The year 2015 was the centenary of Brother Roger’s birth and the tenth anniversary of his death. As part of this special year, an international colloquium brought to Taizé 350 young women and men committed to the monastic or religious life—Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox from 52 countries.
During a week of sharing, they reflected on the founder of the Taizé Community’s specific contribution to the “great tree of monastic life” on which Taizé is “a simple bud which has been grafted on,” as he used to say. And they pondered the meaning of their vocation today and its relevance for the twenty-first century.
The contributions that formed the background for their searching have been brought together in this book. They represent a whole range of experiences: from the meditation of a Coptic bishop from Egypt, where monasticism began, to the echoes of twentieth-century creations such as Protestant communities like the sisters of Grandchamp in Switzerland or of Emmanuel in Cameroun, the Orthodox communities of Kovilj in Serbia or Saint Nicholas of Gomel in Belarus, Anglican sisters in Bristol, England, or the Catholic Little Sisters of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld.
Age-old monastic or religious traditions are expressed in particular through the voices of Mother Iakovi, abbess of an Athonite monastery in Greece, Adolfo Nicolás, General of the Jesuits, Bruno Cadoré, Master General of the Dominicans, Marcellin Theeuwes, former Prior General of the Carthusians, Olivier Quenardel, Abbot of Citeaux, Richard Baawobr, Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa, and Michael Perry, Minister General of the Franciscans.