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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

“Young Academy”: Schoenstatt Meets Science

By: Johanna Langela

From September 15-17, I was a participant in the “Young Academy” of the Josef Kentenich Institute (JKI) in the conference center on Mount Moriah. The aim was to bring Schoenstatt and science into conversation with each other, and the participants were invited to contribute their own questions or input. For me the weekend was intense and enriching.

Schoenstatt scientifically

I was initially very excited about how it would be, what content would be discussed and who the other participants would be. We were a small group of eight people, one of whom was connected online. This group size resulted from the small target group (young Schoenstatters interested in science or anyone who would like to discuss Schoenstatt scientifically), but from the beginning it made it possible to get to know each other intensively and to create a culture of discussion in which everyone could get involved.

It was exciting to see that the participants came from a wide range of disciplines and so different perspectives complemented each other. I particularly liked the participatory approach, that is: It depended entirely on us which topics, theses and papers were discussed. For example, one participant presented her Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis, which she wrote on Schoenstatt topics from a historical perspective.

I am still at the beginning of my Master’s thesis and had rather questions in my luggage. My personal motivation for taking part in the Young Academy was to focus on an issue and find Schoenstatt approaches on which I could base my paper. But I took away so much more.

Introduced by a short lecture by Prof. Joachim Söder we discussed the “(radical) structural change (Gestaltwandel) of faith and the Church” and dealt with the “Psychology of Secondary Causes” through work on texts. Our discussions were always characterised by a look at current social developments, the role of the Church and Schoenstatt as well as the role of faith and religion in the lives of individual people.

Broadening one’s own horizon

I was very pleased that we were also able to take a look into the JKI library and visit the “Schulungsheim”, the training center where the Director General of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, Dr Bernd Biberger, told us a little more about the last years of Fr Josef Kentenich’s life there.

On Sunday, after a closing holy mass with Father Ludwig Güthlein, everyone set off for home again full of substantive impressions. Personally, I would like to see exchanges and network meetings of the Young Academy to take place more often, and I would always motivate people to take part. For me it is important not only to have a spiritual home in Schoenstatt, but also to continually broaden my own horizon and the place that Schoenstatt is for me, in critical analysis.

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