Before Taizé, there was Grandchamp. The lesser-known Protestant women’s community, initiated in 1936, grew out of generations of women’s groups in French-speaking Switzerland. It was heavily influenced by Wilfred Monod, the Student Christian Movement, Swiss Reformed efforts at liturgical renewal, and Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. It was so deeply affected by the angst generated by World War II and the search by European Christians for new ways to be Christian. The Fruits of Grace, authored by the third prioress of the Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland, reflects on the origins of the community, the sources and development of its spirituality, and on its ministries. Foci include the involvement of the community in the ecumenical movement and in mission around the world. There is also important new information about its interaction with Taizé, Roman Catholic religious communities, and the women themselves, as individuals and as a community. Sister Minke de Vries provides an intimate view into the inner workings of a women’s community and the structures of the spiritual practices of the Community of Grandchamp. It is a powerful analysis of a European Protestant women’s monastic community.
Foreword by Thomas F. Best
Preface by Nancy S. Gower
Introduction: The Roots and Early History of the Community of Grandchamp
The Author: Minke de Vries (1929-2013)
1. In the Beginning
2. The Adventure of Open Communion
3. Together in Solidarity with a World in Travail
4. Testimonies of “Otherness” within the One Love
Appendix: Several Communities Introduce Themselves – 2007
Endorsements and Reviews
The communities of Taizé and Grandchamp have much in common. Born from the same milieu, their leaders drew upon one another as they formed as thoroughly ecumenical communities. This translation by an expert on the formation and growth of Taizé, brings new insight into their relationship.
Cecil M. Robeck Jr, Fuller Theological Seminary
The account of Sister Minke de Vries provides an important insight into the recovery of monasticism within the churches of the Reformation. Her personal perspective as the third prioress of the Community of Grandchamp gives us an insight into its evolution during a period of intensive renewal and ecumenical encounter. Nancy Gower’s well-documented introduction provides a window into the origins of the community in the confluence of movements that also gave rise to the communities of Taizé and Pomeyrol. This work is a welcome contribution to the history of monasticism and of ecumenical spirituality.
Catherine E. Clifford, Saint Paul University, Ottawa