The Dominican community in Strasbourg is centered in prayer. One night at evening prayer, I was inspired to give you a taste of this experience with this simple page. The song is Notre Père (Our Father), and it is the community singing.
The evening of the Jubilatio was filled with Le Spectacle: Le Livre des Justes (the Book of the Just), a play in the style of a medieval mystery, meant to be performed in a Cathedral to educate the faithful. Making use of scenes from the Book of Revelation and the Book of the Prophet Daniel, the play presents the universal struggle between good and evil.
One of the main events of the Jubilatio Day was a Café of Interreligious Dialogue. The event was planned jointly by Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews. A plaza along the L'Ill river in the center of town was reserved for Sunday afternoon and tables and tents were set up. Each of the religions invited people to come to start the crowd and scheduled musicians to come and perform.
On Sunday, April 2, we had a huge celebration for the youth of the entire region, "Jubilatio," a part of the celebration of the Holy Year and the World Youth Day in Rome in August. However, parts of the local Jubilatio were planned in conjunction with people of other faiths and supported by a governement grant.
The BIG DAY began with a series of dialogues, topical group discussions. There were discussions on Beauty and Art, Interreligious Questions, Solidarity, and here Gabriel Nissim OP and Marie Marguerite Ancel lead the discussion on Faith.
Alsace is defined by the Vosages, the mountain range on the western side of the province. Champ du Feu is on the ridge, hovering over Alsace. The image at the top is taken from the 100 year old tower there. On a clear day one can see the Alps, the Black Forest, and the Alsacian plain through which flows the Rhine. Of course, we didn't have a clear day, but the rain added an air of mystery to the setting.
Here is the European Union Headquarters here in Strasbourg. The round tower on the left appears unfinished on purpose - to symbolize that the union itself is perpetually unfinished, always an imperfect unity which we must strive to improve. The right side is the beginning of a spectacular, graceful curve of glass which fronts two tributaries that come together at this point. The expance reflects the European Union Court of Human Rights and the European Parliment, each on their own bank of the converging waterways.
Strasbourg is a lovely town in an incredible region of France. The heart of town is crisscrossed by a number of canals, all derived from the Rheim River, the present border between France and Germany. Of course, this border has moved many times in the past, so the people of the region speak Alsacian, which is a dialect of German not French.
Just a few thoughts from Edinburgh, because it asks more questions than it answers. The city is absolutely beautiful, at least the inner city. On the top left is a typical street winding down the hill from the back side of the castle, old stone townhouses with businesses on the first floor, grey and solid, but still beautiful and graceful somehow.
Rome, the Eternal City. Indeed it is, eternal and enduringly beautiful. It is incredibly old, yet still alive and vibrant. It is a city that has learned to treasure its past without being trapped by it.
As an outsider, I saw much of that past critically, and expected Rome to still be "imperial", but it wasn't. It was fresh and charming, light and airy. Like these flowers adorning an ancient wall, new life emanating from ancient palaces.