TAIZÉ

Some Recent News

Week of prayer for Christian unity

The week of prayer for Christian unity will take place, as every year from January 18 to 25. All our friends from the area are invited to come to Taizé Wednesday January 18 at 6pm for a prayer service, followed by refreshments.

Before this, beginning at 5:15pm in room 15, two brothers will meet with those who would like to hear more about the gathering of the People of God, "Together," that is being prepared,. The details will be announced during the week of prayer for Christian unity.

NB: evening prayer will take place on January 18 at 6pm, and not at 8:30pm as usual.

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Death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

On December 31, 2022, the news reached the brothers and participants in the European meeting in Rostock that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had entered the life of eternity. Brother Alois said a few words of homage at the beginning of the prayer and invited all present to a moment of recollection. He recalls here some memories linked to the pope’s relationship with Taizé.
The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI touches our hearts in Taizé because our community has had a relationship with him for over half a century. In fact, Joseph Ratzinger and Brother Roger already knew each other at the Second Vatican Council, where one was an expert and the other an observer.
 
I remember myself staying with Brother Roger at the home of the theologian who became Archbishop of Munich during a meeting of young people that we had prepared in that city. He received us warmly in his house.
 
Later, when Brother Roger went to Rome every year to meet Pope John Paul II, he often went to visit Cardinal Ratzinger, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in order to have an in-depth exchange with him.
 
The last letter written by Brother Roger three days before he was murdered was addressed to the new Pope Benedict XVI to tell him that his advanced age did not allow him to go to the WYD in Cologne, but that he would go as soon as possible to greet him in Rome. The Pope had this letter in his hands during the general audience on Wednesday when he announced with sadness the tragic death of the founder of our community. He held Brother Roger in great esteem, and five years after his death he wrote: "May his witness to an ecumenism of holiness inspire us in our march towards unity.”
 
Personally, I am very grateful for the welcome that Benedict XVI gave me when I went to meet him a few months after the beginning of my new ministry as prior of our community. The same year, 2005, saw the death of John Paul II and of Brother Roger. How would our community’s relationship with the Pope continue? From the very first audience I understood that his confidence in us had been won and that I could go to see him every year. He told me: "In Taizé, you have the songs and the silence, you go to the essential with the young people, towards a personal relationship with God.” This was very important for him and for us.
 
The relationship with him culminated in the prayer we celebrated in his presence on December 29, 2012, during our young adult European meeting in Rome. To the thousands of young people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Benedict XVI said, among other things, "I assure you of the Catholic Church’s irrevocable commitment to continue to search for ways of reconciliation in order to achieve the visible unity of Christians."
 
A few weeks later he resigned, and I made a point of going to see him in his retirement the following year to thank him for the unfailing support he had always given to our community in its vocation.


Photo: (C) Servizio Fotografico dell’Osservatore Romano | Vatican Media

Ukraine | Solidarity Collection

The Taizé Community has many friends in Ukraine, which the brothers visited in May and again in early October.

During this last visit, a solidarity project was born: a collection of school supplies for children and young people who have had to leave the east of the country because of the war. Their families have few resources, given the seriousness of the situation. Our contacts in the field indicate that blankets and winter coats will also be badly needed as the harsh winter approaches.

The solidarity collection will take place in Taizé until 18 December. The precise list of items we are collecting is published below. We would appreciate it if you only offer school equipment in excellent condition or new clothes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write to us at ukraine taize.fr. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

List of items to be collected

  • White paper 80 mg (21x29,7 cm)
  • Coloured paper 160-200 mg (24x32 cm)
  • Perforated binder sheets on white paper (21x29.7 cm)
  • Notebooks (21x29.7 cm)
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Coloured felt-tips
  • H.B. pencils
  • Erasers
  • Coloured pencil pouches
  • Boxes of paints
  • Pairs of scissors
  • Rulers
  • Glue sticks
  • Single- and double-sided tape
  • Personal whiteboard
  • Whiteboard markers

In addition, the same organization also collects for the winter:

  • Blankets
  • New winter jackets or coats for children and young people
  • Scarves
  • Winter hats
  • Winter gloves

We regret that for practical reasons we have to decline other donations, for example foodstuffs or medicines. For these other donations, do not hesitate to ask locally for information about possible collections organized by associations that could make good use of them.

Ursula von der Leyen in Taizé

Taizé • Press release | Friday 19 August 2022

The international meetings have resumed their course in Taizé after two years marked by the pandemic. Since Easter, more than 20,000 young people have come to take part week after week in the activities offered: community prayer, sharing in small groups, workshops for reflection, practical tasks.

The end of the summer will be marked by an exceptional visit: Mrs Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, will be in Taizé on Saturday 27 August. During her visit, she will meet with the community and dialogue with young people present in Taizé that week. She will give a public lecture on European affairs at 5:30 pm. It will be possible to attend this conference by registering in advance. (Update: This possibility is now closed. You can of course follow the conference online.)

During this special week for young adults from 18 to 35 years old, other speakers will lead workshops, among them experts in various fields, scientists, political leaders—the full program will be published on the website. A special program on saving biodiversity will be offered for those who wish to attend.

Brother Alois reacts: “Our desire as a community is that all the young people who come to Taizé may feel that trust in God helps them to find meaning in their lives and to assume responsibilities when they return home. Ursula von der Leyen’s visit is an important moment, which indicates that the aspirations and commitments of the younger generation are being heard and taken into account by political leaders and institutions. In this respect, this visit, in the serious crises of the present time, will be a sign of hope.”

Some news in brief :

  • • This Saturday, August 20, as part of the "week of witness to the Orthodox faith", a special day will take place in Taizé: Metropolitan Dimitrios will come from Paris to celebrate the divine liturgy at 9 am, in the Church of Reconciliation.
  • • The evening prayer continues to be broadcast live each day in audio on the Taizé website, and the Saturday evening prayer in live video.

Media Accreditation

To follow Ursula von der Leyen’s conference as a journalist or photographer, it is necessary to request an accreditation via this online form .

To obtain photos of the summer in Taizé, or to request an interview with brothers or volunteers, write to us at media taize.fr.

A meeting at Taizé

From July 10 to 12, on the invitation of the Taizé Community, a meeting brought together representatives of several national youth ministry services and Catholic movements involved in ecumenism, as well as Protestant and Anglican Christians. The discussions focused on the question: how can the synodal pathway which is taking place in the Catholic Church become a powerful moment in the search for unity among Christians and the whole human family, and how can we encourage the involvement of young people in this process?

Among the participants who spoke were Sister Nathalie Becquart, xmcj, from the Synod Secretariat; Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, op, from the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity; Father João Chagas, from the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life; Brother Alois, prior of Taizé. These days enabled us to walk together in great diversity and in hope for unity.