Taizé: Gathering of young religious

On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of its founder, Brother Roger, and the 75th year of the founding of the Community, young men and women religious of the different Christian denominations were invited to Taizé from July 5 to 12, 2015, to share an experience of prayer and reflection on consecrated life today. About 350 young people, mostly Catholics, plus some Orthodox and Protestant, accepted the invitation and gathered in this oasis of ecumenical spirituality to listen to the general Superiors of various Institutes or religious congregations as well as some leaders of monastic communities.

For our part: over thirty young Friars Minor attended the event, including the general Minister, Friar Michael A. Perry, who spoke on July 10 in the morning, offering a reflection. He was introduced by our young brothers who performed the song Laudato sii (Be praised).

Friar Michael, took his cue from a Johannine affirmation of Jesus: “I have called you friends” and in the light of the experience of St. Francis of Assisi, gave a reading of the consecrated life as a vocational response to God’s proposal of friendship.

In the afternoon, Friar Michael met with the young Friars Minor present in Taizé They came from Ireland, Italy, Mexico and Spain. In this ambience of brotherly dialogue everyone had the opportunity to share their experience of life, mission and Franciscan witness. In addition to the challenges that young Franciscans are facing, there especially emerged the joys and the strengths of the personal and communal journey of the sequela Christi in the style inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, aa well as the expectations that these young Friars have for the future of their lives as consecrated religious.

This was a Taizé experience of deep sharing, mainly characterized by the ability and willingness to listen to the “other” and during which the participants were able to experience what Brother Roger had often said: “that which unites (us) in Christ is far more important than what divides (us).”