Message from Brother Alois

A tribute to Desmond Tutu

Dear family and friends,

On this day when Archbishop Desmond Tutu has entered into the life of eternity, I would like to express my affection, and that of all the Taizé Community, to you who have shared his life and his struggles for nearly sixty-five years.

The Spirit of the Risen Christ made him a source of wisdom and courage for South Africa and the rest of the world during the darkest hours of Apartheid and throughout the journey towards justice and reconciliation in your country.

We are grateful for the friendship that has linked the Archbishop and our community for more than forty years. Since Brother Roger’s visit to Johannesburg in 1978 and his own visit to Taizé in 1979, we have remained in communion through prayer, sharing the same passion for awakening new generations of young people to faith in Christ. In 1980, when tensions were high in your country, he organized the journey of 144 young South Africans of all origins, denominations and social backgrounds on a pilgrimage of reconciliation to Taizé. Since then, he has faithfully supported hundreds of young South Africans sent by their churches to represent their country at the different stages of the Pilgrimage of Trust organized by Taizé. Two years ago he was keen to join the participants in the international meeting that we had prepared in Cape Town.

In his welcome message to the participants of the 1995 Taizé Pilgrimage to Johannesburg, he wrote: " Prayer creates the climate in which we can meet and grow to love one another."

Together with women and men of goodwill throughout the world, and especially with young people across the African continent, we give thanks for his life and ministry. He will continue to inspire seekers of justice and peace.

Brother Alois, prior of the Taizé Community

During the Taizé meeting in Cape Town, 2019

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