Nachrichten - News - Noticias
 published: 2007-06-12

To give life to the future, to free your dreams…

600 youth celebrate their faith and they say: "Yes" assuming responsibility for the future. "Our future has a name: Jesus Christ," said Cardinal Wetter in the Solemn Mass

 

Fiesta de la Juventud en Munich: el Santuario,  dando vida al futuro

Youth Festival in Munich: the Shrine, giving life to future

Jugendfest Manchen: Logo in echt - das Heiligtum in der Mitte

Foto: Manuela Mañanes © 2007

 

Panel: Markus Hauck, Hna Monika Plank, Dr. Peter Beer, Mons. Haßlberger, Hildegard y Helmut Kirschner, Martina Kraus

Panel: Markus Hauck, Sr. Monika Plank, Dr. Peter Beer, Auxiliary Bishop  Haßlberger, Hildegard y Helmut Kirschner, Martina Kraus

Podium: Markus Hauck, Sr. Monika Plank, Dr. Peter Beer, Weihbischof  Haßlberger, Hildegard y Helmut Kirschner, Martina Kraus

 
 

Durante el panel

During the panel discussion

Während des Podiums

 

Taller con el Obispo

Workshop with the bishop

Im Gespräch mit dem Weihbischof

 
 

Santa Misa con Cardenal Friedrich Wetter

Holy Mass with Cardinal Friedrich Wetter

Festgottedienst mit Kardinal Friedrich Wetter

 

Bendición personal

Personal blessing

Einzelsegen

 
 

Recuerdos: una cruz de madera y una tarjeta

Souvenirs: a wooden cross and a card

Zur Erinnerung: ein Holzkreuz und eine Karte

Fotos: POS Fischer © 2007

Albúm de fotos – photo album – Fotoalbum

 

 

 

GERMANY, MKF. The majority were from Bavaria and Swabia. There were also some from the bordering Federal States of Austria and Switzerland. About 600 youth celebrated together for three days; they did this in a manner that was joyful, carefree, enthusiastic, dedicated, and with indescribable communication with much music and a little alcohol in a fantastic atmosphere. The invitation was extended by the Schoenstatt Youth. There were also youth from other movements such as Saint Egidio, Christian Youth Association, Alpha Course, and Focolar Movement, in addition to many who simply wanted to submerge themselves in this atmosphere. The motto was: "Give life to the future": your own future, the future of the world.

The experience was almost indescribable upon arriving before nightfall on Friday. There were already almost 500 youths; however, you could not hear them. The setting however radiated life, the Shrine could be seen lit with a warm light, surrounded by red lilies; in front, a fountain bathed resplendently with water of truth; and behind, there were chains of lights and an illuminated tent. Inside, the Vigil was being celebrated and silence reigned. The wonderful tumult of the arrival and welcome had passed, and now it was time to approach the real reason for this encounter. Emmanuel…The Vigil celebration began with the hymn of the World Youth Day of 2000 in Rome. The Youth allowed themselves to be carried away by the Bible readings and songs, now they had lighted candles in their hands, and they were simply there to be with Him and each other. There was an atmosphere of prayer that was palpable: it was dense, authentic, profound, and moving. After the Our Father, the Covenant of Love prayer, and the blessing, the Youth walked together in silence to the Shrine and they placed their candles there – a sea of flames emerged around the Shrine, just as the emblem of the Youth Festival suggested. Now this emblem was found "in person" and real in Munich, in the square in front of the Shrine: the Shrine "in flames", the drops of water, the circle symbolizing the impulse of fruitful action in the world, implying the silhouette of the Holy City. From the Shrine it attracted circles and gave fruits – giving life to the future!

Neighbors from the surrounding area, who had really come to complain about the noise or to find out what was going on, were invited to participate in the Vigil celebration and they did not leave! "This was the most beautiful experience that I have had in Church until now!" said a lady afterwards. The program consisted of: meeting in the tent with the Bavarians or the Swabians, a celebration on the bus, or simply conversing. The experience of the Vigil reverberated throughout the event and set the tone for the entire Youth Celebration.

When we speak about faith we have to be able to say what this means in our life.

There were serious and reflective discussions among themselves and with the panel: Bishop Dr. Bernhard Hablberger, Professor Dr. Peter Beer (Director of the Catholic Office of Bavaria), Sister Monika Plank (Mission of the railroad station in Munich), the Kiess couple, Martina Kraus, and Markus Hauck from the Schoenstatt Movement. All of them concentrated on the theme: How do I mold my future? What priorities do I establish? How do I make decisions about the plan for my life? And also: How do I take responsibility for the future? How do we of our generation take responsibility?

"It begins in the present and directly at my side", said Martina Kraus, a software investigator. "I always pose the question: How are those who work around me? Are they better because of me?" There are detours on the road of life, in life there are falls and failures, this is already planned in the future by God for us and later it manifests itself as something important; this was made clear when the participants of the panel spoke about their difficult times, their times of searching relative to a profession, positions at work, their spouse, and the vocation of life. "I cannot sit back and wait for heaven to find me a position at work", said Martina Kraus. "I have to take care of this myself!"

"When we speak about faith, we have to know how to say what it means for our life," Professor Beer exhorted. A Corpus Christi procession is not a tourist attraction that is carried out twice a year, because it is well received by the people; not just for pure custom. In order for customs to be full of life, I have to know and to be able to say what it means to me, for my life: it is a challenge! There were opportunities to put this into practice during the pause at noon during the project "Explain Schoenstatt to Me".

Our generation did not learn how to give testimonies", said Bishop Hablberger, "because it was not necessary. We were all Catholics. I want you, as youth, to do it!" How can you learn to give testimony in a concrete setting and give life to the future? "Observe well without losing sight", is the motto of life Sister Monika Plank in the work for the people that "go through" the railroad station. That sight that is set on the needs and the problems of people that awakens an active commitment for the future of society. "I can only advise everyone to have children", said Helmut Kirschner. "They always challenge us anew, with them we can be children again and we are energetically educated!" It is very important to learn how to live family relationships in harmony," said Hildegard Kirschner. "Many desire relationships, but they are not ready to live these relationships in harmony." For Martina Kraus, the Schoenstatt Youth was and is the ideal atmosphere to learn social virtues: responsibility, initiative, social competence, and the ability to establish relationships. "Girls, who took their first steps in the group with me, now have an important responsibility here. It is extraordinary!"

After exchanging opinions in small groups, the questions posed by the public came into play. The common thread was: "Please, make it concrete". How does one know which road to take? What do you do in difficult times when you can no longer hear the interior voice? How do I keep from sinking? Dr. Beer made the distinction between "feeling well" and "being happy": I feel well when I do not feel like doing something and I remain sitting. But I am not happy. To be happy has to do with peace, peace with myself and with my dreams, goals and desires. "To establish priorities for what is important for me, leaving aside other beautiful things", is the recipe of the Kirschner matrimony. "I do one thing and I only leave it when it is finished", Martina advised, besides the small rituals such as looking back in the evening on what was done during the day", said Sister Monika. "But in order to give, I have to reserve time for my spiritual life and also free time for recreation." "I do what I should do", says Bishop Hablberger about how he handles times of spiritual dryness. And: "I should not fear for the future", he added, "because here I see many youth with dedicated enthusiasm!"

Allow yourselves to be led by Jesus, then something good will happen!"

During the afternoon, the youth sat and dialogued animatedly with the Bishop, Sister Monika Plank, and the Kirschners about how to be Christians in an lively manner, how to form a couple, about marriage, and responsibility for the marginal people of society. There were opportunities for creative work, sports, meditation in a quiet room, prayer in the Shrine, or simply conversing among themselves: there was something for everyone and everything was expressly prepared with much love. The best organization is that which not noticed. The Youth Celebration could have been defined as spontaneous, simple, joyful, carefree, and however, it was characterized by love even in the smallest details: to give, to organize, to decorate, to offer more and not only what was absolutely necessary, not ruled by the minimum or by shortcuts; rather, it was so good and with as much love as possible. Future, come on! If you are molded like this, the future will be very good for everyone.

Perhaps the testimonies on the side are the most beautiful. One youth from Paraguay, a member of the Girls’ Youth and an exchange student in Bavaria exclaimed, "I did not know that my host family belonged to Schoenstatt. But when I arrived to their house and I saw the Home Shrine, I began to cry like a baby!" Here in Munich, she encountered other youth from Paraguay, Argentina, and Mexico.

During the Mass that was celebrated late in the afternoon, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter was visibly touched by the enthusiasm of the youth. "This is a Church that is alive!" He encouraged the Youth to organize their lives according to a goal, according to the goal that will go beyond death. "Allow yourselves to be led by Jesus, and then something good will happen!" said the Cardinal who was applauded by the Youth. He made reference to Alfred Delp and Father Kentenich. One, who was discouraged in view that he would be executed, told the pastor, who accompanied him, "In an hour, I am going to know more than you!" The other, who in the nearby concentration camp of Dachau, faced life and he gave life to the future through his mind and by living in the Triune God. "God does not make the future alone", said the cardinal. "We have to be like Mary". A youth from Argentina, who collaborated in the World Youth Day in Cologne, said with surprise after Mass: "We have just had the 5th General Latin American Episcopal Conference in South America with the theme: Youth and Missionaries of Christ. There I met authentic missionaries of Christ that have the strength to awaken the European Church from its sleep and to transform it. Since the Mass with the Pope in Marienfeld, this was the most beautiful Mass I have experienced. The songs, the depth of the petitions in relation with the corresponding symbols –When is a song book found on the altar? – the solemnity of the celebration of the Mass, the applause, and songs: This a Church that is alive and young! This is the future!"

After the Mass, there was a surprise picnic in groups of ten, with baskets of food, and jazz music. Cardinal Wetter was with the main team and some representatives of the Schoenstatt Movement. This day ended in the early morning with dialogues, songs, and discotheque for the untiring…

Love is stronger

It was a wonderful celebration, until the police appeared at three in the morning. A young girl had been found dead in the surrounding area. Since she had not yet been identified and her traits did not match those of anyone reported missing, the Youth Celebration became a part of the investigation. Hours later, it was clear that the tragic case had nothing to do with the Celebration. Earlier, however, the police appeared in the youth dormitories, the grounds were roped off, and finally each one of the 600 youth and adults who participated had to be interrogated. What was going to happen to the Celebration that began with such simplicity and joy, with the late and abundant breakfast that the Munich Family had prepared, with the Mass of final blessing, and with the closing of the Celebration? While the lady who found the dead girl placed flowers at the site, 300 meters away 600 youth prayed for her and for her family. The fact that the reality of the world and of the future waiting to be molded interrupted the Celebration so abruptly and caused the closing to lose the carefree feeling but not the meaning: "Here we are not celebrating something that happened on the other side of the world in which we live. Our faith should be apt for this world, it should be able to face the fact that an ending that was planned has been taken apart because today is present and we want to observe and to reflect about what has happened in our surroundings and to give a response," said one of the youth. "Of course it was a relief for us that the girl had not participated in our Celebration, but anyway her death has moved us very much…" Father Stefan Strecker along with the two moderators Lissy Fahrenschon and Michael Kiess were able to reestablish a good atmosphere. The Mass of final blessing was celebrated later than planned, but it was especially touching: "Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you…" "Do not be afraid, love is stronger…" "Give life to the future, here and how." At least one hour after the police ropes were taken down, the assault from the press had been overcome, and the police had left the grounds, about fifteen priests gave a blessing to each participant individually around the Shrine. It was a moment of a very personal experience of God. The Youth expressed for whom and for what they were asking the blessing: for the beginning of their lives as a couples, for their professional decisions, asking what roads to take in life, of a new position at work…The Shrine was always at the center of the Celebration and was always occupied by the Youth offered them a gift: a cross as a symbol of blessing and a souvenir postcard.

The Youth Celebration had ended. Some hours later, close to Wurzburg, two autos with open windows were side by side in a traffic jam. "Give life to the future…" is heard from one auto. The response heard from the other auto was "Do not be afraid, allow yourself to be led by faith…"

Translation: Celina Garza, Harlingen, TX, USA/amj

 

 

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