July 26, 2023

Mount Schoenstatt in WYD joy

Sr. Sylvia Maria Sanchez

The Motherhouse full of youthful life

In Schoenstatt, we are living close to the joy and enthusiasm of our Schoenstatt youth , who have arrived from many parts of the world to this place of origin, before they continue their pilgrimage to WYD in Lisbon, Portugal. Songs, laughter, shouted mottos resound from the hills and echo in the valley. The youth come to renew and ignite each other in the Schoenstatt ideals like the first generation!

Youth Meeting on Mount Schoenstatt

On Sunday, June 23, we invited the youth to start the day with our Holy Mass at 9.00 am in the Adoration Church. Fr. José Melo was the main celebrant and our postulants sang at the Mass. Many prayers were prayed, songs were sung, and inspiration was given in the different languages, which gave an experience of internationality.

Afterwards, the young people visited the Father Kentenich House and the different houses on Mount Schoenstatt where our Father and Founder lived the last three years of his life. With much interest and attention, the young people followed the explanations and anecdotes given by the guides. One Young person commented:

“Here you can really experience Schoenstatt. … Everything speaks of Father Kentenich!”

Visit to the Mother House of the Sisters of Mary

In the afternoon, the young women were invited to our Mother House, which opened its doors to have a special and yet simple encounter. 120 young women and many Sisters attended including the novices and postulants from many countries. After a short welcome given in different languages, there was singing and dancing and a delicious snack. Clearly the great language that united us was the language of Schoenstatt.

Shared vocational stories

Then, in six language groups, we shared a small video made by the postulants, with vocational testimonies and impressions about Schoenstatt. Questions abounded on how to discern a vocation. There really was abundant conversation in all groups. Finally, in the Mother House Chapel, we could hear the testimony of Sr. M. Elisabeth who enthused her listeners by sharing her touching vocational story and her experience of meeting our Founder, Fr. Joseph Kentenich, that has marked her life. Then followed a time of meditation for the young women to consider the question: What does God expect of me during this special time? Background instrumental music was played by the novices.

Miracles of the heart

Sr. M. Joanna Buckley, the Superior General of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, greeted the young women with a few words in English and with a chocolate candy for each one. She told the young women: “In Schoenstatt, not many physical miracles occur, but many miracles of the heart take place. We want to pray in this special time for many miracles for each one of you.”

The encounter concluded with the songs sung by all including the ‘Centennial Hymn’ and ‘Maria de la Alianza’ which echoed joyfully and with enthusiasm throughout the whole Mother House. Without a doubt, our House Chapel had never held so many young women from the whole world. The house was revived with so much singing, laughter, and conversation. The young women singing at the top of their lungs can be seen in the final photo.

Mary arose and went!

We give special thanks to our Mother Thrice Admirable for this blessed meeting. The youth look forward to the renewal of the covenant of love by the Original Shrine on the evening of July 25. We pray that each one of them can discern God’s will, with the same strength of love that inspired the first students of Schoenstatt.

How fitting is that the theme of World Youth Day is: “Mary arose and went!”  Our Mother and Queen will help these young people and all of us to live our faith in a more daring way now and in the time after World Youth Day.

Let us with Mary, get up and make haste without delay.

Fotos: Sr. Maritta Zell and Sr. Francine-Marie Cooper