Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Schoenstatt Youth Together:Milwaukee - Toronto 2002

Letter of invitation by the central coordinator for an International Schoenstatt Youth Meeting, Fr. Gerardo Cárcar

Retreat Center Waukesha
Father House, Waukesha
International Shrine of the Father Kingdom, Waukesha
Foto: Sr. Teresa Blaquier © 2001
Exilheiligtum, Milwaukee
Bewegungshaus, Milwaukee
Büro von Pater Kentenich, Milwaukee
Auf dem Calvary Friedhof ging Pater Kentenich während seiner Exilzeit oft spazieren.
Foto: Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, Milwaukee © 2001
Logo des Weltjugendtags in Toronto, Canada

From Chicago, Father Gerardo Cárcar, working in Paraguay, wrote a letter to invite for an International Schoenstatt Youth Meeting in Milwaukee, before World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.

"The rendezvous is in Toronto!"

"Come tell the world about your joy at having met Jesus Christ" John Paul II

Dear Schoenstatt Youth of the new Millennium, Dear leaders and those in charge of the Youth:

When I sat down to write this invitation to you, I received via the Internet the letter from the Holy Father to all the youth of the world. His words reminded me of the invitation he made to us on the fields of the Tor Vergata at the end of World Youth Day— Rome 2000—on that unforgettable 20th of August last year.

A Youth Encounter in the Shadow of the Exile Shrine

This sincere, emotional and vibrant invitation from the Pope struck a chord in our youthful hearts and many of us began to dream. These dreams immediately began to turn toward Milwaukee, the place sanctified by the presence of Father Kentenich and so many of our Schoenstatt heroes who there lived their Covent of Love with great generosity: Mario Hiriart, Gilbert Schimmel, Jesús Pagán, Fr. Esteban Uriburu, to name a few. Being that Milwaukee is close to Toronto we started to think of the possibility of having a large youth encounter in the shadow of the Exile Shrine. Later it struck us that next year, 2002, just happens to be the fiftieth anniversary of Father’s arrival in these parts (on June 21, 1952 to be exact!). We saw this as well as a sign from Divine Providence… and the dream continued to grow. Now this dream is slowly becoming a reality.

An Experience of Being Together and Being United

In the letter sent by the National Presidium of the Schoenstatt Family in the USA on July the 10th says to us:

On the part of the Schoenstatt Family in the USA, we extend a special welcome to all our Schoenstatt Youth that will arrive in Milwaukee from July 18-21, 2002 on its way to Toronto. These four days will offer a special opportunity to meet our Father and Founder as well as all those of the international youth gathered there.

To make this event a reality I, as the International Coordinator of this event, want to start a dialogue with you that should allow us to respond to this invitation and have an experience of being together and being united in the places where Father lived for fourteen years of his life. In Milwaukee we already have had meetings with a team collaborators. In these meetings we have been clarifying different aspects our get-together. Information about the actual World Youth Day encounter in Toronto will become available shortly, after I have made a visit there during the first part of September with a very qualified team.

Presentation of the Central Committee

To start with I would like to present some of the people who will make up the Central Organizing Committee (a group that will grow larger as the event nears). They are:

Later we will have coordinators for the liturgy, for the infrastructure, for recreation, for the finances, for the press, etc. For the time being you will be receiving material and information periodically from these people and you can turn to them for any questions or special needs you might have.

Now, what will we doing?

You will be asking this question, so here’s an answer. This large youth encounter will include:

    1. An encounter with Father Kentenich, where we can discover more about him and his mission as a son of Mary, a saint, a missionary, a prophet, faithful son of the Church and most of all as he was experienced here in Milwaukee, as a FATHER. Together we want to meet Father and grow in our awareness that we are his heirs.
    2. Deep spirit filled days. Together we want to live the Covenant of Love and experience heaven on earth.
    3. Moments of sharing among ourselves. Together we want to experience ourselves as a young Schoenstatt Family and learn from each other, just how are we living today our Covenant of Love in our different countries and places?
    4. A preparation to offer our charisma in Toronto and further a field. Together we want to show our love and commitment for the Holy Father and the whole Church! We want to commit ourselves to building a new society and to making that a reality. To do this we need everyone to come!
Panorama of Milwaukee

When is this encounter?

We would arrive in Milwaukee on July 17th and the activities of the encounter would start on the 18th. We would leave for Toronto on the evening of the 21st, after finishing our encounter at midday.

Who are invited to attend?

All Schoenstatt Youth ages 16 and older. Some activities will be held in common by Boys’ and Girls’ Youth as well as separate ones. Furthermore we want to contact the catholic youth of Milwaukee to have a possible encounter with the young Catholics of Wisconsin.

Where will we be?

The center of this encounter and our activities will be the Exile Shrine in Milwaukee where Father spent 14 years. This is close to Marquette University were we will be lodging. Moreover we will visit the Movement House, close to the Shrine; downtown Milwaukee; the shores of Lake Michigan—where the famous picture of Father next to the lake was taken—; Calvary Cemetery, The parish of St. Michael and St. Mary’s Hospital where Mario Hiriart died. We will also go to Waukesha, to the International Schoenstatt Center with its Shrine, the House dedicated to Father, the Province House of the Schoenstatt Sisters and the house of the Schoenstatt Fathers. There will also be the possibility of visiting Madison, where you find the first shrine in the USA and the capital of Wisconsin. For those who arrive early, they may visit Chicago, with its lakefront parks, bustling downtown, art museums, and other attractions, including Great America Theme Park and Disney Quest.

What will the encounter be like?

This will depend on each one of us. My idea is a spiritual, joyful and fun encounter that is at the same time fraternal, Marian as well as simple. We are pilgrims who are going to meet young people from all over the world… it is a chance for us to reflect on our challenging future.

The name of the encounter (SCHOENSTATT YOUTH TOGETHER) came about as a proposal from Mark Niehaus, one of the collaborators who is a seminarian with the Schoenstatt Fathers. What do you think?

A proposal for the logo has arrived from Paraguay that is being studied very closely.

Can you see how this dream has grown and has turned into a large, rather ambitious project? We invite you to join us and that together we start working… we already have less than a year! Some groups already have a head start and it gives us an indication of what this event will be like. Between Spain, Paraguay and Argentina we already have 600 young people signed up! We would like to gather together 2000!

Papst Johannes Paul II
Foto: Archiv © 2001

Missionaries of the Society Today

As a way of preparation, the Holy Father already gives us some important advice. He asks us to be missionaries in our society today. This is what he says to us:

    1. First of all, he says to us: "deepen your study of the Word of God and let it illumine your mind and heart".
    2. Secondly he adds: "Be strengthened by the sacramental grace of Reconciliation and the grace of the Eucharist." Christianity is more than an ethical system; it is an encounter with Christ that can become "heart to heart" "in Eucharistic Adoration".
    3. Thirdly he asks us "to comfort those who suffer and bring peace to the whole world". Indeed, "many are the people wounded by life, excluded from economic development, without a roof, a family or work; many are lost following false illusions or have abandoned all hope".
    4. "Oh that the Gospel" he concludes "would become the great criteria that would guide the decisions and course of your life!"

Along with all this programming if we add sufficient contributions to the Capital of Grace and we bring them to the Blessed Mother in the Shrine, we can be sure that this encounter will be unique and tremendous moment!

"The rendezvous is in Toronto!" the Holy Father says to us in his desire to meet with the youth of the world. "Come tell the world about your joy at having met Jesus Christ, your desire to know him better, your commitment to announce the Gospel of salvation to the ends of the earth". Humbly I repeat this invitation from the Holy Father and say to you: to realize his wish and your dreams we have begun to work. We are counting on your presence in full force! We don’t want to let the Holy Father down! Let’s make him feel that we are with him! We won’t let him down! We won’t leave the Blessed Mother alone in this great mission! Let’s get to work and demonstrate that we are a great renewal Movement in the Church and in the world!

With joy and faith in our mission I greet all of you from Chicago,

Fr. Gerardo Cárcar
St. Ignatius Church
6559 N. Glenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
Tel: (733) 764-5936 - Fax: (733) 764-4360
My e-mail address is:


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