Poland, May 2013

Meeting in Grębocin

At the end of last May, in Grębocin near Torun in Poland, many young people were able to take part in a new stage in the pilgrimage of trust. They shared their faith experiences with one of the brothers and Ursuline sisters who had come from Taizé. The theme of the meeting was "Trusting in God." A young person who attended the meeting, Artur, shares his experience:

Our hosts had prepared the meeting well in advance and had thought of everything. When we arrived, we were really touched by the hospitality of the people of this small town. They opened their homes to us without the slightest hesitation. What impressed us most of all was the unity in the community, a real sign of being, in a sense, one family.

The heart of the meeting was of course the common prayer. Three times a day the participants gathered in the sports hall decorated with beautiful illuminated icons, signifying openness to God’s presence. The prayers were led by the singers from the local youth group and thanks to them the whole meeting was marked by joy.

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Each day there was an introduction to a bible text by the brother from Taizé. This was followed by a moment of silence for meditation, then in small groups there was the opportunity to share our experience, but also to seek concrete ways to discover the sources of trust in God.

Workshops on different ways of trust also occupied a large part of the meeting. We were able to hear from people who put their trust in God despite going through great suffering. Fighting and putting our trust in God makes us stronger. The meeting also gave the opportunity to those who animate the "preparation points" for the European meetings to share their experiences and talk about questions about the preparation of the next European meeting at the end of the year in Strasbourg.

On Sunday 26 May, we celebrated a "Day of Joy" with members of the local community. It was an opportunity to express our gratitude for their hospitality. Around the bonfire, we took part in the entertainment they had prepared.

We came back from the meeting full of enthusiasm, determined to share what we had experienced, and to help rebuild confidence in ourselves, and in our society.

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Some other young people’s reactions

Wiktor, 21: "Meeting a person who has spent most of his life in prison was a powerful experience for me. His testimony was a living example of how God can change our lives when we trust in him example."

Jola, 20: "I’d describe the meeting with three words: trust, openness of heart and perfection. Every person I met had an open mind and was ready to listen. This allowed the trust between us and also with God. And perfection? Because the meeting was perfectly prepared."

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Ela, 26: "In Grebocin, in small group meetings and workshops we were looking for new ways of trust. But for me, the hospitality was already an important sign of trust. The families of Grebocin opened not only their homes but also their hearts. It was overwhelming to see how they took care of us. We often talked with the host families late into the night. I was also very impressed by the beauty of prayer. The choir has really helped me to open my heart to God’s presence."

Zuzanna, 18: "The preparation of this meeting was a true sign of joy for me. But it was even nicer to see the fruits of that time we spent together. Because of the beauty of the songs, decorating the gym and the hospitality of the families, you felt almost as if you were at a European meeting. I am sure that this meeting has been a significant experience not only for the pilgrims who came to Grebocin, but for us who prepared it."

Last updated: 14 July 2013