October 11, 2023
In June 2023, the UISG (The International Union of Superiors General) leadership asked community leaders of religious congregations if they could host young people for a weekend of prayer. Sister Mary Ann Culpert responded, “Yes, we can host 20 young people in our Villa Giulia Guest House.”
The Holy Father asked the Taizé Community to organize a prayer vigil for the Saturday before the opening of the Synod on Synodality. Young people from all over came ‘TOGETHER 2023’ for the weekend and stayed at many host locations. More than 3,000 people were housed throughout Rome.
At Mother House, 20 guests arrived on Friday night. We began with prayer before the Blessed Sacrament followed by a pizza supper together. What a joy it was to meet our guests from France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Scotland, and Switzerland. At supper that evening we had 15 countries represented in our dining room. Truly a TOGETHER experience.
Saturday morning our guests left for their breakout sessions all over Rome. At noon they met at the Basilica of St. John Lateran for lunch and to begin their synodal walk to St. Peter’s Basilica. Silence and singing could be heard as they walked the streets of Rome.
From 4:00 to 7:00 the young people were joined by all the synod members, 12 church leaders, the citizens of Rome, and many tourists, along with the Holy Father, for an ecumenical prayer service in St. Peters Square. It was a powerful experience of prayer Together.
Sunday, October 1, our 20 guests helped us celebrate our Foundation Day with a beautiful intercultural Mass and a special meal afterward. Much joy was shared.
One of our guests shared “God is Love, and I met God here in this house among you.”