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 published: 2004-11-12

Conquering true freedom

"Operation Mario" and "Cenacle Mission" reaching out to University Youth in Milwaukee and Madison

Milwaukee, Santuario de Exilio: crece la Juventud universitaria

Milwaukee, Exile Shrine: the University Youth is growing

Milwaukee, Exilheiligtum: die Studenten-Jugend wächst


Misa de rama, Santuario del Exilio

Mass of the Branch, Exile Shrine

Messe als Gliederung im Exilheiligtum


Santuario Hogar de "Equipo 11" de "Operación Mario"

Home Shrine of Team 11 of "Operation Mario"

Hausheiligtum von Team 11 der "Operation Mario"

Fotos: Vargas © 2004




USA, Marge Steinhage Fenelon. It's already the 11th team of young students from the Schoenstatt Youth in Chile to voluntarily spend a semester at the Marquette University in Milwaukee, USA, with the simple purpose or reaching out to University Youth with the Schoenstatt message.

Diego Calderon and Jose Francisco Vargas arrived in August; Diego, 19, is a sophomore Mathematics major at the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. He’s been active in Schoenstatt for eight years. Jose Francisco, 24, is a senior Business major at Catholic University of Chile in Santiago. He’s been active in Schoenstatt for five years. The two form Team 11 of "Operation Mario".

Three Schoenstatt groups are working at the Marquette University, two of them studying recently a workshop, "Conquering True Freedom". This semester, the young men formed a core group that will take on the leadership of the young men’s groups and activities, helping them to feel and act more like a branch of the movement. Recently, a subcommittee of the core group set to work to make Schoenstatt an official campus organization.

New Schoenstatt life in Madison and Milwaukee

In the mean time, Chris Reitz, a Schoenstatt Youth and freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been instrumental in starting a men’s group there. They started the last Monday in September and have been meeting every week for a month now. About seven men belong and Father Jonathan has visited them once to inaugurate their work on the workshop on freedom.

As a pleasant "side effect" of the work of the Operation Mario teams, a group of young women formed and has been meeting weekly. They’re studying "Workshop of the Marian Woman" for their own spiritual growth and with the intention of using it to lead future groups. Isabel Larroulet, Isabel Buccetti, and Bernardita Edwards arrived in August and are taking classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and working at St. Paul’s, the campus parish. Interest in Schoenstatt is mounting among the students and the Cenacle team hopes to form a group in the near future. The team is making some good friends among the students and tries each week to go to Founder Shrine with at least one guest.

Youth Rally at the Exile Shrine

On September 18, the young men and women collaborated on a Youth Rally at the Exile Shrine. The purpose of the rally was to kick off the semester, draw young men and women to the shrine, generate interest in Schoenstatt and look for possibilities to form new groups. The rally, which included Holy Mass in the shrine, presentations on Schoenstatt and a social at the Movement House, was a tremendous success, with 30 students attending.

Friday Nights at the Shrine are up and running again. At 6 p.m. each Friday, the Schoenstatt young men gather in the Exile Shrine to sing, pray, meditate and show their love for the Blessed Mother.

In Chile, there is much new life and energy for Operation Mario. Preparations are well under way for Team 12’s departure and there is heightened enthusiasm among the young men for becoming future team members. Recently, the Operation Mario coordinators held a soccer tournament to raise funds and interest in the mission!

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