On Sunday, July 2nd, our young pilgrims from parishes throughout the diocese, returned from their pilgrimage to Taizé. It was an unforgetable week. The Taizé experience of prayer and music, community and friendship, teamwork and spirituality all had a profound impact on the young people. We attended prayer three times daily, attended talks and faith based workshops, various discussion groups, choir practices and we even volunteered with the various tasks in the day to day running of Taizé. There included washing toilets, litter picking, dish washing and taking part in the night watch, to list a few of the tasks. All of the above were greatly enjoyed by the pilgrims as they were carried out in a fun way! Even the toilet cleaning! The most profound experience was the experience of prayer and quiet in the main church at Taizé. Singing with up to 2,000 young pilgrims chants like ‘Jesus Remember Me,’ ‘Stay with Me’ and ‘Let All Who are Thirsty Come,’ was an amazing experience. The periods of silence and the prayers in different languages all added to what was an amazing week.
The Irish groups from Killkenny, Dublin, Meath and our own Kerry group met with Br Jean Marie on Thursday evening, Br. Jean Marie looks after the Irish pilgrims. The young people had such a good experience that they asked Br. Jean Marie about volunteering on a more permanent basis in the future. The Dublin and Meath pilgrims travelled under the Kerry flag. We’d like to express our thanks to Anita Ennis of the Dublin diocese for organising the Dublin pilgrims to travel with us. Also, thanks to the parish of Ratoath for helping with the two pilgrims from Meath.
Great friendships were forged and there are already plans to return to Taizé next summer. The Kerry pilgrims also hope to travel to Dublin to meet with Br. Jean Marie in October as he will travel to Ireland. Many thanks to all the Kerry parishes for their support and for making it possible for the pilgrims to travel.