After the 2008 international youth meeting in Nairobi, Church leaders and youth chaplains have invited the Taizé brothers to prepare another stage of the "pilgrimage of trust on earth" in Kigali. This meeting will be an occasion for young people from the Great Lakes Region, East Africa and other countries to live an experience of communion, sharing, reflection, Christian life in an international and multicultural atmosphere and to bear witness of their commitment for Christ and the Church, and of their capacity to take concrete steps to build trust and peace in their communities and their region.
Rwanda, a small landlocked country, shares with other countries of the region many challenges. Since the 1994 genocide Rwandans have been engaged in a tremendous effort to rebuild and develop their country in many different fields: security, infrastructures, education, health, energy, good governance. These achievements boost the hope of others.
Rwandans invite us to set out on a pilgrimage in the name of Christ, to experiment their hospitality, generosity, to share the joy of brotherhood and of celebrating together the Risen Christ.
Responding to their invitation and taking part in the 2012 Kigali meeting will be a testimony of our trust and love. We are not going there to comment or judge the past or take part in unending discussions but to listen to people hearts, to re-enforce our determination and willingness to commit our own lives. Together we shall meditate in silence the source of our faith, the mystery of Christ’s death and Resurrection, of his love stronger than evil and violence. Meeting those who have known the drama of the 1994 genocide and its consequences, those who have gone through very harsh suffering and who have struggled for years to recover peace and freedom of heart and can live the challenge of reconciliation in their communities and build their country will be an unique gift and Christian experience.
Participating in the Kigali meeting requires awareness, responsibility, sensitivity and a serious personal preparation. As another form of a lifelong pilgrimage toward God, prayer will be an essential dimension of the preparation. It can contribute to be ready to travel and meet our Rwandan hosts. A reflection and sharing with others, in our local communities, on the Source of reconciliation as well as on our daily commitment to forgiveness, faithfulness and to the service of others will also help us to meet and share more during the Kigali meeting.
To participate in the meeting in Kigali means taking a step forward spiritually, and finding simple ways to grow in faith and in our commitments. While preparing to go to Kigali, we can:
1. Pray with our local community or a regular prayer group. This will help make our trip a spiritual journey, connected with the life of our parish, group, or chaplaincy. You can download the song sheet for the meeting here.
2. Reflect with others on the letter “Towards a New Solidarity”, and in particular on the following themes: Trust among human beings, Trust in God, the Christ of communion...
Participants are expected to attend the whole programme during the four days of the meeting. Preparation is important so that the pilgrimage of trust already starts at home: to be received as guests, to take active part in an “exchange of gifts” and share in the diversity of languages, cultures and denominations.
If you live in Rwanda or in East Africa, ask in your home parish when a preparation meeting will be held. During the coming months, brothers from Taizé and young volunteers will facilitate these meetings.
If you live in Europe, it is desirable that before the meeting in Kigali you come to Taizé, and participate in a preparation meeting.