On a Journey of trust

With Brother Alois frm TaizeWith Brother Alois frm Taize

Little sisters Blazenka and Mira took part in a very special pilgrimage with young people from many countries last September 2010, a pilgrimage to Sarajevo. It was called 'a pilgrimage of trust'. In the book of songs they prepared, the Brothers of Taize, wrote:

"We want to live this pilgrimage of confidence together, close to God and close to one another. We want to share our experiences and open our hearts together to new hope."

Preparations were discrete and carried out in prayerful silence although the media was also informed. Young people came from Bosnia Herzegovina, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, Germany, Italy. The most numerous however came from Croatia. In all there were over 1000 young people present. A highlight was the prayer round the cross and many were in tears. The Catholic Cardinal Vinko was present on the Saturday night with the Orthodox Metropolitan Nikolai. Several Muslims were present too discretely and in their own name.

There were talks and discussion groups in different places in the town with participation from all the different religious groups which were very well prepared covering such topics as social responsibility, how the arts and creativity can open new roads to peace, how to live in peace and collaboration, the history of the Jewish community, faith and culture in the Orthodox Community, the specificity of Islam, Croatian culture and danse, what can interfaith dialogue bring?

Vespers was sung at a small Orthodox church and the final prayer in the Catholic Church of St Joseph. The Auxiliary Bishop spoke with great courage and truth. He spoke of the long history shared by the three main Communities, three different peoples, and how we failed in our mission, raising our hands against each other. Now we are called to rebuild confidence and trust. He invited the young people to carry back with them this mission to rebuild fraternity and peace. Brother Alois of Taize was very touched by the welcome he received and by the generosity of the youth.