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 published: 2005-07-05

Next August 20th Cologne will be in San Martin

A "Youth Day" in the Schoenstatt Shrine in Villa Ballester, Argentina

Afiche: Jornada Diocesana de la Juventud, 20 de agosto, en Villa Ballester

Poster: Diocesan Youth Day, August 20, in Villa Ballester

Poster: Diözesan-Jugendtag am 20. August, in Villa Ballester


Juventud Masculina... con pelota y entusiasmo

Boys’ Youth – with ball and enthusiasm

Mannesjugend – mit Fußball und Begeisterung dabei


Hna Rosana con chicas de la Juventud Femenina, preparando el encuentro

Sr. Rosana with girls from the Girls’ Youth, preparing the meeting

Sr. Rosana mit Jugendlichen bei der Vorbereitung des Treffens


Juventud Femenina de Villa Ballester en el Santuario Jubilar

Girls’ Youth from Villa Ballester at the Jubilee Shrine

Mächenjugend von Villa Ballester vor dem Heiligtum


JM preparando el encuentro

Boys’ youth preparing the meeting

Mannesjugend bei der Vorbereitung

Fotos: Ballester © 2005




In conjunction with Benedict XVI and the youth attending the prayer vigil in the Field of Mary

ARGENTINA, jfr. On the 20th of August World Youth Day will be celebrated in Cologne…and in the Shrine in Villa Ballester a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina! The Diocesan Bishop, Monsignor Guillermo Rodriguez Melaredjo, from San Martin; Monsignor Jorge Casaretto, Bishop of San Isidro and National President of Caritas; Mr. Pedro Fadui, member of the Schoenstatt Family Work in Asuncion, Paraguay and the current President of the Beloved Nation Party, Father Horacio Sosa Carbo, Schoenstatt Father, as well as several priests from the Diocese will participate. An encounter of Catholic newsmen will be held simultaneously with World Youth Day. Monsignor Mario Maulion, Archbishop of Parana and President of the Commission of Social Communication will attend. 800 to 1,000 youth from the diocese are expected to attend. The title of this journey is: "A day that is different from all others, so that none will ever be the same as another".

The Schoenstatt Youth from Villa Ballester is organizing this great encounter with enthusiasm and creativity, in adherence to the World Youth Day that will take place in Cologne. "This 20th of August, the Diocese of San Martin will congregate to unite itself to World Youth Day. We invite you to participate! All movements, parishes and schools are invited. The program will include: musical groups, expositions of several personalities, Holy Mass and many activities, in order to get to know each other and for the youth from San Martin to become a different kind of youth! This is how the youth were invited to the encounter via a web page. "We want to unite ourselves to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. We want to echo the challenges that face us today and to unite ourselves so that each one of us can be an instrument for change. The Schoenstatt Movement places its shrine at our disposal, to carry out the activities. The objective of the journey is to offer each young person of our diocese many tools which will help them to grow and to learn as a unique individual. In addition to sing alongs, there will be time for relaxation and for conversation, personalities who will offer their experiences and reflections about different aspects of life will also attend. We do not want to repeat old messages or those that are already known; rather, we, as a group, seek new answers to the challenges of today.

It all started with the desire to open the door of the Shrine

It started as something very simple. This year, the Shrine of Villa Ballester will celebrate its Silver Jubilee on September 18th. For this reason, this year has become a time for the Blessed Mother to give her children gifts and for the children to give her gifts…Each month the different branches and associations, have organized different activities so the door of the Shrine will be wide open for everyone in the Diocese of San Martin. So that everyone in San Martin will know the Shrine.

The Girls’ and Boys’ Youth are in charge during the month of August…and they came up with the idea to open the Shrine for one day for the youth like them, so that they can discover the high ideals, and the strength of love that transforms everything in the Shrine…That is how the desire to declare it a "Day for the Youth" evolved. It all started as something very simple: to do something among themselves. Then they thought about inviting some schools or parishes close to the Shrine. Then without really thinking they sent it to the Diocesan Youth Pastoral that offered them all their support to carry it out. Those in charge, Pedro and Lucas Klobovs and Sister M. Rosana, along with all the Girls’ and Boys’ Youth, took the initiative, and suddenly what began as something "close to home" grew and strengthened, and when they set the date for this event, they discovered that the 20th of August was the day of the Prayer Vigil with the Holy Father, Benedict XVI and the youth from all the world in Cologne. "What other sign from heaven could we hope for?’ It was evident that our Mother and Queen wanted to celebrate her presence of 25 years in the Shrine with the youth, on a special and important day, the 20th of August. Cologne and Villa Ballester, united with an indestructible bond of youth who get together to say: We have come to adore Him! said one of the organizers. That is how the Encounter of the Youth in adherence with World Youth Day emerged.

Is change possible?

"Is change possible? is the theme of the encounter; a personal change, yes, but they want to reflect on no less than the possibility of changing the world…Monsignor Jorge Casaretto, Bishop of San Isidro, President of Caritas, will offer his expertise in social action and will present what the Church is trying to do to answer that question "what can we do to build a society of solidarity?" Pedro Fadul, a presidential candidate of the Republic of Paraguay, practicing Catholic, an active and committed member of the Family Branch of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement, will speak about the experience of trying to have a government with real democratic practices, with honesty and with a message that is totally truthful. They want the youth to believe that change is possible and to answer the question: "can we form a worthy leadership that is dignifying?" Father Horacio Sosa Carbo, Schoenstatt Father, doctor of theology, will help them better understand the challenges with great clarity and enthusiasm; so that they will be able to confront the fears and to dare to face the most adverse times. The main points of his reflections will be: "what are the challenges we face today? Is change possible?"

The youth who are preparing the encounter, say : Yes.

Translation: Celina M Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA

For more information:

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This event had been declared of interest to the city, Decree No. 1172/05

A brief historic annotation:

Villa Ballester, (in the district of San Martin, on the northeast border of the capital) was the place chosen by Providence for the first Sisters of Mary to settle, who brought the Schoenstatt message to Argentina, in November of 1935.

The first groups of the Movement in Argentina began in the house where they lived and Father Kentenich also lived there during his many visits to the country. He wrote a great part of the 31st of May document in this place.

The community of Villa Ballester collaborated decisively with the Capital of Grace for the National Shrine in Florencio Varela (blessed by Father Kentenich in 1952), with the Shrine in Buenos Aires (Belgrano, 1963) and with the Shrine of La Plata (1965).

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