Fortieth European Youth Taizé Meeting in Basel, Switzerland TAIZÈ
Sisters Jennifer CORTEZ and Christine PICHERY, Daughters of Wisdom
Organized by Taizé, the European youth meeting this year took place in the city and the region of Basel, Switzerland, from December 28 2017 to January 1st 2018. Tens of thousands of youth gathered for the new stage in the “pilgrimage of trust for the earth” begun by Brother Roger in the late 70s. For the first time, this European gathering was organized in three countries at once: Switzerland, Germany and France. Some young people and Daughters of Wisdom from the diocese of Evry-Corbeil in France took part in this annual meeting. This type of gathering is exceptional at a time when the Church is wondering how to network with the youth. We tasted internationality and had to juggle with languages!
Days, full and dense, were punctuated by three prayer meetings (morning, noon and evening) with the traditional beautiful Taizé songs. In small groups, we shared our reflection on the meditations proposed by Brother Alois, prior of the Taizé community. In the after-noon, we took part in very interesting thematic conferences on solidarity among peoples, peace, faith, inner life and social commitment. The central axis of this ecumenical moment was the development of the theme: “A joy that never runs out” by Brother Alois who gave four proposals for 2018:
1 : To look deeper into the sources of joy
2 : To hear the cries of the most vulnerable
3 : To share trials and joys
4 : To rejoice in the gifts of others among Christians,
How can we not be touched by the words of Brother Alois that are reminiscent of those of St. Louis-Marie of Montfort and Blessed Marie-Louise Trichet in their times: “When we hear the cries of a wounded person, look in their eyes, listen, touch those who suffer, we get closer to Jesus, poor among the poor and they draw us to greater intimacy with Him.” On December 31st 2017 at midnight, while many people made merry and celebrated, praying for peace in the World took on a particular meaning. On January 1, we enjoyed the traditional Alsatian sauerkraut and Kougelhof, cooked by our Alsatian hosts. What a remarkable welcome!
Back in Corbeil, what remains to be done is to gather the spiritual fruits of this pilgrimage by keeping preciously in our hearts the words of Brother Alois of Taizé:
“Human beings are made for joy and joy does not have vocation to be kept for oneself but to be shared. The joy that has the love of God as its source, this joy never runs out; it is the secret energy of a commitment to others that will never falter.”
For the fifth consecutive year the younger Sisters of the Daughters of Wisdom of Europe got together from August 14 to 20, 2016. During the pilgrimage on the footsteps of our Founders, St. Louis de Montfort and Marie Louise, they took time for mutual sharing. Here is a glimpse of that week.
Welcomed by our Sisters of La Rochelle, we walked on the steps of our Founders. With great joy, we appreciated the commentaries of Sr. Christine de Montalembert, DW. She recounted the history of our Congregation and its first beginnings at La Rochelle. The streets, the churches, the ancient hospitals and schools helped us to relive the early stages of our religious family with its joys and challenges. The strongly marked imprints of Montfort and Marie Louise allowed us to bring their message to date.
We left La Rochelle for a trip to the island of Ré. This time of leisure gave us the opportunity to know each other better. The visit to the Eco-museum of the saltmarsh was something new for each one. We admired the salt production process and the task of the salt workers. Contemplation of the maritime and terrestrial landscape invited us to make the link with our Pope Francis in “Laudato Si” and with St. Louis de Montfort in “The love of Eternal Wisdom.”. Back at St. Laurent-sur-Sèvre, we widened our spiritual tent. Brother Arsène (Brother of Saint-Gabriel and Father Arnold (Montfort Missionary) joined us for a time of reflection.
At the end of our stay, as we left Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre for our mission and countries, we realized how Wisdom had united us and worked in us. “Wisdom’s face of tomorrow takes shape today in each one of us.” As the leaven in the dough, we want to remain open to the breath of the Spirit by letting the seed of Wisdom grow in us. May we be witnesses of the love of God by caring mostly for the neglected as Montfort and Marie Louise and so many of our predecessors did before us!
* «Sophia-EurHope»:name selected by the younger Daughters of Wisdom of Europe.
Please reread the articles concerning the meetings of the Group