"I Know for Sure that I am the Blessed Mother's Treasure!"
Weekend for Girls Ages 9 - 12 in the Schoenstatt Center in Endel, Oldenburg, Germany
(mkf) "I know for sure that I am the Blessed Mother's treasure!" On April 1, little Lena Wissen went home to Alfhausen with this secure knowledge as did many of the 66 girls, ages 9 -12, who had participated in a weekend for girls in the most northern Schoenstatt Shrine in Germany. The girls had been encouraged to hunt for a treasure in order to learn, in an appropriate way for their age, about one of Schoenstatt's central messages – that each person is precious, is a favorite child of God and the Blessed Mother.
Does such a weekend make a difference? Nine-year-old Michaela from Sedelsberg, one of the younger participants, said: "Yes, because I know that I am Mary's treasure!" She came for the first time with a group of girls, and she especially enjoyed making friends with the other children. Anja Ehrenborg (12) of Steinfeld gave the idea of being Mary's treasure a practical application: "I know that everybody is a treasure. I should not yell at the others so often."
A Makeshift Cross With 14 Blue Pearls
For two days the 66 girls, along with Sr. Mariette, Sr. Thomia and other young people, worked on the idea of finding treasures. A treasure hunt at the beginning was exciting! Then the girls learned to discover Jesus as the most precious treasure and to understand the symbol of the cross and the stations of the cross as treasures reminding of Jesus. The girls made a small cross of wire and 14 blue pearls for the 14 stations of the cross. As a reminder of the treasure that Jesus had given to each person from the cross – Mary, his mother – they attached a small heart on one of the pearls. For Sabrina (10), this small cross was the best souvenir from this meeting. The idea of the treasure sank in. "I know what a real treasure is," said Sarah (10) from Visbek. "Friendship, genuine friendship!" The nine-year-old girl was invited by her friend, and she added: "Schoenstatt is also a treasure!"
To Have Joy and Make Friends
All of the girls radiated with joy when the evening programs were mentioned: the first night of getting to know each other and the theater night, when several groups performed a skit. "I'll miss the joy and the community," said Franziska (9) from Visbek. Her cousin invited her to join. Judith (11) came because her friends had told her so often how great Schoenstatt is. And she agreed! "The theater night was cool," Luisa Möller (9) from Damme added at once and with pride: "I am a treasure!" And what was so special on that night? Stephanie Steenken (12) from Sedelsberg: "We got to know then that each of us is a treasure. I did not know before that each person is a treasure. I wanted to get to know many other girls; that's why I came. It was simply cool!" "It's fun to be with friends, not only at school, and to find new friends," emphasized Maria (12) from Alfhausen, and: "I came because I wanted to come. I am a Marian Apostle and always like to come to Endel and to the Shrine!"
Discovering the Shrine and the Blessed Mother
During the two days of their stay, the girls discovered the Shrine – and in the Shrine, Mary as their mother and friend. "A sister was in the Shrine, and she taught me how to pray the rosary," said Sabrina (11). The actual reason she came – to escape doing dishes at home. She laughed and was happy with her Schoenstatt experience. Heike Meyer (10) was impressed "that this Shrine exists over 100 times!" Thinking of the Blessed Mother more often - Melanie (12) wants to try this when she is back home, and Birta (10) adds that she learned how to better live with Mary, and: "I guess I want to go to church more often." At the end, Christin Niehaus (11) summarized what the meeting meant to the girls: "That we discovered the Blessed Mother as our treasure!" and that they, each one of them, are the Blessed Mother's treasure.
Sr. Mariette Bruns contributed to this report; with material from interviews with 35 girls
English edition: Joan Biemert, New Franken, Wisconsin, USA
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