We find Traces of You Everywhere
Encounter with Father Kentenich in Words, Pictures, Testimonies, and Personal Encounters
(mkf) The first full day of the International Youth Meeting was allotted to finding traces of Father Kentenich – the Father and Founder of the International Schoenstatt Movement, a person who died when the vast majority of the participants was not yet born. The inspiration to find traces of Father Kentenich was offered in words, pictures, videos, and testimonies in the morning, and in individual ways of finding out about Father Kentenich in the afternoon.
Girls from Paraguay opened the morning program with morning meditation and a scenic play, which was followed by a video presentation prepared by German girls from the Münster diocese. Features of Father Kentenich's personality were presented with testimonies from persons who had experienced him as a person who remembered those he once had met, who listened, who cared, who believed in persons. After a dialogue on the stage summarized best in the opening remark: "Too bad I was born too late to meet him!" A second part highlighted the experience that he is still alive for those who long to understand him and carry his mission into the new millennium.
To Me – A Father, A Prophet, The First Who Lived Schoenstatt, A Close Advisor
Who is Father Kentenich to me? Four young women – Erika Alcala from Mexico, María Eugenia from Argentina, Elisabete Cardoso from Protugal, and Maria Oliveras from USA shared their different experiences in getting to know Father Kentenich and finding out who he is for them on their walk towards a growth in faith and love.
For Erika Alcala, Mexico, who lost her own father when very young, he is a father – and she described her journey to feel close to him like her "adoptive father" in a very lively and spontaneous way, radiating the joy she found in this ever growing relationship: "He is responsible for me like a father, who cares for his children so that they have what they need. Some things were and are hard. I try to place into his hands everything that is difficult, that hurts, that is unpleasant, the doubts, but also the joys. You have to try again and again, until you are sure that everything lies in his hands. Then you find out for certain that he takes care of everything." Together with a friend from Mexico, Erika sang a song for her father.
Maria Eugenia, Argentina, a 23-year-old student, shared about her covenant with Father Kentenich and the fascination of his personality: "While I was preparing for my covenant with Fr. Kentenich, I became more and more fascinated, and excited with Father Kentenich's personality: I discovered an educator, a prophet, a fighter for the Blessed Mother; someone who was fully aware of his smallness as an instrument and yet became the man of a great mission who was not afraid because he was convinced of Mary's victory. This deepened my love to Fr. Kentenich ..."
Elisabete Cordoso from Portugal sees Father Kentenich as the first one " who lived Schoenstatt and proved that its ideals are not utopian dreams, but that they are a reality." Maria Oliveras from New York, USA, a 24-year-old teaching assistant, first learned about Schoenstatt and Fr. Kentenich when she was thirteen and was taken to a pilgrimage to Schoenstatt by her mother. She was not too impressed, then, but: "I never forgot Dachau." Later the concept of every day sanctity fascinated her, and for her, Father Kentenich is now "a close advisor who has never failed to intercede for me and to be a role model of peace in the face of chaos. In particular, I have experienced Father Kentenich's fatherliness by my regular visits to the Father Room in the Candelaria Shrine in Staten Island. Each time I enter this room, I ask Father Kentenich to send me home with an inspiration or I present him with a particular worry. Then, I open to a page of a book that contains transcripts of talks he gave to couples in Wisconsin. Even when a talk seems not to have anything to do with my question, I always manage to learn something new. Father Kentenich's life has shown me that it is possible in the modern world to be a good Christian in a practical way."
His Vision Lives On
Standing ovations at the end of the presentations made clear that the audience had understood the message these young women had given.
As time was running our, Father Beller's talk had to be cancelled on this morning; a video presentation titled "His Vision Lives On" challenged each one to see how, in the demands of every day life, she can be a person who carries Father Kentenich's mission into her world and thus into the 3rd millennium - as a living crown. Girls from each language group walked ahead and presented the summary of this morning in German, English, Spanish, and Portuguese: You are my living crown!
In the afternoon, several alternatives for personal discoveries regarding Father Kentenich, his mission and personality, were well used by the girls. They met him in words, pictures and things he used, in the Father Kentenich House. They watched a video on the late Maria Rebbe sharing about the last meeting of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth with Father Kentenich and her personal insight on the day of his death: "I no longer need to make an appointment."
Father Angel Strada and Sr. M. Petra talked about their encounters and experiences with Father Kentenich. The Founder Chapel was the place for silent, personal encounters, where the girls wrote letters to Father Kentenich. They were invited to sit on the bench in the garden of the Schulungsheim, which Fr. Kentenich sat on often, of join in singing songs from different countries.
The highlight of the afternoon was the opportunity of visiting his apartment where he lived 1965 -1968, and giving him their personal Yes to be the RTA's living CROWN.
English edition: Marlene Peter, Harare, Zimbabwe
Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.08.2000 15:10 Mail: Redaktion / Webmaster
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