“Desert Flower” youth group on prayer and communion trip to Taizé, France

By: Fr. Piotr Zelazko for Saint James Vicariate - Published: August 30 Thu, 2018

“Desert Flower” youth group on prayer and communion trip to Taizé, France Available in the following languages:

FRANCE – From August 5-15, 2018, the youngest members of the “Desert Flower” group from the  traveled to France to experience prayer and communion in Taizé, accompanied by their chaplain Fr. Piotr Zelazko, head of the Hebrew speaking Catholic community of Beer Sheva.

The 14 to 18-year-old Youth group Perah Ha-Midbar (Desert Flower) traveled to France. The main goal of the visit was to spend a week in Taizé. It is a village with an ecumenical Christian community, in Burgundy, that was founded in 1940 by Brother Roger Schütz, a Reformed Protestant. It is composed of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world.

During the summer the Community of Taizé hosts thousands of young people from all over the world. The groups come to participate in a one week program. Desert Flower group arrived to Taizé after a long trip, taking a flight from Tel Aviv to Paris and two trains: to Lyon and to Macon, as well as a bus from Macon. “We were received by one of the volunteers and the main rules were explained to us,” said Fr. Piotr. “Simple accommodation and commonly shared food, and a lot of other young people who make an extraordinary atmosphere in Taizé. There were people singing, dancing, playing and laughing everywhere. There was also a lot of time for prayer.”

The schedule of a typical day in the youth meetings consisted of a morning prayer, breakfast, an introduction to the day with a brother of the community followed by a quiet reflection or small group discussion, a midday prayer, lunch, a song practice (optional), meetings in small groups, tea time, workshops (optional), supper, an evening prayer and an informal gathering at Oyak, which is a common area at Taizé. We were also invited to a special meeting with Br. Emil.

The time in Taizé was a good opportunity to deepen the relationship with God, to learn and practice personal prayer and to meet young Christians from other countries.

After a week in Taizé the group headed to Paris where they were able to spend three wonderful days. “This trip was possible thanks to those who contributed and helped to organize it. We thank Fr. Jean Marie Aubert who gave us the accommodation in his Parish at Montparnasse,” said Fr. Piotr. “Our two friends Clotilde and Gregoire, that we knew from Jerusalem, helped in guiding us to the most beautiful places in France’s capital.”