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Community of Mulhouse-La Valla



European Community of Taizé in Mulhouse

22/01/2014: France

The annual European meeting organised by the ecumenical community of Taizé took place in  Strasbourg,  France, from 28 December 2013 to 1st January 2014. Last year, the meeting was held in Rome and the community of the General House hosted 200 young people for the 5 days (see more). This time, it was the community of Mulhouse-La Valla, a community of laity and brothers created in 1996 by the  Province of Beaucamps-St Genis, which took part. 

200 young people from Belorussia, Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France (Regions of Montpellier and Lyon) were hosted for the five days of the meeting by the families living around the station of Mulhouse. The church of the Sacred Heart, the focal point, is only a few metres from our community, fully involved in the event.

After the long months of preparation… some highlights punctuated this unusual event for our city :

The Advent Conference given by Brother Aloïs, Prior of the Taizé Community, developed in a 7 points (develop interiority, live the faith at the risk of confidence, make the experience of communion, live friendship and interaction, foster encounter with the other, take care over the beauty of the times of prayer, develop simplicity of life and sharing with the most poor). On leaving the Conference, many people told us « But that’s like La Valla ! » So we became aware that these elements are the pillars of the life of our La Valla community with the youth, on a very small scale but inscribed in the life…and we understood why we have such strong bonds with the community of Taizé.

Our community spent four days in Strasbourg, before the arrival of the 20,000 young people in order to live communion of prayer with the brothers of Taizé already installed in the city.

The meeting itself : the community very involved in the welcome, the animation of the times of prayer, the evening celebration of 31 December, lived as a family where the young and not so young lent a hand together in all the tasks forseen… and unforseen ! 

And a highlight…Kévin and Baptiste, both in wheelchairs, animated two forums on « Change your ways of looking at the handicapped », superbly supported by two young adults, Nicolas and Stéphanie, who assured the translations into English and German, as well as the projection of a video clip !

Two French youth, Marie and Christophe, involved in the local animation, took part in the life of our community, which they discovered for the 1st time !

The meeting was for us an unforgettable time in which we lived the family spirit without a hitch, even at the times when we were dreaming of nothing but our beds !

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