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 published: 2009-01-27

"This Wonderland is Known to Me…We did it for HER!"

Benefit Concert for the New Hall in Waukesha, Wisconsin


Konzert der Schönstattjugend in Waukesha, USA

Concierto de la Juventud de Schoenstatt en Waukesha, Estados Unidos

Concert of the Schoenstatt Youth in Waukesha , USA

Konzert der Schönstattjugend in Waukesha, USA


“Wir haben es für SIE gemacht!”

„Lo hicimos para Ella “!

„We did it for her“

“Wir haben es für SIE gemacht!”





Mit viel Freude dabei  

Con mucha alegría...

With much joy

Mit viel Freude dabei

Fotos: Daniel J.R. Strandt © 2009


USA, Daniel J.R. Strandt. On January 4, 2009, the Schoenstatt boys’ and girls’ youth performed a benefit concert in front of a packed hall of about 250. The concert, performed at the Schoenstatt Sisters’ Provincial House in Waukesha, Wisconsin, was being held in order to raise money for a hall to be built at the International Schoenstatt Retreat Center. But most important of all, we did this concert for HER! Yes, we did it for our beloved Mother Thrice Admirable!

In November of 2008, Gabrielle Yank of the girls’ youth had a brilliant idea. She suggested that the Schoenstatt Youth get together to form a Christmas choir and hold a concert, with the proceeds of the concert going towards building of the new hall. There is the hope to build a new hall which will accommodate more people, as the center is always busy with various groups attending retreats and meetings. The new hall would also help accommodate the many people expected to attend the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Schoenstatt in 2014.

Work together, practice together, sing together

The Christmas choir was to consist of the Schoenstatt boys’ and girls’ youth. Volunteers from both branches would work together, practice together, and sing together with their lovely voices for this benefit concert. Sixteen enthusiastic young men and eighteen dedicated young women attended a multitude of practices to learn the songs and perfect them for the concert. The choir was divided into a soprano, alto, tenor, and bass section. Sister M. Jennifer Carlson helped with directing, and Sister Francine-Marie Cooper helped with instrumentals and vocal harmonies. With Gabrielle Yank helping to set up practices and working to keep all the choir members informed of what was happening, this project took off and moved really fast. A beautiful part of our practices was that after each practice we would together, as the youth, hike up the road to the shrine and have closing prayers, singing for our Mother. After all, we were doing this for HER!

A prayer written in Dachau

The theme for the concert was "This Wonderland is Known to Me." This theme was chosen because it envisions Father Kentenich’s dream of Schoenstatt being a home for all, especially as known in the "Home Song." The concert program stated:

"The theme of our concert was inspired by a prayer written by our founder, Father Joseph Kentenich, which he wrote while in the concentration camp of Dachau. This prayer reflected his longing; his words are a challenge for us to help build this wonderland here on earth. This is how he envisioned the Schoenstatt Centers to become all over the world—a home where people feel sheltered and accepted. Our longing to build a new hall here at the Schoenstatt Retreat Center includes a longing to make this land an even more beautiful place, a wonderland where individuals and families can come to find a taste of the love and joy of heaven."

This theme helped the youth, and all who attended the concert, to become more united in our Mother, and more united to the shrine. There our Mother is residing, waiting for us realize that Schoenstatt is a home for us, a little taste of heaven.

A final "thank you" in the Shrine

After many practices, the youth performed a dress rehearsal of the concert for the Schoenstatt Sisters on January 3, 2009. Then on Sunday, January 4, 2009, on a day where there was ice everywhere from freezing rain that had fallen the night before, the choir members showed up bright and early to practice and get ready for the concert. At four o’clock in the afternoon, the youth entered the hall, walked to the stage, and began the most beautiful concert for our beloved Mother and Queen. Everything that had been done to prepare for this moment – all the practices, the singing, and working to perfect every detail of the concert – everything was to come to a reality. As the concert began, most nervousness vanished – if there was any – and the youth sang out with confidence. Our Mother was ever at our side helping us to sing, and she helped us remember: We’re doing this for HER!

This Christmas concert dedicated to our beloved Mother Thrice Admirable turned out to be a huge success. The concert raised over $1000 – more than we ever had imagined! Following the concert was a festive reception, and to top everything off, the youth once again had a closing prayer in the shrine and sang a final "thank you" song to our beloved Mother.

What was especially beautiful was the collaboration of everyone involved in this apostolic project. The youth were the ones that made the concert a great success. Working with great love to make this concert a success was an opportunity for the youth to do something for Schoenstatt and to help build our Schoenstatt home!

"This Wonderland is Known to me!" Yes! Our Mother wanted this to happen. She wanted the youth to be united in working for something great, the effort to build a new addition to the International Schoenstatt Retreat Center in Waukesha. But more importantly, our Mother and Queen wanted us to build on Father Kentenich’s dream of Schoenstatt being a home for everyone in the whole wide world – a home that leads us to a wonderland of love, truth, confidence, joy, purity, and freedom.



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Last Update: 27.01.2009