Taizé: 10 May

Festive and collected atmosphere for the centenary of Brother Roger’s birth

On Sunday 10 May, the community of Taizé invited the people of the local region to celebrate the memorial of its founder, Brother Roger, two days before the centenary of his birth. Born on 12 May 1915 in the Swiss village of Provence, Brother Roger arrived in Taizé on 20 August 1940. This year 2015 is therefore a time to give thanks for his life and for the foundation of the community, 75 years ago.

Under a beautiful springtime sun, many friends from the surrounding region came to spend the afternoon in Taizé, some of them even made if for the whole day. Everyone was invited to attend a series of workshops and meetings, including:

  • "I would go to the ends of the earth in order to say and say again my confidence in the younger generations": Why did young people take so central a part in Brother Roger’s life? With Sabine Laplane, of the apostolic community of St. Francis Xavier, author of the biography "Brother Roger of Taizé. With almost nothing ... ".
  • "Never rest on the spot": the life and vision of Brother Roger Gottfried Hammann, pastor from the Protestant Church of Neuchâtel, Theologian, together with a brother of the community.
  • The essence in just a few words using some video clips of interviews with Brother Roger.
  • "I met Brother Roger and ..." with testimonies from several generations whose lives took an unexpected turn after they met Brother Roger.

Children and their families gathered to watch a play in Olinda, and youth aged 15 to 17 had a chance to follow the "Treasure Hunt" discovering Brother Roger’s life which has been created for the meetings with the young people this year.

On the morning of May 10, pilgrims from the four dioceses of Burgundy came to Taizé for the Eucharist, celebrated by Bishop Benoît Rivière, with Bishop Hervé Giraud of Sens-Auxerre, and Bishop Enrique Figaredo, a bishop from Cambodia. After Mass, the local bishop met with the participants in a room where the walls were hung with beautiful photographs taken by Michel Pellat-Finet. The images were taken in the last few months in the religious communities of the Diocese. Afterwards two meetings were proposed with a Brother of the Community and two Sisters of St Andrew.

At 5.30pm everyone gathered in the Church of Reconciliation for a prayer of thanksgiving in the presence of Bishops and various other Church Leaders, including Pastor François Clavairoly, president of the French Protestant Federation and several pastors and priests from France and Switzerland.

Finally, after the prayer, the crowd of visitors was invited to the Brothers’ house for tea. It was an opportunity to talk to those we have know, and to make new friendships ... a good ending to a joy day.

Last updated: 19 July 2015