Taize founder wrote about death before fatal stabbing

In a message prepared shortly before he was fatally stabbed, Br Roger Schutz spoke about the special suffering caused by the death of inspirational figures.

CLICK HERECatholic News Service reports that rather than lose heart at such a loss, he said, believers should try to use it as an opportunity to understand God's healing powers.

Br Roger, the renowned founder of the ecumenical monastic community of Taize, France, was killed during a prayer service by a deranged woman last August. His death shocked and saddened Christians around the world.

Br Roger's unfinished last message, intended to be read at a meeting of European youths in Milan, Italy, at the end of December, was published by the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, yesterday. It was also made available in several languages on the Taize community Web site.

The Taize community said Br Roger had begun working on the message over the summer. The afternoon of the day he died, 16 August, Br Roger called one of his Brs and told him: "Note down these words carefully!" Then he tried to finish the message, but gave up, exhausted.

In his message, Br Roger said there were times when "all of us are shaken by a personal trial or by the suffering of others." Sometimes this experience can undermine people's faith and extinguish hope, he said.

"One kind of suffering leaves a particularly deep impression: the death of someone we love, someone we may have needed in order to keep going forward here on earth," he said. "But such a trial can sometimes be transfigured, and then it opens up to a communion. A gospel joy can be restored to someone in extreme distress. God comes to shed light on the mystery of human suffering."

Taize founder wrote about death shortly before fatal stabbing (Catholic News Service 21/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)

Correspondent explores Taize ecumenical ambiguities (CathNews 20/9/05)
Brother Roger's death spotlights issue of shared communion (CathNEws 29/8/05)
Melbourne backpacker tells of Brother Roger horror moment (CathNews 25/8/05)
Brother Roger laid to rest in Taizé (CathNews 24/8/05)
Catholic funeral for Taizé's Brother Roger (CathNews 23/8/05)
Pope shocked at slaying of Taizé's Brother Roger (CathNews 18/8/05)

22 Dec 2005