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Institute for Pastoral Initiatives News

Campus Flashback: Nearly 30 years ago

By Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski,D.Min,MHSH

For many people, the name of Taizé evokes thoughts of music or a style of prayer. After all, the songs of the Taizé community, founded by Brother Roger, are known for their simplicity and contemplative quality. This ecumenical movement spread far and wide from eastern France.  

The University of Dayton hosted aTaizé experience over Memorial Day Weekend in 1992. Several thousand youth from across the United States and around the world flocked to campus. The event was coordinated by Dr. Mary Brown, from the Office of the Provost.

Frerick’s Field House turned into a beautiful prayer space for five days. Walking around our UD campus, observing youth groups huddled over the scriptures in prayer and dialogue, created a comprehensive campus wide spiritual ambience. Something extraordinary permeated every inch of UD’s atmosphere each day.

During those days, I was fortunate, along with a few others, to encounter the spiritual wisdom, one on one, with Brother Roger.

Ten years later, while teaching in Lyon, France, I decided to spend time with the Taizé Community. The weeklong experience in silence, contemplative prayer, along with walks through the Taizé French countryside, and encountering the Brothers deepened my appreciation for Taizé prayer.

Today, listening to Taizé music enables me to distance myself from the days’ distractions, center myself, opening myself to a deeper communion with God.  You too can experience Taizé for beginning, or, advancing your spiritual journey.

Sister Angela Ann is the Director of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives and the VLCFF online, which offers three week($40) and five week($50) classes year-round. Go to and click calendar to see the next start date.

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