On 19 July, we gather to celebrate the anniversary of our Covenant of Love with the MTA and with God! Many of you do not know us, but know that we know who you are and we constantly pray for you.
Who are we? We are the group “Apostles of Mary’s Boat” from Caieiras/São Paulo. We have been in existence for twenty years, twelve of them with the Covenant of Love and we have actively belonged to the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth for many years.
What can be expected of an encounter with a group that has left JUMAS? Is it possible to be JUMAS after such a long time? Our group experience confirms that it is possible, so we decided to share a little of our history, above all with the boys of JUMAS Brazil, “because a people without memory is a people without history” (Emilia Viotti da Costa, Brazilian historian and professor).
It all began on October7, 1995 in Caieiras/SP
It all began almost twenty years ago on October7, 1995, when we met for the first time, as Schoenstatt Pioneers. At that time we conquered the t-shirt, the flag, the handkerchief and the ring. We actively participated in the first National Meeting and the first National Forum and many other memorable times of JUMAS Brazil. We remember the exact day that we encountered the history of the group of the first Boys’ Youth from Brazil, of the paten, the “Godincidence” of JUMAS 50th anniversary, the “good fortune” of finding the Heroic Pilgrim MTA, our participation in making the chalice among so many other things. Those years were marked by the stages as Pioneers, Allies, and University students. During our time it was not as well structured as it is now.
Our Covenant of Love
On July, 26, 2003, exactly twelve years ago, we sealed our Covenant of Love in the Sión Shrine in Jaraguá/SP and the initial phrase of this celebration was: “”No, it is not the end! It is only the beginning of a new era” and the response was to the “the new road” we decided to take the next step on February 26, 2006, by sealing our Fraternal Covenant. In this Covenant, we decided to mutually support one another as responsible brothers on the road to holiness, for the rest of our lives. We celebrated a Mass in the Sión Shrine in Jaraguá again, where we shared our personal ideal with the Eucharist and since that day we renew this Fraternal Covenant with each other at every Eucharist with the words that summarize the cross of the 31st of May: “’one in the other, with the other for the other…” so that we will be apostles in Christ in Mary’s Boat, a “joyful” sign of God’s presence.”
The Fraternal Covenant
The Fraternal Covenant was the way that we found to remain united spiritually through Christ, because at that time we did not have time to meet every week like before. We had to reinvent our way of being JUMAS departing from our life (voice of being). Of the seven group members, four are married and belong to the Family League, another is engaged, four are already parents, some no longer live in Caieiras and we are all professionals, be it in engineering, law, foreign trade, communications, information technology, or self-employed.
In the measure of our different activities we use Facebook and Whatsapp to remain in touch and in this way, we know a little about the life of the others and we continue with our resolutions; but we feel the need to meet physically, face to face, to share our joys, crosses and above all for mutual support so that “United by Mary, Fire of Christ Tabor” our group ideals: “Apostles of Mary’s Boat, “joyful” sign of God’s presence” will become a reality. Our Fraternal Covenant demands this of us.
The way that we found to ensure that our attachments really exist, is to meet at least once a year and the best date for this meeting is the anniversary of our Covenant of Love! We have met like this for the last eleven years. On July 19 we held our annual meeting in the future Schoenstatt Shrine of Caieiras.
We meet to look forward
And why are we just sharing our history now? Because this year we had a very special experience! Frequently, the Boys’ Youth remains a nostalgia or yearning where the so-called “dinosaurs” or the “JUMAS grandfathers” meet more to remember the “good times that are forever gone.” In contrast, we meet to look at the future!
During the year, each one takes his oar and personally rows trying to make God present through joy in their work, in their family and to be different in the midst of society. That is why it is important to know that we are rowing together, and that the boat is going to the depths that our Queen wants to take it. In this way, each one concretely listens to each one relate their personal “mystery” and we pray a mystery for every group brother. In this way, we mutually pray our “Rosary of the Seven Mysteries” and we will continue to contribute to attain a future Schoenstatt Shrine in Caieiras, especially with the conquest of the Bell Tower, which was our gift to the Shrine of Caieiras in 2014. It was a morning of much sharing and brotherhood
Then we reviewed our accomplishments of the past year, which was to pray three rosaries a week to spiritually conquer the bell. Our count ends in August, but as of June, we had already prayed 51,379 Hail Marys.
The New Man
We also had a time to project and to share the things that concern us. Among them, is our concern about the image of the man of today, and above all of the values that we promote with our attitudes and that the new man should personify in what we think, feel and love and this should be congruent with the way we behave in the world (also what is published, preferences and actions on social networks). We are particularly worried about the relativism of the current values and we see the need for a critical perspective on what we read and above all of what we publish. We agreed to center on Father Alexandre Awi’s text, “Jumas is Church – Pay attention to posts on social networks”. Of no less importance it speaks to us of the importance of mental and physical health and the importance of personal prayer and of family life.
We also made time to share a good lunch and for recreation before singing in the Mass at St. Anthony’s Church in Caieiras. For many years, our group has sung once a month at St. Anthony’s and this has been the continuation of the ministry, a way of giving our MTA and God our joy through the music in the liturgy. We meet once a month without fail to row together and to offer something concrete as a Church group.
We still have not defined our achievement for the coming year because we talk too much, and as usual, one day is not enough! Moreover, since the conquest of the bell ends in August, we went along with the commitment to define this as the achievement. This was a little of our history…
“One in the other, one with the other, and one for the other”
So dear JUMAS, know that even though we are far away, we are united in one ideal, and we are proud of the “younger brothers” and we continue “One in the other, one with the other and one for the other”. We were happy to pass the “Olympic” torch of Christ Tabor’s fire with the certainty that you will continue the mission. Through our bond, you take us on every kilometer traveled on Fackellauf, every meeting, every task, every forum, every rosary prayed for the representatives and senators. In some way, you represent us!
We hope that this news will reach all of JUMAS Brazil, as an example of the unity of the group and that more than uniting as a branch “being JUMAS” is a vocation and the high ideals can be cultivated over the course of a lifetime: JUMAS Mariae Nunquam Peribit [Mary’s JUMAS Will Never Perish]! We invite everyone including the “dinosaurs” and the “grandfathers of the Boys’ Youth”, to celebrate, in the Shrine, and to renew their Covenant of Love with the many boys of the Brazilian Boys’ Youth of the last 60 years.
We conclude our letter with the image of our “little boy” Fr. Franz (1914-2004) upon entering the meeting hall of the first National JUMAS Reunion in 2003 with a wide smile and his walking stick held high. After his surprise appearance, he offered these words: “With my ninety-something years, I am already an old war horse, but like every good war horse when I see the young horses that gallop to battle, my heart accelerates and I feel part of the cavalry!”
May the fire of Christ Tabor never be extinguished!
Apostles of Mary’s Boat.
Original: Portuguese. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, South Africa