17 November | Changing things around

Last year in Rostock, pilgrims were hosted mainly by Protestant churches. This year it is the opposite situation, with the Catholic Church being the largest Christian denomination in the country. Approximately 72% of the Slovenian population identify as Catholic. During the meeting in and around Ljubljana, pilgrims will be welcomed in Catholic host parishes. However, other denominations have an important role to play in the faith life of the city, such as Serbian Orthodox and Lutheran, which have churches located in Ljubljana.

It has been wonderful to get to know our Lutheran brothers and sisters in Slovenia. Less than 1% of the Slovenian population identifies as Lutheran. There is a church in Ljubljana but the majority are located in the East of the country. Every month, we have an evening prayer in this Lutheran church and during the European Meeting, some midday prayers will take place here.

In recent weeks the preparation team visited Murska Sobota twice - a town two hours away from Ljubljana, which today is the largest Lutheran parish in Slovenia and where the bishop of the Lutheran church resides. On Reformation day we celebrated the service together with a local pastor.

We thank the bishop for the opportunity to visit Murska Sobota and learn more about the diversity of Christianity and the beauty of different traditions here in Slovenia. Every visit we feel very welcomed and we are eager to continue our friendship with all church communities in Slovenia!

5 November | Ljubljana: Getting to know the impressive welcome area!

We can finally say that we have visited all of our local churches that will be welcoming pilgrims at the end of the year! You can find all of them in the map below. We are grateful for their kindness and hospitality, and visiting them has also allowed us to discover some real gems in the country.

Easily accessible in less than an hour by public transport, and located at the meeting of the Poljanska and Selška Sora rivers, its old town transports you directly into the middle age! It is actually considered the best preserved medieval town in Slovenia, even though it had to be rebuilt after the great earthquake that occurred in 1511. We invite you to explore the streets and churches, and take a walk up to Loka castle and enjoy the beautiful views from there!

30 October | Spreading the word

Last week some of our volunteers were invited to visit St. Stanislav’s Institution, which is located about 6 kilometres from the city center of Ljubljana. The Institution is a cultural and educational establishment with 6 different schools and was founded in 1901 by the Diocese of Ljubljana. Approximately 1500 students study there at the moment.

The volunteers had the opportunity to meet young people in their last year of high school, and invite them to the Taizé European Meeting that is coming soon. During the hours spent in the Institute, the volunteers organised workshops for different groups of students. The young people received some words which are core to life in Taizé, such as trust, simplicity, hospitality, mercy and silence. After reflecting for some minutes they had moments of sharing about how these words resonated within them and how they live them in their daily life.

We thank the Institute and the young people for welcoming us and we continue our path of getting to know the people of Slovenia and spreading the word about the upcoming European Meeting.

15 October | Building bridges through the European meetings

One of the opportunities we have when participating in a Taizé European Meeting is experiencing how local people live their lives and their faith within the communities and parishes. It can be a beautiful experience to host pilgrims and have the chance to connect with them.

In December 2022, a group of Slovenians participated in the Taizé European Meeting in Rostock where they were welcomed by a German family. They shared daily life, special moments, and their culture and faith, which created a bond between them. Nine months after this experience, the German host family decided to spend their holidays in Slovenia and reunite with the pilgrims they had the pleasure of hosting in Rostock. During their visit they shared their experience as hosts with members of the parish of Moste, of which the pilgrims they welcomed are part. Check it out a little bit of what they shared:

What was your favourite part of the meeting?

Our favourite part was Urša, Rok, Ema and Štefan. It was so nice that they came as strangers, but now they feel like friends or family. Our favourite memory is of the Taizé prayer, where there were a lot of people. Also the drive home and the hanging out with them at our house.

How did the experience enrich your parish?

We connected as a parish and everybody was very happy that this was going on and we were a part of it.

What was this experience like?

Wonderful! We enjoyed the workshops and prayers. But the time we all got home was fantastic! We had so many conversations and sharings with each other. Before I did not know much about Slovenia, but now I am here, because they told us everything about it. It was a great exchange to get to know other people from other countries.

By Wego Family
October 2023, Ljubljana - Moste

13 October | Check out where pilgrims are coming from to the European meeting in Ljubljana!

The preparation of the European Meeting in Ljubljana is well underway, and for 2023 we have a new way to connect with the pilgrims before even arriving at Ljubljana. For the first time you will be able to see from which countries the pilgrims are coming. But that is not all; you can also filter on the interactive map if the pilgrims are coming in big, medium or small groups, or if there is an individual coming from that region. You might find even yourself if you have already registered!

If you want some information about joining one of the big groups coming from your region, you can contact us at gototaizeljubljana gmail.com

Check out the map to see our weekly updates as we prepare to welcome you in Ljubljana!