Towards a new solidarity

Listening to the Youth of America

Having in view the “Gathering for a New Solidarity” to be held in Taizé from August 9-16, 2015, with a few of the brothers I went to America, continuing the visits which we made to Asia and Africa last year and the year before, and which we will follow up by visiting the young people of Oceania at the beginning of 2015. We participated in young adult meetings in the United States and Canada, then in Mexico and Guatemala, and finally in the Caribbean—in Puerto Rico, Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

From NORTH AMERICA, a number of Native Americans had come to Taizé and asked us to hold a gathering of the Pilgrimage of Trust on the Pine Ridge Reservation in SOUTH DAKOTA. Later on, brothers returned to North America for other meetings in different regions. In 2014 a group from Pine Ridge returned to Taizé and, through these relationships that have deepened with the Lakota Indians, we have been struck to see how trust can be reborn even in situations where, in the course of history, it has been broken and betrayed.

In LATIN AMERICA we had already held meetings in Bolivia in 2007 and Chile in 2010. And for forty years now, a few brothers have been living in a city of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil. Given the situation in their various countries, Latin American youth have many reasons to be discouraged. But everywhere we went we met Christians who strive to be “salt of the earth.”

In MEXICO as in GUATEMALA, being salt of the earth means choosing to work for peace in societies often marked by violence and by drug trafficking. A lively popular faith there strongly highlights the fact that God is close to all, especially the poor. Many Christians want the Church to be more and more a place of welcome where everyone is listened to: this would help peace to grow.

In CUBA, many young people are eager to escape isolation. They need to feel close to young people of other countries, and asked us to bring them their greetings on our return. For them, to be salt of the earth means choosing to keep hope alive.

In HAITI, trust in God leads Christians to be salt of the earth despite enormous difficulties. It enables them to view reality in the light of the resurrection. Even the severe earthquake in 2010 has not been able to stifle their trust in God.

Throughout Latin America — we saw the same thing again in PUERTO RICO and the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — joy prevails in spite of the hardships of life, injustices, the growing gap between rich and poor, the precarious situation of migrants. This both challenges and stimulates us. Even among the poor, joy is nurtured by trust in God. By living as brothers and sisters Christians help to build a society whose law is not “every person for themselves”, but solidarity and responsibility for one another.

Last updated: 26 December 2014
On this page we will publish accounts of young people from different countries who react to something in Brother Alois’ text or who give living examples of it. You can send us your own reactions or examples to the address echoes taize.fr.