Brother Alois in Goma
On Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 November, Brother Alois and two other brothers from Taizé made a visit to North Kivu, to the city of Goma, where recent events have caused an influx of tens of thousands of displaced families seeking refuge in the parishes.
Meeting in Kigali
Just before that, working with the Churches of Rwanda, the Taizé Community had organised a youth meeting in Kigali, from 14 to 18 November 2012. After Johannesburg in 1995 and Nairobi in 2008 this meeting was a new African step in the pilgrimage of trust on earth begun by brother Roger over thirty year ago and which has included gatherings on each of the continents.
In Kigali, the participants came from all over Rwanda, the Great Lakes region and East Africa and also from further afield - in total more than 8500 young people from 35 countries. In Kigali and the surrounding area more than 50 local communities joined in preparing to welcome them and more than 4000 families opened their homes to lodge the participants.
The morning programme took place in each welcoming community around the theme "visiting and meeting witnesses of hope", people who make commitments for others. In the afternoons the young people took part in prayers led by theTaizé Community, as well as workshops on different themes, a cultural forum and a visit to the Genocide Memorial centre.
Brother Alois spoke about how he was " much impressed by the vitality of young Christians in this region of Africa. Knowing that many go through such difficult situations, this dynamism is like a Gospel call to stand firm in hope."
The next stage in the "Pilgrimage of Trust", the 35th European Meeting, will take place in Rome from 28 December to 2 January. Several tens of thousands of young people are expected in the Italian capital.