I wrote a blog about the Taizé meeting held at DePaul University in Chicago last May. I also announced this unique event at our March 26 Conversation with Cardinal George. I devote a section of my book, Your Church Is Too Small, to Taizé. Taizé’s ministry in America has rightly been called a “pilgrimage of trust” in North America. This “pilgrimage” is continuing in the new year with another special gathering for young adults. This one is very unique and I expect some of my youngest readers will be deeply interested.
Over the past few years, a relationship has grown up between Taizé and some Native Americans who live in South Dakota. A large group from South Dakota, including many Native Americans, took part in the May 2012 meeting in Chicago. As a result of this relationship, the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) people, who live on the Pine Ridge Reservation, have welcomed Taizé to have an event on the reservation during Memorial Day weekend May 24-27, 2013. Here Taizé will stage a pilgrimage of trust in an entirely new venue. This is a rare opportunity to discover a culture very different from mainstream America, with its gifts and its problems. It will allow those who attend to see what they can learn from one another, and to search together for what the Spirit is saying to us as we try to create a more humane world.
As always this Taizé gathering will be rooted in times of prayer, sharing and an experience of community. But it will be different than the usual meetings outside of Taizé, France, because of the specific location. Living conditions will be very simple: participants will stay in tents on the reservation, and meals will be provided by the local people. Although all are encouraged to bring their own tents, some collective tents will be available for those who come from a long distance.
Taizé hopes that you understand, because of the particular nature of this meeting, that they cannot welcome young people under 18, or adults over 35 unless they accompany a group of under-21s. This is a college student and millennial event.! I believe it is such a unique opportunity that I hope some of you will plan on attending. Information is available online.