Posted On 2017-05-22 In Church - Francis - Movements

“From Krakow to Panama: the Synod journeying with the young ” – Letter to Youth and Directors

VATICAN, Fr. Alexandre Awi, ISch, Brazilian Boys’ Youth Director, via

Dear young people and Schoenstatt Youth leaders!

“From Krakow to Panama: The Synod journeying with the young”

This was the motto for the meeting that brought together 350 participants from 102 countries on 5-9 April in Rome. Each ecclesial movement (more than 40 were present) and each Bishops’ Conference sent two representatives, a young person and an adult. Lucia Reinsperger from the Austrian Schoenstatt Girls’ Youth and myself, Fr. Alexandre Awi, the director of the Boys Youth in Brazil (JUMAS), represented the Schoenstatt Movement. Lucas Galhardo from JUMAS also attended as the youth representative of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops. It was a wonderful experience of the Church’s diversity and wealth.

What was the meeting about?

We assessed the World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, posed questions and made suggestions for WYD Panama in 2019. We also worked intensively with the preparatory document for the next Synod of Bishops on the Youth, which will take place in October 2018, by suggesting discussion points for the Synod.

Why this letter?

So that Schoenstatt can be part of the Synod. We want to encourage you now to PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE SYNOD. This is a very direct request from the Holy Father. Pope Francis wants all the youth, even those who are distant from the Church, those who belong to other religions, and atheists, to participate in the preparations for the Synod.

How to participate? In two ways:

  1. A SURVEY will soon be available on the Internet. All our young people and their friends can participate. Watch this space and spread the word!
  2. At the end of the “Preparatory Document,” which is available on the Internet, there is a QUESTIONNAIRE that we need to answer. You can participate at diocesan level (some dioceses and countries have already done it) and/or send our Movement’s answers directly to the Bishops’ Conference. You can also send the answers directly to the Synod Secretariat. Click here.

It is important that the LEADERS (diocesan and national) and YOUTH (at diocesan and national level) in each country decide how they can participate in this special moment in the universal Church, because there has never been a Synod deal with the youth! This is the time of youth and the Schoenstatt youth must be present!

What about WYD in Panama?

WYD will take place on 22-27 January 2019. Our intention is to hold Boys Youth and Girls Youth programs in the days preceding WYD in Costa Rica, at the first Schoenstatt Shrine in Central America, which was recently inaugurated. Each country can already begin to organize themselves to participate. Registrations for WYD will be available by the end of the year on the official WYD website:

Is there more? Yes. Pope Francis decided that the preparation for WYD will be MARIAN and this invites and commits us as a movement. The themes for the WYDs from 2017 to 2019 are inspired on the Blessed Mother’s words: “The Mighty One has done great things for me, holy is his name” (2017), “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God” (2018); “I am the servant of the Lord, may it be done according to your word” (2019). The Pope’s message is here.

We remain in contact, united in the Covenant of Love, towards the Youth Synod and WYD in Panama.


Fr. Alexandre Awi, ISch

Assessor JM Brasil



Original: Portuguese. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa

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