2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation

From its opening at Lund (Sweden) on 31st October 2017, this year has been the occasion for many ecumenical events, celebrations, exhibitions... and we got involved in many ways. Here in Grandchamp, in the week of prayer for Christian unity, we had the joy of welcoming the monks and nuns of French-speaking Switzerland for a time of sharing around the theme of reconciliation and the vocation of unity; a very joyful and profound meeting! We were involved in the preparation of the ecumenical celebration in the Canton of Neuchatel on 20th August. Sr Pierrette and Sr Elisabeth were particularly active in the planning and the celebration. As long ago as December 2015 about a dozen people representing the different Christian confessions in the Canton met for the first time in Grandchamp, on the initiative of Sr Pierrette and Heiner Schubert from the Don Camillo community in Montmirail. Their main concern was to experience the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in an ecumenical context, celebrating the Christ of communion and together thank God for the gifts placed in each of the different churches. The group set about listening to one another’s sensitivities, and they met about every three months. Gradually a project took shape: to invite people to a Canton-wide ecumenical celebration on Sunday 20th August. Much care was put into dialogue and engaging together and being creative - and what creativity! The magnificent celebration brought about 400 people together. Some of the highlights: ° The prayer of repentance: through a symbolic gesture we dipped every one of our requests for forgiveness into the water of Baptism ° The 5 commitments made by the assembly and the fact that we are all invited to take them up and put them into practice. The whole celebration was filled by joyful and whole-hearted praise, well expressed in the JUBILATE DEO sung at the end!