Skip to content
Catholic Online SHopping 20% off RE-Grand Opening SALE

RE-Grand Opening
FREE Shipping over $49 (lower 48)

A Year Without Brother Roger

Interview With Taizé Founder's Successor

TAIZÉ, France, AUG. 20, 2006 (Zenit) - "A year of mourning but also a year of grace," is how Brother Alois Loeser describes the year since the death of Brother Roger Schutz, founder of the ecumenical Taizé Community.

Brother Roger was stabbed to death Aug. 16, 2005, by an apparently mentally-disturbed woman at an evening prayer service attended by 2,500 people in the Burgundy region in France. He was 90.

Brother Alois, 52, who succeeded Brother Roger as prior of the community, is a native of Bavaria.

In this translation of an interview given to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, Brother Alois describes Taizé's journey during the first year after losing its founder.

Q: Can one speak of the start of a new period for Taizé?

Brother Alois: Certainly, because with the very tragic disappearance of Brother Roger everything has changed for us. He no longer is and, a year later, we still feel the void.

But at the same time we must say that nothing has changed, because we have the impression of continuing on the evangelical path that he showed us. Moreover, young people continue to live with us this pilgrimage of confidence. This indicates clearly that Brother Roger did not show himself but the presence of Christ, as John the Baptist. We are aware of this presence of God and it enables us to continue.

Q: What have been the most intense moments the community has lived over these months?

Brother Alois: Above all, the European meeting of Milan. It was the first meeting without Brother Roger, and the reception was truly wonderful, in the parishes, in the churches, and in the silence of moments of prayer.

I will always remember in particular the kindness and face of Monsignor Mario Spezzibottiani, who died later. People took part with greater intensity than ever and we felt they wanted to continue with this pilgrimage of confidence. Moreover, after the meeting, I was able to have a private audience with Benedict XVI and it was very beautiful that he continued to encourage us to continue living with Brother Roger's legacy. Since then, our visitors are even more numerous.

Q: You mentioned that there has been a change. Could you comment on its direction?

Brother Alois: We will see it long-term. For the time being, there is very much to do to explore further the path opened by Brother Roger.

An example? Before Pentecost I was with two brothers in Moscow where we were warmly received by Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II. He told us we must further our collaboration because there are many Orthodox young people who come to Taizé.

I was able to see the exceptional trust that Brother Roger was able to create over decades of contacts. It is only an example. The same is true for young people's meetings in other continents. In October we will hold a meeting in Calcutta. There is quite an important number of Indian young people who come here and ask us how it would be possible to create the ability to listen between the continents. Globalization exists, but there are also new walls that are being created between the continents.

Q: Ecumenism -- Christians' path toward unity -- seems a great frontier. Can you give us your point of view?

Brother Alois: For us, the search for Christian unity is a passion. We wonder how we can speak of a God of love and at the same time use so much energy to justify our separations. I believe that many people removed from the Church do not understand it and we must use all means to seek this unity.

There are many things we could do and we don't do enough. Here, in Taizé, we meet three times a day with different confessions in common prayer around the word of God, with the singing of psalms and with silence. It is a humble contribution but I think it is a concrete contribution to advance on the path that still today is revealed as arduous.

Q: What are the thousands of young people seeking who come to Taizé every year?

Brother Alois: We don't know and we ourselves also continue to wonder. Of course there is the thirst for a spiritual life and we hope that young people will find in the Church this source of the presence of God.

The international meetings make possible moreover an experience of the Church that encourages a return to one's parish, to one's local realities. We tell all young people that we do not want to create a Taizé movement.

Someone who comes from Italy cannot have a stable community in Taizé. Local communities and parishes are necessary. The parish will continue to be important, because it is the place where all the generations are found and no options are made. We are together in the Church because Christ brings us together and not because we have chosen one another.

Q: What will remain of Brother Roger's message and charism?

Brother Alois: An enormous legacy which is still alive. Above all, perhaps, the importance of being converted day by day to trust in God. Starting from here, many things become possible and God will show us the way.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Taize, Schutz, Alois

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.