(mkf) Jubilee Joy was the subject of this years US Military Women's Weekend in Missionshaus, Schoenstatt, January 28 - January 30, 2000. Women from Ramstein Airforce Base and from Vilseck Army Base joined this weekend retreat in Schoenstatt - Missionshaus.
The retreat had been advertised by radio at the Ramstein base as well as by word of mouth. A woman who came to Schoenstatt for the first time, was excited to know more: "If you have anything international going on, I would be interested in joining. I just love how international Schoenstatt is!" Some of the women had been in Schoenstatt more often, so explained about Schoenstatt to the others.
The theme was Jubilee Joy. The women were given a short explanation of the Jubilee and found the bible verses in Leviticus where a jubilee is called forth. Then they each chose a picture with a word describing Jubilee and gave an explanation of what it meant to them. One retreatant shared: "I received the picture with the words witness. I guess that is where I am at in the journey of my faith. I need to find a niche for where I can give witness to my love for Christ."
Is Joy Contagious?
In the afternoon was time for reconciliation and for Holy Mass or other acitvities. One woman shared: "This is the first retreat I have ever been on. I felt so welcome. I even slept four hours on Saturday afternoon so I guess I was really tired and needed a rest." The evening theme was on "Is Joy Contagious?" The women were encouraged to find qualities from a bible verse such as "Jesus healing the Widows Son" - and then to show these qualities in a house design. The story of a young man who was considering converting to the catholic faith was shared: he wanted an address of a family where he could knock on the door of their house and find Christian life being lived and shared.
The crown of this evening was when one of the women brought her magic tricks along. They fit to the theme of Christian Joy and there was much joy and laughter shared.
Longing for the Covenant of Love
One retreatant said: "I was having some difficulty with my family. This retreat has given me some new perspectives." A woman who had come from Vilseck, Bavaria, added:
"I drove 5 hours to come to this retreat. I need joy in my life right now so I liked the theme. I hope to come back again."
The next day, the women were invited to join the 9am Holy Mass in German in the Adoration Church since some of them like the solemn Mass very much. Afterwards there was a trip to the Original Shrine and explanation about the founding of Schoenstatt. This led to a good discussion about Schoenstatt. One woman said:
"I would like to make my covenant of love. I have come more often to Schoenstatt and now feel I would like to make this step."