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Apostolic Movement

Youth: “Here we are because we had the courage to dream”

“We come from different nationalities, but we are united by something in common: love for Christ, for the Church, for Schoenstatt. We had the courage to dream, that is why we are gathered here today”. These are the words that opened the International Youth Mass celebrated in Schoenstatt. It took place in the Pilgrims’ Church on the afternoon of July 25th. Delegations with youth from eight countries, who are on their way to WYD in Lisbon, participated in the Mass.

The groups in attendance came from: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, United States, Mexico, Paraguay, and Puerto Rico. Members of the international youth, their advisors and several members of the local Schoenstatt Family were present as well.

The Mass was presided by the Rector of the Original Shrine, Father Ignacio Camacho. Concelebrating with him were priests from Nigeria, India, Germany, Chile, Portugal, Ecuador, Uganda, Brazil, USA, and other countries

Youth and pilgrims on the way

The liturgy recalled the figure of St. James the Apostle. He, like the young people of WYD, was “also a pilgrim,” said Father Ignacio. James was one of the disciples closest to Jesus, who was present at important moments, such as on Mount Tabor and in the Mount of Olives. “When I think of him, the idea of the road quickly comes to mind – we have all heard of the way of St. James. The image of the pilgrim is directly associated with him”.

Father Ignacio Camacho stresses that the invitation to be a pilgrim comes from Christ, who takes the initiative. “Something we can describe from the public life of Jesus is that he also traveled extensively. So many images in the Gospel show us Jesus on the way. And he teaches his disciples to walk like he did.”

Dare to ask: What is my path?

Taking the Gospel in the light of Schoenstatt’s history, he adds: “The image of the road also speaks to us about our own personal life and our Covenant life. The Covenant of Love is a real road that we travel, a road that our Father also traveled. The way of St. James was not simple or easy, he did not understand everything at the beginning [in Schoenstatt], not everything was clear, but God gradually unveiled it”.

Fr. Ignacio motivates the youth to maintain their originality, reclaiming their personal history. “The way of Jesus is an original path. No two are alike. Jesus calls us with our own history, with our families, with our abilities and also with our weaknesses. He is the treasure that we carry in clay pots”.

The Rector emphasizes that the road of life with Christ must be traveled as a community and with simplicity. And he launches a challenge: “Dare to ask Jesus: what do you want from me, what is my life path, where do you want me to go, how do you want me to follow you? Dare to dream. Don’t have small dreams, but rather profound ones. Dare to step out of your comfort zone, to do like our Mother and go out in haste.”

Different cultures, the same ardor

A special moment of the celebration was the renewal of the Covenant of Love in the Original Shrine. There, the youth lived an experience in which they once again gave their hearts to the MTA.

“We were able to experience the bond between all the nationalities that were present here and also prepare our hearts, in this longing to go to WYD and to stand up and take Mary everywhere,” said Jéssica Fernanda Prado, from Brazil.

“It was very beautiful, and I was able to realize that the Schoenstatt Youth extends across several borders and we all have the same enthusiasm. We have an inner fire that we want to share, to be together, to go toward God, to give everything for the Covenant,” said Santiago Perón, from Argentina.

Rosario Galilea, from Chile, says: “The Covenant renewal was very beautiful, and I really liked the enthusiasm we felt and everyone’s collaboration. We are very happy to meet people from different countries and cultures. We discovered that there are many others who are passionate about the mission”.

Young Jacinta Loomis, Christina Rivera and Allyson Kahler, from the United States, share that “it is beautiful to see many different countries and cultures coming together in one Mass, celebrated in different languages. A place where we believe and celebrate the same thing. We are preparing for some amazing few days. After Mass we went to the Shrine, which is beautiful because we were all there for the same reason: to renew the Covenant that we have sealed in different parts of the world. And then we had a celebration in which each country presented something different from their culture. And it was very lovely to see how each country celebrated Schoenstatt in a slightly different way, but that we all managed to communicate and dance together. It was amazing.”

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