Meeting in Seville: May 2009

The meeting in Seville took place from 8 to 10 May 2009 and brought together over 2000 young adults of whom several hundred came from Portugal. Some of those who took part, including Ignacio from Seville and Marta from Portugal, share some of their experiences.

"Living the unexpected"

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“Many of us had dreamed for a long time of having a meeting led by Taizé in Andalusia. We had the impression that such a meeting could help us in our search and reveal important questions about what direction to give the youth ministry. How can we strengthen the sense of communion and friendship in the community of the church? How can we renew ourselves as a Church, in order to serve better the men and women in our world? How can we leave behind the discouragement and tiredness that so often paralyse us? And above all, how to increase our hope and trust in God?

Once again, the Holy Spirit guided us. With the help of the diocesan youth delegation, who worked very hard, this new stage of the pilgrimage of trust on earth became a beautiful and fruitful reality.

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With over 2 000 participants from several dioceses in Spain, including many from Seville itself, and many also from Portugal, we reflected on the challenges linked to the proclamation of Christ today, as we commit ourselves at the same time to the building of a world that is more just and reconciled, where each person assumes their responsibilities.

The welcome we received in Seville was, to put it briefly, simple, kind and generous. In the welcome centres, many families, even without knowing what Taizé is, opened wide not only their doors but their hearts as well.

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It was very surprising to observe the seriousness with which the people of the city treated the choir and the singing. Previously, the great majority of them had never heard of, let alone sung, the songs from Taizé. But they had been practising them since January. The choir was led by a young woman from Portugal and this weekend it was Iberian harmony that reigned. Differences were forgotten and their place was taken by friendship that made the times of prayer so beautiful.

Cardinal Amigo and Brother Alois were able to set the meeting on its course, inviting us to fix our eyes on the Risen Christ, to pray with the Scriptures and to live an experience of communion and reflection, while committing ourselves fully to God. Brother Alois also recalled that it was here in Seville that thirty years ago Brother Roger, with great enthusiasm, had launched the pilgrimage of trust on earth.

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The questions that were proposed for discussion were very well received. Where can we find the wellsprings of happiness and a meaning to life? Do we have the courage to ask for a response to the grave problems that humanity is experiencing at the present time? The interior of the beautiful cathedral became a space for listening to Christ and for discovering a new dynamism.

Many of us were struck by the times of silence during the prayers: this was another way of being present, of addressing God, a presence at the same time austere and simple. In the silence a space opens up where God speaks to each person.

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Finally, the meeting was also a call to rekindle the flame that exists in each young person, and this was particularly important for those of us who are leaders in the youth ministry. Trust in God, which finds its source in welcoming Scripture with a believing heart, must give us the courage to welcome reality as it is, and to dare to go further.”

Last updated: 15 May 2009