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 published: 2009-05-05

Schoenstatt Pioneer, take up your sword and open the way!

On April 24th & 25th the Boys Youth from the Valley of Colchagua, Chile, began the year with a successful conference at the Shrine


Einstiegs-Treffen 2009 der SMJ in San Fernando, Chile

Jornada Inicial de la Rama de Pioneros en San Fernando, Chile

Opening Retreat of the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth in San Fernando, Chile

Einstiegs-Treffen 2009 der SMJ in San Fernando, Chile


Eröffnungsmesse, zelebriert von P. Raimundo Costa

Misa inicial de la jornada, celebrada por el Padre Raimundo Costa.

Opening Mass of the retreat, celebrated by Fr. Raimundo Costa

Eröffnungsmesse, zelebriert von P. Raimundo Costa

Vor dem Schlafengehen ist man noch beim Lagerfeuer zusammen  

Fogata y cantata a la frente a la Ermita de la MTA antes de dormir.

Bonfire and songs...

Vor dem Schlafengehen ist man noch beim Lagerfeuer zusammen

Vorstellung der “Neuen”  

“Los nuevos Pioneros se presentaron a la Rama”.

Presentation of the “newbies”

Vorstellung der “Neuen”

Der Leiter der SMJ, Matías Soffia, stellt das Jahresprojekt 2009 vor  

El Jefe de Rama, Mat ías Soffia, presenta el Proyecto Anual 2009.

The branch leader, Matías Soffia, presenting the Years Project

Der Leiter der SMJ, Matías Soffia, stellt das Jahresprojekt 2009 vor

Das Heiligtum “Marias Rosen” in San Fernando  

Santuario Las Rosas de María, de San Fernando

The Shrine “Roses of Mary” in San Ferndando

Das Heiligtum “Marias Rosen” in San Fernando

Pater Kentenich in Santa Cruz, 20. Oktober 1948

P. Kentenich el 20 de octubre de 1948 en Santa Cruz.

Fr. Kentenich in Santa Cruz, October 20, 1948

Pater Kentenich in Santa Cruz, 20. Oktober 1948

Fotos: Mauricio E. Donoso © 2009




CHILE, Mauricio E. Donoso. The Initial Pioneers’ Branch Conference 2009 was held in the San Fernando province city of Colchaguina 140 kms. (or about 87 mi.) South of Santiago at the Roses of Mary Shrine with well attended participation.

Everything took place in the atmosphere of our Huasa area of Chile: arrival was on Friday night, there was a talk about the summer camp (CANAPI), Mass at 11:00 p.m. and then we sang around the bonfire before retiring for the night. It was a camping out like atmosphere.

"We tried to follow an outline similar to a camp: we departed at night, then there were talks, we slept in the Shrine in sleeping bags, and we began very early on the following day," said Pedro Gutiérrez, the Pioneers Assistant Leader from San Fernando.

The most important things first: What is Schoenstatt? Who is Father Kentenich? What does it mean to be a Schoenstatt Pioneer?

Father Raimundo Costa, from the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers and Branch adviser for three years, celebrated Mass. The Pioneers have developed a very special bond with him, and he keeps close and excellent communication with us in spite of the distance, which only allows us to see him once a month since he lives with his community in Santiago.

"In the life groups, we work on our own subjects every week, but at the conference a collective subject is used. Father Raimundo Costa has been our adviser for more than three years, and he is a fundamental pillar of the development of the branch within the sphere of work as well as in the spirituality of the Pioneers," adds Pedro Gutiérrez.

Initial Journey 2009 was marked by subjects of formation for the new members, since at this time; many youth between the ages of thirteen and fourteen are joining a Movement activity for the first time, and the topics for the conference were directly mainly for them.

Pillars of the formation workshops include topics such as: What is Schoenstatt? Who is Father Kentenich? What does it mean to be a Schoenstatt pioneer? The Pioneers and former members of the Pioneers Branch from the city and who are now at the University in Santiago prepare them, but they continue to support their younger branch brothers. This time the college students from the Shrines of Campanario (The Counts) and the Cenacle of Bellavista (La Florida) contributed as much as possible to make this conference a conference that was truly in the Marian, Schoenstatt style, by contributing with their characteristic university trait in their Colchaguina region.

In the Shrine of Roses of Mary

Each conference that is held in the Roses of Mary Shrine in San Fernando has a main theme that is developed during the course of the conference. Projects and resulutuions to be put into practice during the year in the secondary Boys’ Group Branch - the Pioneers - are presented, leading to a wrap-up of the topic that was addressed. Then they finish with a Mass to which all the Schoenstatt Family of San Fernando is invited. The conference is a time of unity for the Pioneers, for getting together: to converse, to laugh, to learn and to grow as a branch; it is time to strengthen us, to gain strength.

This is the first conference of the year. Moreover, it was also the first one to have youth from the city of Santa Cruz, located about 40 kilometers (or about 25 mi.) from San Fernando. It is a city where our Father and Founder left us a great mission sixty years ago on October 20, 1948: "Colchagua has to become a holy Marian land; rather, all of Chile has to become a Marian Schoenstatter. And this stream of self-education should depart from this corner" These are words that the Families of Rancagua, San Fernando, Curicó, and Linares have taken very seriously as a call from Father Kentenich. As a result, they have even become the living mission of the Shrine of Rancagua - constructed first in this area after the Shrine in Santa Cruz, sadly abandoned by the Schoenstatt Family, collapsed during an earthquake. The Shrine in Rancagua will celebrate its 20th Anniversary on May 28th, called "The Father’s Son" for a "Marian Holy Land."

To carry out Father Kentenich’s dream for Colchagua…

In conclusion, the Leader of the Pioneers Branch of Rancagua, Esteban Toro, visited us and after a brief introduction on the history of the Santa Cruz Shrine prepared by a university student from Bellavista- he presented a talk on the last topic: how to put Father Kentenich’s words proclaimed in Santa Cruz into practice, within the Branch, in life, and the meaning it has especially for the Pioneers of Chile, whose national motto is + Our Battle, Mary Queen of Chile+ the product of CANAPI 2009 (National Pioneers’ Camp).

Translation: Celina Garza, San Antonio, USA/amj



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