and then come to help as a volunteer for the celebration of the international crowning of Our Lady to be held in 2025.

Carolina Panosso (Photo: Belmonte-Team)

She is 20 years old, studies biology at the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) and works on scientific research in bacterial genetics.

She says: “I actively participate in the Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth in my group and at the national level. My job is to photograph events and make posts for the national Instagram of Juventude Feminina do Brasil.” It is a great joy for her to host the youth in an ecclesial and cultural experience in Rome. “I love the volunteer experience in Rome. It contributes to my spiritual and personal growth. I am very interested in collaborating in the preparation for the coronation of Our Lady in 2025.”

Volunteering at the Belmonte Schoenstatt Center in Rome

A place that enables experiences of international cooperation within the Schoenstatt Movement. Meet people from all over the world, make yourself understood in every language through signs and gestures, live the Covenant Culture in the cosmopolitan city of Rome.


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