Schoenstatt Girls' Youth on the National Missionary Youth Congress in Puerto Rico
Annual Girls' Youth Day in Puerto Rico
(Lilliam A. Ramírez) On Friday, August 10, young girls from different parts of the island of Puerto Rico met to celebrate the annual Girls' Youth Day. They actively participated in the National Missionary Youth Congress in Mayagüez.
The Congress was organized by the Pontifical Mission Societies in Puerto Rico together with the Diocese of Mayaguez. More than 1,000 young participants were expected to participate in the event. They came from the island as well as from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Peru, Cuba and Argentina.
Around 7:00 pm. the girls began to arrive at the Schoenstatt Shrine and Center. From the beginning they were very excited. After a brief sharing, the the Sister of the Girls' Youth, Sr. M. Taqui, gave the girls a great welcome. Then a series of activities took place, after which the girls met in the Shrine, primarily to give thanks to our Mother and Queen for allowing them to participate on this occasion . The girls also placed the weekend in her hands and then concluded the evening with a snack.
The Girls' Youth participation in the Missionary Youth National Congress
Saturday morning the girls got up very early. Everybody knew that this was going to be an important day. After Morning Prayer and breakfast they left for the Congress. "The aim of the Congress is to increase our young people's missionary awareness, to help them discern their vocation of service in the Church, and to call new workers for the harvest so that, answering the call of the Holy Father, the young Church of Puerto Rico may begin a springtime of missionary activity opening to the whole world," the PMS diocesan director, Father Juan Lagos Gonzalez, told the Vatican agency Fides. Testimony, conferences, workshops, song and dance during the Congress focused on the mandate given by Jesus: "Go into the whole world to proclaim the Gospel."
The Schoenstatt Girls definitely wanted to be present when so many young people came together to renew and enkindle their missionary spirit. They not only attended, they were present in a very special way. With a pleasing dance involving a group of Schoenstatt girls, the Congress began. After the dance the young people, with vigorous applause, received our Lady of Monserrate, who later was crowned as Queen of the Missionaries. After speaking to the young people, a member of the Schoenstatt Girls' Youth, María Yasmín Millán, delighted them with two songs. During the first song, the young people in the Congress felt something very moving, evidenced by the tears appearing on many faces. During the second song, the people stood up, they applauded, and they even sang along.
The Apostolic Delegate attended this activity. He thanked the Schoenstatt girls for their participation in the Congress. Then he read a message that the Holy Father, John Paul II, sent to the young people.
Animate! Garden of Mary, Walk to Sanctity
When the girls arrived from the Congress, a delicious lunch was waiting for them. About 1:30 pm. they met again to begin the different activities. First they had a group discussion where the girls shared a little more about themselves. Later they worked with the motto: "Animate! Garden of Mary, Walk to Sanctity." They had an experience with Father Kentenich followed by a play and a discussion. Then the girls shared with one another on how to live their motto, not only in the Shrine but also at school, at home, with friends, in daily life.
"MTA Heroes Award"
At 5:00 pm. they had supper and some free time. At 7:30 pm. the "MTA Heroes Award" began. They not only presented awards to the actors for their talents, they presented beautiful roses honoring the heroes of Schoenstatt for their courage, fidelity, and other attributes. Some of the heroes were Bárbara Kast, Mario Hiriart, Joseph Engling, and Sr. M. Emilia. Of course, our Father and Founder, Joseph Kentenich was recognized with an award of excellence.
On Sunday they went to Mass. It was wonderful to see how the girls sang and inspired the other members of the Schoenstatt family. At noon they had lunch and later they had the closing. The young people sang joyfully.
During the day one of the young people, Natalia Lugo, commented, "It's like getting our batteries recharged to continue on." When finalizing the day, the girls felt inspired, and renewed.
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