(Vatican Radio) Young people from around the world have descended on the Czech capital, Prague for a five day ecumenical meeting of the Taizé Community. Tens of thousands of young adults are joining in the next step of the “pilgrimage of trust on earth” initiated by the Taizé Community founder, Brother Roger at the end of the 1970s.
A city of a thousand towers and a thousand steeples at the heart of Europe is hosting the meeting from 29 December to 2 January: a time for prayer, reflection and communion among young people from many different nations and faith traditions. The young people who have come to Prague are being hosted by the people and local church communities in and around the historic city.
Each year, more than 100,000 young adults from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé, an ecumenical monastic order of Protestant and Catholic brothers from more than thirty countries whose Community is located in Taize’, in Burgundy, France.
Founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz , a Reformed Protestant, Taizé also hosts annual ecumenical meetings in Europe as an opportunity for prayer, Bible study, and communal work.
During his pastoral visit to Turkey this past November, Pope Francis highlighted the importance of Taizé during a visit with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at Saint George’s Church in Istanbul.
In his speech, Pope Francis spoke about the search for full communion between the Churches and cited three “voices” calling in particular, for unity: the poor, victims of conflict and young people. Speaking of youth, he said:
“the young today implore us to make progress towards full communion. I think for example of the many Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant youth who come together at meetings organized by the Taizé community. They do not do this because they are not aware of the differences which still separate us, but because they are able to see beyond them; they are able to embrace what is really important and what already unites us.”
The Pope’s words will no doubt be resonating firmly in the minds and prayers of those young people at this year’s Taizé meeting in Prague… an encounter that comes at the close of one year, breathing fresh life, and hope, into the new year to come.
(from Vatican Radio)…