Schoenstatt Movement (German Schönstatt-Bewegung) was founded in
Germany in 1914 by Father Joseph Kentenich who saw the movement as being
a means of spiritual renewal in the Catholic Church. The movement is
not named after the German words for "beautiful place" (even
though this is the literal meaning of schoenstatt), but after a small
village close to the town of Vallendar near Koblenz in Germany. Schoenstatt
emphasizes a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, upholding her
as a perfect example of love and purity and seeks to invite the Blessed
Mother (and, hence, her divine Son, Jesus Christ), into the home by establishing
a spiritual Covenant of Love with her. It encourages its members to have
the faith and purity of children, and to think of Mary as their mother.
Schoenstatt "wishes to be understood as a universal vision,
comprising time and eternity, this world and the next, the economic,
social, ethical, political and religious needs of all people, including
the dispossessed, the millions of masses... It wants to help redeem
the world not only from its earthly sufferings, but also from sin
and from its alienation from God. It tries to do this under the guidance
and in the school of Our Lady by applying the original principles
of Christianity in a new way to restore the disturbed relationship
between the individual person and society, the person and business,
the person and technology, and the person and social advancement." -
Father Joseph Kentenich
The Schoenstatt Movement is present today in many countries besides
Germany. Many groups have been formed within the movement where people
can join anything from loose groups with sparse meetings to religious
orders. Counting everyone that belongs to any group of the Schoenstatt
Movement, there are probably more than one million people involved today.
Schoenstatt places a great emphasis on the family, and youth, especially,
are an important part of the movement.
There are hundreds of Schoenstatt youth groups throughout the world.