My Queen, My Mother: Understanding Gender in the Catholic Schoenstatt Marian Movement
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The Roman Catholic Church has a long history promoting traditional gender roles and values through its patriarchal structure. However, the Catholic Church also has a strong tradition of being highly devoted to the Virgin Mary and creating a central feminine icon within that structure. The Schoenstatt movement is a new lay ecclesial movement within the Church that emphasizes Marian devotion. This study explores how men and women within the Schoenstatt movement relate to the Virgin Mary, construct and maintain their gendered identities within the Schoenstatt movement as well as understanding how gender impacts the structure and organization of the Schoenstatt movement. While both men and women thought of Mary as a spiritual mother, only the women viewed her specifically as a woman. As a whole, the men rejected society's view of masculinity and adopted a more sensitive and emotionally open masculinity. However, the women adopted an emphasized femininity which maintained the patriarchal structure of the movement. This patriarchal structure was most evident in the lack of religious resources available to the women of the Schoenstatt community.