An important small step forward in reconciliation

Hernán from Argentina spent three months as a volunteer in Taizé. Here he tells of his experiences after his return home.

With the support of the youth ministry and the diocesan commission for interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, for several years now we have been organising prayers with the songs of Taizé in our diocese of San Isidro, with young adults who have been volunteers in Taizé for three months or more. People of different generations also take part in these special prayers; an ecumenical prayer is not something very usual in our country.

With the idea of continuing the pilgrimage of trust on earth, these prayers are becoming an opportunity for our communities to be in communion with all those who became our friends in Christ while we were in Taizé. It is also an opportunity to bear witness to the fact that it is possible to live unity in diversity in the world today.

On 27 July, we were invited to experience a very special prayer. For the first time in all this journey, we took part in a prayer that was not proposed and organised by a Catholic parish but by the Martin Lutero parish. The prayer was prepared jointly by two Lutheran communities: the Iglesia Luterana Unida (IELU) and the Iglesia Evangélica del Rio de la Plata (IERP).

We prayed before the icon of Friendship that we brought back from the meeting in Cochabamba. Four Lutheran pastors and members of the Presbyterian and Anglican churches were present.

For a country that is part of “America”, and which calls itself Catholic, this was a very important small step forward in the reconciliation between the Christian churches, inspired by the work of Brother Roger and begun in the “old continent”.

After the prayer, everybody, young and old, was invited for tea and to share experiences. I spoke about my time as a volunteer at Taizé two years ago. Daiana told of his involvement in the European 2007-2008 meeting in Geneva. Luli Verbrugghe, who has never been to Taizé, shared his experience of the meeting at Cochabamba. Other people close to Taizé replied to questions. How did Taizé begin? Taizé today? What we said was welcomed very warmly, with great openness all round.

We give thanks to God for this new opportunity of dialogue and encounter. Our hope is that this will be the beginning of a new friendship in Christ Jesus.

Last updated: 7 August 2008