Saint Days: Brother Roger Schutz, Monk and Ecumenist
Brother Roger Schutz was a Reformed Christian born in 1915 in Switzerland. He studied at Strasbourg and Lausanne and became a leader of the Swiss Student Christian Movement. After a battle with tuberculosis, he began to feel drawn towards monasticism.
In 1940, he moved to Taize, a town in France to aid Christian and Jewish refugees affected by World War II He had to flee the town because the Gestapo and been notified of his activity. However, he returned in 1944, founding the Community, an ecumenical monastic group of men who had taken vows of poverty. Due to all his work, he was awarded the UNESCO Price for Peace Education.
Brother Roger was, at his heart, very ecumenical. Over time, he entered into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, receiving the Eucharist daily at the monastery and even receiving the sacrament from Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He was also the recipient of the Cross of St. Augustine, an award for ecumenicism given by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Brother Roger died in 2015 when he was stabbed by a mentally ill woman during an evening prayer service in Taize.
Let us remember Brother Roger in our prayers:
O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we, inspired by the devotion of your servant Brother Roger, may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.