Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Welcome! The time has come at last!

Opening of the International Meeting of the Girls' Youth in Schoenstatt

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Jubelrufe, Singen, Sprechchöre und ein Meer von Fahnen und Fähnchen
Cheers and songs resounding in the auditorium and a sea of big and small flags
Chaos - Begegnung - Maria: tänzerische Darstellung
Chaos - Encounter - Mary: meditative dance
Leute kennenlernen durch Luftballonwerfen
Finding friends by tossing little globes
Eröffnungsabend - tolle Stimmung von Anfang an
Opening of the International Meeting - a sea of flags

Big globes were tossed onto the stage
Große Erdbälle wurden auf die Bühne gerollt

(mkf) Cheers and songs resounding in the auditorium already before the program officially started; a sea of big and small flags – USA, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay ... –, singing and laughter: From the very beginning, the International Meeting of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth was marked by internationality, bliss, and a strong natural-supernatural atmosphere of joy and profoundness. A procession of national flags, video clips and slide shows about the countries present, songs and sharing, a moment of intensive religious atmosphere, a meditative dance and evening reflection were the elements of the program.

Susanne Leibrecht, speaker of the German Girls' Youth, welcomed everybody: Finally! Welcome! The time has come at last! The International Meeting of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth begins! Big globes were tossed to the stage, trumpets sounded, cheers!

A representative of each country – many of them wearing colorful traditional dresses – carried a national flag in the flag procession; each country's name was said, echoed by cheers and applause. "We are such a small group from Australia, only three," said Serena. "It was so special when the English, Scottish, and Irish girls joined us in cheering 'Australia'!"

The motto of the International Meeting was sung in four languages - "Let us walk like you through life, let us mirror you forever ... After a short practice, everybody joined in singing this song.

Susanne Leibrecht and Hanna Riebesehl led through the evening, in German and Spanish. Simultaneous translation was provided, everybody had earphones and a receiver.

A short video clip or slide presentation about each country followed, with a short break for songs and candy! Globes, pencils and slips of paper were distributed, and everyone was invited to write down her name, lodging, and a wish, put the paper into the globe, and then toss it – after some minutes, all globes had 'died' and each one found a (yet) unknown friend. "Where are the girls from Hungary?" – "Do you understand Spanish, this is written in Spanish ..." – "How do I find the girls from Nazareth?"

A Significant Symbol - the RTA Crown

It was a special moment, when amidst all these expressions of joy the actual objective of this evening and the whole meeting was highlighted. Susanne turned to the Father Statue on the stage, addressing Father Kentenich and inviting him to be with all of the 850 or so girls present for the meeting. "We would have liked to place the RTA crown into your hands, but divine Providence had other plans. The RTA crown was stolen, and we felt urged to be our Queen's living crown." As a sign for what is the focus of the meeting, she placed a small replica crown in the hands of the Statue of Father Kentenich – one of those that each girl will receive in the Founder Chapel when the countries take turns to have a private time there in the night before the crowning.

Girls from German dioceses performed a meditative dance: Chaos – Encounter – Mary. Without any words, but strongly underlined by typical music, the dance showed the chaos of times and the void that is not filled by magazines, music, hectic activity. The encounter with Mary touches the persons, who begin to be like her, and move the world. This impressive performance – the girls had practiced one day – will also be a part of the program on World Youth Day in Rome.

The official closed with an evening reflection and the blessing given by Father Beller, leader of the German Schoenstatt Movement, and of the German Girls' Youth, and Father Raoul, leader of the Girls' Youth in Chile.

Spontaneously, groups walked ahead to the stage, took pictures by the Father Statue, sang patriotic and Schoenstatt songs ... and continued to party on the place before the church!

More Fotos from the Opening: Fortsetzung



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