Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Sparks of Inspiration and Courage

Time in the Founder Chapel for Each Country - A Small RTA Crown for Each Girl

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Girls from the USA provided songs and music
Messgestaltung: Mädchenjugend aus USA
Nach der Messe versammeln sich alle auf dem Kirchplatz, wo das "Feuer des Heiligen Geistes" brennt
After the Holy Mass, all were invited to the "Fire of the Holy Spirit"

Begegnung und Gebet - rund ums Feuer
Encounter and prayer around the fire

Nach dem Heilig-Geist-Tanz entzündeten die Mädchen aus Texas Kerzen am Feuer und gaben das Licht weiter
After the Holy Spirit Dance, the girls from Texas lit candles by the fire, passing on the light to others

In dieser Nacht haben die verschiedenen Länder Begegnungszeiten in der Gründerkapelle
The different countries had time in the Founder Chapel

An diesem Abend erhält jede Teilnehmerin eine kleine RTA-Krone, mit der sie persönlich die Krönung der Gottesmutter am nächsten Tag mitvollziehen kann. Die Schönstatt-Mädchenjugend auch Mexico hat die Herstellung dieser Krönchen ermöglicht.
Each participant recieved a miniature replica RTA crown - to personally crown the Blessed Mother on the following day. The Mexican Schoenstatt Girls' Youth brought the 1,000 small RTA crowns

(mkf) The day of encounters with Father Kentenich closed with a Holy Mass in the Adoration Church followed by a Fire Celebration, and a night in the Founder Chapel with participants from the various countries taking turns to be at the place where thousands experience the lasting presence of Father Kentenich. As a special surprise and gift, each girl there received a small RTA crown.

Girls from the United States provided the songs and music for the Holy Mass in the Adoration Church at 8:00 PM. Fr. Biberger, Germany, was the main celebrant. As usual, the church was crammed with young people and some fence-riders from other Schoenstatt communities.

In his sermon, Father Tilmann Beller summarized the talk that had been planned for the morning. He said: "I want to speak about our Father and Founder. We know that he is a great person, whose words reach 30 or so countries in the world. But I want to speak about something different now. I want to speak about the fact that his words reach persons deep in their hearts. I know people who do not only say: 'the great Father Kentenich', who do not only say 'the great founder of the Schoenstatt movement', who neither only say: 'our Father and Founder', but who say something different. "

They say: "My Father"

"The prerequisite is: a personal experience. The prerequisite is - to have been touched by his words, so that something lives in them, that comes from him. And now things become very interesting. What is in myself, from him, only exists in me and for me, not in and for others. This relationship between him and myself is unique, it exists only once. And that is what I want to talk about."The older’ generation was faithful, they suffered and sacrificed for our founder. With us, with this generation, it is different. What we see from our Father, exists only for us personally. That's why we can say: "MY Father." In the good old times, we called that: Personal Ideal. The Eternal God speaks to me through Father Kentenich. He is my father. We could experiment with that - each taking a sheet of paper and writing down: "What do I owe to Father Kentenich?" What we get will be a thousand stories. We could take another sheet and write down: "What is his mission?", and 1,000 hearts would give a 1,000 responses, and each one would be different. Each one here therefore says: "He is my father." That's what he wanted. He wanted a 'new person', an original person, a person who is well aware of his or her uniqueness. Maybe we can say: Schoenstatt is entering into a new era of its history with this generation."

"Of course, that happened before, and we knew that always, but yet it is slightly different now. Each one of us says: "He is my father." I guess, then we know 20,000 or so aspects of Father Kentenich. So what? We read his texts, and at some time we may sense: "Now he is speaking to me." I may believe that he is speaking to me. He is heaven, and he is not asleep there. He is not asleep when I read his texts. He says: "This is what I say to you." You feel that. You feel his spirit. You feel the Holy Spirit. When we read what he says, that's comfort. Of course, that was always possible. You always read texts according to the subjective perspective of interest, also when you read a newspaper. But when we read our Father and we are attracted by something we read, then we may be sure that he speaking to us from heaven. Shouldn't we collect these words?"

Words that Touch the Heart

What do we do with these words? Two ideas: The first: A different 'Father Telephone' - not the usual one, but one that starts with empty pages. We write down those phrases, that touched our heart, only those words. This is our personal Father telephone then, and whenever we pick a phrase he speaks to us. A second idea: Someone writes his or her 'Father Book' by studying

Father Kentenich's texts. Whenever a text touches her or his heart, it is written down in the book. Someone gave this Father Book to me. I want to show it to you, but I did not read it, because it contains the very personal talk between our father and a living person, and that is to be kept as a secret. You know, there are two choices: the 20,000 or so 'pages' that are shared, and the very personal pages, the pages titled: HE IS MY FATHER."

Fire Celebration

The girls from Texas, USA, invited all to the fire outside, where the letters written to Father Kentenich were burnt: "We gather with a new mission to spread the message of Father Kentenich's love in this, the new millennium." In a simple but meaningful prayer service, the girls asked the Holy Spirit to come down and be present among them, lighting the way and guiding them in their mission. The girls from Texas performed a Holy Spirit Dance by the fire, each one dressed in precious white robes.

"One of our mothers sewed them, " one girl shared, "and some curtains and wedding dresses were 'sacrificed' for these robes." At the end of the dance, each girl took a long taper candle to take light from the fire to light the candles of the girls surrounding the fire. The girls passed on the light to each other, praying: "Let us carry these new sparks of inspiration and courage with us throughout our lives. For we are the youth of the church in this, the new millennium." With the Covenant Prayer - "My Queen, my mother" – simultaneously prayed by each one in her own language, the celebration closed.

Encounters in the Founder Chapel

The girls from Paraguay were the first group to go to the Founder Chapel. A picture of Father Kentenich stood on the sarcophagus, and next to it, little boxes with s surprise gift for each girl: a miniature replica of the RTA crown. During this night, each girl got such a crown as a gift from Father Kentenich. For many girls, the time in the Founder Chapel was a personal highlight - no matter whether this time was at midnight or early in the morning. National flags, banners, crowns were brought. Groups from several countries had covenant renewals in their time. The small RTA crown led the way to the following day, the day of the living crown and the crowning, which was to become a very personal experience for each girl. "For many girls, this was the first personal encounter with Father Kentenich," shared one leader. "Some had hardly ever heard of him before. But all the girls from my group are touched by the experiences of this day. I can't explain that. I guess it is the moment of grace."

English edition: Marlene Peter, Harare, Zimbawe

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