An Invitation – The Year 2015 for the Taize Community

LOCAL ORDINARIES in the Philippines and their
WELCOME CENTERSGROUPS and VOLUNTEERS in thePilgrimage of trust on earth 2010
PERMANENTS (those sent to the Taize Intercontinental Meetings) from the Philippines
Your Excellencies,
Dear friends in Christ,
Diyos ang bukal ng buhay, ang apoy at pagmamahal.
O halina, halina, Diyos Espiritu Santo!
Still in the spirit of the continuing pilgrimage of trust on earth which blessed us all last 2010 and continues to challenge us, we share this invitation by the Taize Community regarding the Year 2015 in Taize, which mark for them the 100th birthday of Br. Roger and the 75th year of the Community.  Among their proposals, they exhort us to mark May 12 (or a date near it) with prayer in the way of Taize in our communities, and to commit to acts of solidarity within this year.
This invitation comes very timely for us, as we continue observing the Year of the Poor.  Let us make our communion in prayer and commitment to solidarity become our way of going “to the peripheries… to bring the light of Christ” as His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle expressed to Pope Francis in behalf of everyone in the Concluding Mass of the Papal Visit last 2015 January 18.
May we then refer you to these documents:
1) The Year 2015 in Taize – Proposals and Possibilities for the Philippines 
2) The Year 2015 in Taize – Reply Form
After reading Proposals and Possibilities for the Philippines and discussing with your youth ministry group or equivalent, we kindly ask you to fill up the Reply Form and send it to not later than 2015 April 15.  What you send us will be useful to know what is happening in the country in relation to the Year 2015 in Taize, and to share with others, including the Taize Community who faithfully journeys with our Church in the Philippines.
Anticipating your acceptance of this invitation, we altogether renew our commitment to continue the pilgrimage of trust on earth.
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Chairman, Episcopal Commission on Youth

Four Proposals for “seeking visible communion among all who love Christ”

The Letter “Towards a New Solidarity”, continues to be the basis of the common journey that is leading us by stages to 2015. It commits us for the coming year to “seeking visible communion among all who love Christ.” Here are four proposals to join in this search.

Christ extended his friendship to all, without rejecting anyone. Those who love Christ all across the earth form, in his steps, a large community of friendship. This is called communion. For this reason, they have a contribution to make in healing the wounds of humanity: without wanting to impose themselves, they can promote a globalization of solidarity which excludes no people and no single person.
How can each person take part in this?

First Proposal – Join a local praying community

Love one another; by this love all will know that you are my disciples. (John 13:34-35)

On some occasions, such as international meetings, this community of friendship becomes visible. But these events are occasional. In every place, a portion of this large community can be found, even if a very poor one. It is not possible to live faith all by ourselves. Faith is born when there is an experience of communion, when we discover that Christ is the source of an unrestricted unity.

If local communities (also called parishes), groups and chaplaincies were increasingly to become places of friendship! Warm and welcoming places where we support one another, where we are attentive to those who are weak, to foreigners, to people who do not share our ideas…

A suggestion for all: could taking part in Sunday worship, or some other activities as well, even with people you did not choose, enable you to have an experience of communion?

A suggestion for local pastoral leaders: listen to young people; discern and welcome what they can bring to the local community; make older people aware of this.

Second Proposal – Extend friendship beyond the boundaries that limit us

Whatever you do to one of the least, you do to me. (Matthew 25:40)

Jesus was attentive to everyone he met, especially the poor, children, those who seemed unimportant. Following him, we can cross boundaries to join those in need. We can undertake acts of solidarity, together with Christians of different affiliations, and also with people who do not share our faith.

Whether the poverty is material or spiritual, solidarity implies a two-way sharing: in providing assistance, we are often the ones who receive.

A suggestion for all: why not choose, for one year, a situation in the neighborhood and people to whom a presence of friendship could be offered, solidarity be shown: to the outcast, the poor, the ill, those suffering from disabilities, abandoned children, immigrants, the unemployed…?

A suggestion for local pastoral leaders: help young people find situations where solidarity is necessary and possible.

Third Proposal – Share and pray regularly with others

Where two or three are together in my name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:20)

For some young people, painful trials, abandonment, solitude, or the keen awareness of the injustices in the world can make it almost impossible to have faith in God. Believing is always a risk—the risk of trusting.

With whom can I journey and reflect about my faith?

A suggestion for all: rather than staying alone with one’s questions, find a few other people to share with, once a week or once a month. Read together a page of the Gospel or another reading. Pray together with songs, a Bible reading, a long period of silence.

A suggestion for local pastoral leaders: encourage and support these small groups of sharing and prayer; help them to remain open and welcoming to others.

Fourth Proposal – Make the communion among all who love Christ more visible

You are the Body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

In our village, our city and our region, there are people who also love Christ, but in a different way than we do. Calling ourselves “Christians” means bearing the name of Christ. We receive our identity as Christians through baptism, which unites us to Christ. Let us try to give more visibility to this common identity, instead of emphasizing our denominational identities.

When differences appear to be incompatible, that is no reason to separate. During his life, Christ went beyond boundaries and, on the cross, he stretched out his arms from one side to the other, between those who are divided. If Christians want to follow Christ and let God’s light shine in the world, they cannot remain divided. It is the Holy Spirit who unites us.

A suggestion for all: Why not go towards those who are different, another group, another parish, another movement, another denomination, a Christian community of migrants…? We can make visits, let others welcome us, invite them. We can turn together to Christ in a simple prayer, putting ourselves “under one roof” without waiting for everything to be fully harmonized, and in this way we can live in anticipation of full communion.

A suggestion for local pastoral leaders: in pastoral work, do together with Christians of other denominations all that can be done together; do nothing without taking others into account.


You can also download the Filipino version of the proposals: four_proposals_for_2014_-_filipino


Rome 2012: Taize European Meeting

Pope to Taizé youth: Be bearers of Christian unity

(Vatican Radio) This Saturday an estimated 40 thousand young people gathered around Pope Benedict XVI above the tomb of St Peter for a vigil of prayer at year’s end. They are the young men and women of Europe’s Taizé Community on their annual ‘pilgrimage of trust on earth’ and they had come to Rome to receive Pope Benedict’s blessing for their New Year’s ‘resolution’: To uncover the wellsprings of trust in God in today’s world.

Below, please find the text of the Holy Father’s address to the European meeting of the Taizé Community and the greeting to the Holy Father of Br. Alois, leader of the Community.
Thank you, dear Brother Alois, for your warm words, full of affection.
Dear young people, dear pilgrims of trust, welcome to Rome!You have come in great numbers, from all over Europe and from other continents, to pray at the tombs of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. In fact, in this city both shed their blood for Christ. The faith that motivated these two great apostles of Christ is the same that compelled you to start out on this journey. During the year that is about to begin, you are proposing to uncover the well springs of trust in God in order to live it in your everyday life. It gladdens me that in this way, you have embraced the aims of the Year of Faith which began in October.
This is the fourth European meeting to be held in Rome. On this occasion, I would like to repeat the words my predecessor, John Paul II to young people during your third Meeting in Rome: “The Pope feels deeply committed together with you all on this pilgrimage of trust on earth … I too am called to be a pilgrim of trust in the name of Christ”. (30 December 1987).

Just over seventy years ago, Brother Roger established the Taizé Community. Thousands of young people from all over the world continue to go there to seek meaning for their lives. The Brothers welcome them to share in their prayer and provide them with an opportunity to experience a personal relationship with God. It was to support these young people on their journey to Christ that Brother Roger had the idea of starting a “pilgrimage of trust on earth”.A tireless witness to the Gospel of peace and reconciliation, ardently committed to an ecumenism of holiness, Brother Roger encouraged all those who passed through Taizé to become seekers of communion. We should listen in our hearts to his spiritually lived ecumenism, and let ourselves be guided by his witness towards an ecumenism which is truly interiorized and spiritualized. Following his example, may all of you be bearers of this message of unity. I assure you of the irrevocable commitment of the Catholic Church to continue seeking the paths of reconciliation leading to the visible unity of Christians. And so this evening I greet with special affection those among you who are Orthodox or Protestants.

Today, Christ is asking you the same question he asked his disciples, “Who am I to you?”. Peter, at whose tomb we are gathered at this moment, replied: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:15-16). His whole life became a concrete answer to this question. Christ also wants to receive a response from each of you born of a deep inner freedom and not of compulsion or fear. In responding to that question your life will find its strongest meaning. The text of the Letter of St. John that we have just heard helps us understand with great simplicity how to respond: “What we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another” (3:23). Have faith and love God and others! What could be more exciting? What could be more beautiful?During these days in Rome, let this Yes to Christ grow in your hearts, above all by taking advantage of the long moments of silence that are an integral part of your community prayers, after having listened to the Word of God. This Word, says the Second Letter of Peter, is “like a lamp shining in a dark place,” which you do well to be attentive to “until day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (1.19). You have to understand: if the morning star must arise in your hearts it is because it is not always present there. Sometimes the evil and suffering of the innocent create doubt and confusion in you. And saying Yes to Christ can become difficult. But these doubts do not make you non-believers! Jesus did not reject the man in the Gospel who shouted: “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mk 9:24).

So that you do not lose faith during this battle, God never leaves you alone and isolated. He gives us all the joy and comfort of the communion of the Church. During your stay in Rome, thanks to the generous hospitality of many parishes and religious communities, you are undergoing a new experience of being Church. On your return home, to your various countries, I invite you to discover that God is making you all co-responsible for His Church, in all the variety of vocations. This communion which is the Body of Christ needs you and you all have a place in it. Starting with your gifts, from what is specific to each of you, the Holy Spirit forms and breathes life into this mystery of communion which is the Church, in order to convey the Good News of the Gospel to the world today.

Together with silence, song has an important place in your community prayers. In these days the songs of Taizé fill the basilicas of Rome. Song is a support and incomparable expression of prayer. Singing to Christ, you open yourselves to the mystery of His hope. Do not be afraid to precede the dawn in praise of God, you will not be disappointed.Dear young friends, Christ does not remove you from the world. He sends you there where His light is missing, so that you may bring it to others. Yes, you are all called to be small lights to those around you. With your attention to a more equitable distribution of the goods of the earth, with your commitment to justice and a new human solidarity, you will help those around you to better understand how the Gospel leads us to God and at the same time to others. So, with your faith, you will contribute to uncovering the wellsprings of trust on earth.
Be full of hope. God bless you, your family and friends!

Greeting to the Holy Father by Brother Alois
Most Holy Father,Today a significant milestone in our “pilgrimage of trust on earth” is taking place. We have come from all over Europe and from other continents too, from various Church affiliations. What unites us is stronger than what divides us: one baptism and the same Word of God unite us. We have come here this evening to celebrate this unity around you, a unity which is real even if it is not yet fully realized. It is when we turn together towards Christ that it grows deeper.
Brother Roger left a legacy to our community—his desire to communicate the Gospel to young people in particular. He was deeply aware that the divisions between Christians are a barrier to handing on the faith. He opened paths of reconciliation that we have not yet finished exploring. Inspired by his testimony, there are very many people who want to anticipate reconciliation by their lives, to live already as people who are reconciled.Reconciled Christians can become witnesses to peace and communion, bearers of a new solidarity among human beings.

Seeking a personal relationship with God is the basis of this approach. This ecumenism of prayer does not encourage a facile tolerance. It promotes a mutual listening which is demanding, and a true dialogue.Praying here tonight, we cannot forget that the last letter written by Brother Roger, just before his violent death, was addressed to you, Holy Father, to tell you that our community wanted to walk in communion with you. Nor can we forget how, after his tragic death, your support was invaluable to encourage us to move forward. So I would like to express once again the deep affection of our hearts for your person and for your ministry.

Finally, I would like to bring the witness to hope of the many young Africans with whom we met a month ago at Kigali, Rwanda. They came from 35 countries, including Congo, North Kivu, to undertake a pilgrimage of reconciliation and peace. The great vitality of these young Christians is a promise for the future of the Church.These young Africans wanted us to bring back a sign of their hope, sorghum seeds, so that they could grow in Europe. Can I take the liberty, Holy Father, of giving you, from them, a small traditional Rwandan basket called “agaseke” with some of these seeds of hope from Africa? Perhaps they could be planted in the Vatican gardens and blossom there?

Credits to:
Photo taken by Karl Michael Hila – Taize Permanent 2012
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