Taking part in a pilgrimage of trust means:
- Crossing borders to share together in simplicity
- Going together to the wellsprings of trust in the beauty of worship and song
- Becoming people of trust and solidarity
The Taizé Community has been invited to take its “pilgrimage of trust” to St. Louis. Over Memorial Day weekend (26-29 May 2017), young adults from throughout the Midwest and other parts of North America will come together as a culmination of a year-long initiative to build trust in the St. Louis area.
During the month of February 2016, two brothers were in St. Louis contacting churches of various denominations and reflecting with them on what this pilgrimage could mean. Here are some of the things they heard:
“St Louis has been shaken. But so much can come from it. We can wake up—to each other. We can look around and see one another and begin to ask how we can listen, and what there is to do. We can do good, and meet one another. Shortly after Michael Brown died in 2014, I dreamed of a meeting happening here much like the one in Pine Ridge.”“There is indeed a great deal of suffering here brought on by an ongoing history of systemic racism. I think any way that religion can offer places for people to voice that truth, to have that hurt held and to be joined with others crying out for justice is crucial at this time.”“Without trust we will not dare to be vulnerable and if we don’t dare to be vulnerable we will not take risks. It’s always a risk to leave our comfort-zone and go towards others.”“There is a lot of legitimate anger here, but we know that we cannot live off anger. I think we need to work more on articulating a positive vision, that’s why I’m glad that the pilgrimage will involve both prayer and looking for ways to work for justice.”
The initial idea of holding a stage of the pilgrimage of trust in St. Louis, which will be an ecumenical event, came from Archbishop Robert Carlson, who wrote a letter of invitation to the community after having heard of the pilgrimage of trust that took place on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in May 2013. The pilgrimage of trust to Pine Ridge, supported by the tribal council, was prepared in collaboration with young Native Americans from South Dakota. In inviting the Taizé Community, Archbishop Carlson underlined his concern for the urgent need to rebuild relations between different groups in the area, especially after the events in Ferguson.
The brothers came back to St. Louis to launch the pilgrimage in late September-early October 2016 through evenings of prayer and reflection in various parts of the St. Louis area.
The pilgrimage of trust was launched over 35 years ago by Taizé’s founder, Brother Roger, in order to foster trust between people through living and praying together, discussing and discovering common ground. Over the years, it has brought together hundreds of thousands of young adults worldwide.
A dedicated website showcasing local events in the pilgrimage and including practical information about how to register can be found at www.pilgrimageoftruststl.com.
For more information, contact usameetings taize.fr
You can watch a video on Taizé and the pilgrimage of trust here.
Photos of Taizé and of previous gatherings of the pilgrimage of trust are available.