Schönstatt - Begegnungen

To Be Mary For Kenya

Schoenstatt Girls' Youth and Schoenstatt Professional Women Meeting in Gatanga

Participants of the first Women's League's meeting in Gatanga
Teilnehmerinnen der ersten Tagung der Berufstätigen Frauen in Gatanga
"Mary for Kenya" - Schoenstatt Girls' Youth's meeting in Gatanga
"Maria für Kenia" - Treffen der Schönstatt-Mädchenjugend in Gatanga
Fotos: Schoenstatt, Kenya © 2001

(mkf) At the end of November 2000, 52 girls and young women, ages 15 -25 years, met in Gatanga, Kenya, for the second Girls' Youth Workshop with Sr. M. Iona, South Africa, and Sr. M. Lisette, Burundi. The weekend before, the first workshop for Professional Women took place.

Approximately 10 professional women from different places in Kenya joined in the workshop held November 24 -26 in Gatanga. In 1995, two-thirds of the members of the Women's League in Kenya (two women) participated in the International Meeting of the Women's League in Schoenstatt. Since then, the group worked for the growth of their branch in Kenya.

Starting on November 26, the girls' workshop was held, with 52 participants ages 15 - 25, many of whom came to a Schoenstatt meeting for the first time. The Schoenstatt Girls' Youth in Gatanga began in 1998, when a student from Chile who volunteered as a teacher there shared about Schoenstatt and brought a number of MTA pictures to that school. The theme of the meeting was a promise and a challenge to each one of the participants: Be Mary for Kenya. The girls discussed how 'Mary for Kenya' might look today according to the image of Mary.

Stop, Reason, Educate, and Act

Their discussions resulted in the following ideas: One should be intellectual, sensitive to others' needs, an example to others, live in the state of Grace by going to confession, attending Holy Mass, praying for each other and finally making the Covenant of Love with Mary and through her with the Holy Trinity. Inner beauty and freedom were subjects of talks given by the sisters. The girls were fascinated by the insight, as Grace Gitahi put it, "that freedom is accepting God's will for us and not letting our feelings rule us but living to love one another." The girls then chose the motto for the year 2001: Stop, reason, educate, and act.

Grace Gitahi: "This means that we should stop and think before acting, then try to understand what Divine Providence holds for us, like Mary in the Annunciation. Then we can educate the rest of the people about Schoenstatt. And then afterwards our commitment to Schoenstatt should be evidenced by our actions!" The two girls who had been in Schoenstatt for the International Girls' Youth Meeting shared what they had learned from Schoenstatt and from interacting with girls from the different parts of the world. Grace Gitahi: " They were very excited when they saw the video on the International Girls' Youth Meeting. I believe they are ready to teach others about Schoenstatt!"

Grace Gitahi and Sr. M. Lisette contributed to this report

English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA


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