Our Finnish Catholic youth team set out from Tampere in the afternoon on December 27th and we arrived in Riga the same evening. It was rainy and windy that evening, so we tried to find our accommodation as soon as possible. We improvised and took a few buses, until we happily noticed some young Germans riding the same bus. They proved to be heading toward the same temporary accommodation we were looking for. Thanks to their amazing navigation skills (i.e. Google Maps), we found the right place quite easily. This year's Taizé New Year Meeting brought together around 15,000 participants between the ages of 18 and 35.
Towards the Unity of the European Continent
Each country, large or small, should be able to have its voice heard, with its specific character. It’s important to make the effort to understand from within the mentality of others: only in this way can sometimes discordant attitudes be better understood and reaction motivated by emotion alone be avoided.
Muslims and Christians can look for practical steps to witness together to peace and to reject together all violence justified in God’s name. Some 800 years ago, Francis of Assisi, in his desire to contribute to peace, did not hesitate to travel to Egypt to meet the Sultan. Mother Theresa devoted her life to the poorest of the poor, whatever their religion.
European countries that want to isolate themselves will have no future. Among Europeans themselves, as well as in their contact with refugees, friendship and mutual support is the only path to preparing peace.”
We recommend all young people to participate in the next New Year's Meeting in Basel, Switzerland 28.12.2017-1.1.2018!