Schönstatt - Begegnungen

Looking back at a dream come true

Schoenstatt Youth Milwaukee 02: 500 young Schoenstatt people in Milwaukee

Festival de las naciones: Alemania canta
Festival of nations: Germany singing
Festival der Nationen: Deutschland
Foto: Garnham © 2002
Paraguay canta en el escenario
Paraguay singing on the scene
Paraguay beim Festival der Nationen
La delegacion de Suiza cantando
The delegation from Switzerland
Delegation aus der Schweiz - unverkennbar
Chilenos y paraguayos cantan juntos
Chileans and Paraguayans singing together
Chilenen und Paraguayaner im "gemischten Chor"
El "Materstock" o Serenata a Maria, a nuestra Madre, frente a la Capilla de Joan of Arc, en el corazon de Milwaukee.
"Materstock" or Serenade to Mary, our Mother, by the St.Joan of Arc Chapel in Milwaukee
"Materstock" oder Serenade für Maria, die Gottesmutter, bei der Jeanne d'Arc-Kapelle im Herzen von Milwaukee
Fotos: Garnham © 2002
En el centro: Padre Kentenich
In the center: Father Kentenich
Im Mittelpunkt: Pater Kentenich
Fotos: Milwaukee Sentinel © 2002
Juventud Femenina: peregrinación a Madison
Girls' Youth: Pilgrimage to Madison
Mädchenjugend in Madison
Juventud Femenina en Madison
Girls'Youth in Madison
Mädchenjugend in Madison
Santuario en Milwaukee
Shrine in Milwaukee
Beim Heiligtum in Milwaukee
Peregrinación al Santuario
Pilgrimage to the Shrine
Pilgermarsch zum Heiligtum
Fotos: Schoenstatt Sisters © 2002
Misa final en Waukesha, 21 de julio
Final Mass in Waukesha, July 21
Abschlussmesse in Waukesha, 21.Juli
Testimony : interviewing one of those who knew Father Kentenich
Zeugnis: Sie haben Pater Kentenich erlebt...
Fotos: POS, Fischer © 2002
Milwaukee 02 - a dream come true
Milwaukee 02 - un sueño realizado
Milwaukee 02 - ein Traum wird wahr
Foto: Catholic Herald, Archdiocese of Milwaukee © 2002

INTERNATIONAL, Mark Niehaus. The 500 or so young Schoenstatt people who July 18 ­ 21 got together in Milwaukee for an international Schoenstatt Youth Meeting preceding World Youth Day in Toronto, long since have returned home – to Switzerland, Germany, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Sierra Leone… An unforgettable experience of meeting Father Kentenich – 50 years after his arrival to Milwaukee – and his international family stays with them and those who walked the extra mile to prepare and organize this event.

We had dreamt of this moment for years. Milwaukee holds a rather dubious place in our Schoenstatt history and rightfully so. Father Kentenich’s exile time in the USA was difficult, very difficult for so many within our Family. Yet for us in America our Father and Founder’s presence was a special time of grace. For years we have hosted this visitor or that group who after visiting our families and hearing how Father lived with us they are amazed and gratified. And yet these visitors have been few and far between. We have longed for the day when many would come, especially young people.

"They are here!!!"

Our dream became a reality on July 18th at the Exile Shrine, where Fr. Kentenich lived during his years in Milwaukee. For months we had been preparing for this youth gathering, Schoenstatt Youth Milwaukee 02 and now as the preparations for the Opening Mass were reaching fever pitch, someone called out "They are here!" Looking up we saw the buses pulling up to the curb and scores of our young women pour out. At the same time from across the road our young men arrived, waving their flags as they ended their walking pilgrimage from Marquette to the shrine. The lawns in front of the shrine were suddenly filled with the laughter and movement of the 500 young people who had come to Milwaukee to meet as Schoenstatt Youth before going on to Toronto to participate in World Youth Day. So began our encounter.

Crossing cultural and linguistic barriers

It was moving to see all these young people together, to hear them trying to cross cultural and linguistic barriers to get to know each other and share their faith and love for the Blessed Mother. In our four day encounter we learned about each other’s culture and about how each of us lives Schoenstatt. We also had fun together and most importantly discovered the gift of Father Kentenich’s special presence in Milwaukee.

Festival of Nations

The cultural experience of our encounter started immediately. Our trumpet playing Germans let the whole Milwaukee Airport know that our encounter was starting, leaving the youngest of our American collaborators humming their songs even when they could not understand the German words. In the men’s program we had a festival of nations to present the different cultures. Some of the highlights include: a power point presentation on the different zones and cultures in Chile and the Shrine found in each; an interactive version of the Heidi story from our Swiss contingent; Mexico had us all singing "Canta, no llora" whether we could speak Spanish or not; Australia had us "Waltzing Matilda" and Sierra Leone danced for us in native African costume; and the Americans brushed off their patriotic songs. Certainly we were graced with a very cultural experience.

Sharing Schoenstatt Life

Having so many Schoenstatt Youth together also offered an opportunity to share our Schoenstatt life. We had workshops on apostolic activities where we were able to choose from the different activities, such as the social work realized by our Paraguayans, how camps are organized in Germany and missions in Chile. We also learned about our Schoenstatt Heroes such as Mario Hiriart, Gilbert Schimmel, Jesus Pagan and many others. Our goal is not only to learn about the Covenant of Love, but to see how it transformed these men’s lives. Finally we were challenged by Fr. Michael Marmann, president of Schoenstatt’s General Presidium, to be the future of Schoenstatt.

Not only did we work but we had fun!

Not only did we work but we had fun! The stifling heat was forgotten in our free moments when the soccer ball appeared. The lawns in front of the shrine were transformed into make shift soccer stadiums, with more than enough wanting to play and others cheering them on. One afternoon we spent down at Grant Park, the place Father Kentenich would bring his visitors. There soccer and swimming were the most prevalent and we concluded with a prayer and photo shots with a cut-out figure of Father in the beach. The Milwaukee 02 logo became life!

At the center – Father Kentenich himself

At the center of our encounter was Father Kentenich himself. He was the person who most of us had come to meet. We heard from many different people who had experienced Father in Milwaukee. We walked and saw the different places that Father had been. Some of our young men spent the whole night in vigil in the Exile Shrine, to be in that place where Father spent so much of his prayer life. The young men for their part did not want to just learn about Fr. Kentenich’s life. They ended their encounter with a commitment in the Shrine to be fathers for the world today.

Messengers of Father Kentenich for the Church and in everyday life

This was echoed in our final day Sunday July 21 where nearly 800 people gathered, youth and the US Schoenstatt Family at the International Schoenstatt Center in Waukesha to celebrate our Covenant of Love. Fr. Marmann, who presided at our Eucharistic Celebration, sent us forth to be the messengers of Father for the Church at World Youth Day and in our everyday lives. The fatherhood and ability to accept and love each person that we found in our Father and Founder during those days, we are to live and bring out into the world. As we left that evening in route to Toronto for World Youth Day, we were tired but happy. Milwaukee 02 was a dream come true!

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Last Update: 20.08.2002 14:06 Mail: Editor /Webmaster
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