Category Archives: Community

Perpetual vows of Patrick

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Patrick VEY took his perpetual vows on Sunday, April 28, in Hünfeld, Germany. Perpetual vows is the final commitment to the consecrated and missionary life in the Congregation.

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Patrick began his formation in missionary life in Germany, his native country. Then, he continued his studies in theology in Italy. Last year, he did an internship in the community of Aix-en-Provence. He is currently studying for a degree in Canon Law at the Lateran University.

Let us wish him for many graces for his studies and his missionary life.
May Blessed Virgin Mary be for him as an example for his oblation.

Krzysztof ZIELENDA, OMI

Category: Community, News

Community Trip to Poland

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Next year, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Poland will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their presence. This Oblate unit is now one of the largest in the world. Out of 960 Oblates in Europe more than 300 are Polish. The community of Aix made a trip to Poland to discover this country both near and far.

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The journey began at the foot of the cross in front of the Oblates’ church in Katowice which recalls the crosses of the parish missions erected by the Oblates throughout the land of Provence. Christ on the cross whose legs had just been broken by a vandal was the object of an affectionate worship of the many passers-by.

The first day consisted of two essential parts. In the morning we visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps where more than one million and one hundred thousand men, women and children died during the Second World War. Of all victims, 90% were Jewish. In the evening, in the other hand, we celebrated Mass at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Krakow, measuring how much God’s mercy is indispensable.

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The second day was consecrated essentially for a pilgrimage to the Częstochowa Sanctuary. We saw so many students of the last-year class, because traditionally, the months of March and April are a period where the terminals come to confide to the Blessed Virgin Mary before passing their final examination of the high school.

The third day was a trip to encounter the scholastics and their formators at the Obra Scholasticate. This house of formation which has more than forty young Oblates is one of the largest in the entire Congregation.

The old town of Krakow with its many churches and the Royal Castle was the last place visited before our return to France.

Krzysztof ZIELENDA, OMI

Category: Community, News

The life of the community in Aix

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The latest news from the life of our community was posted several months ago and it will thus be difficult to share all that we have experienced since last summer!

In front of the Founder's tomb

In front of the Founder’s tomb

If we focus on major events, it is important to mention the de Mazenod Experience held in French, with Asodo and Joseph Bois as the principal facilitators and Ronald La Framboise.
The months of July and August were filled with a session for the leaders of the Noviciate of the whole Congregation, after which, like every year, there was a session of Scholastics from Europe and North America who are preparing themselves for perpetual engagement.
Another de Mazenod Experience, this time in English, has started mid-September, led by Bonga and Asodo as well as Father Tony Rigoli from USA.

De Mazenod Experience in French

De Mazenod Experience in French

At the end of November, for our community members and several lay people, we had organized a short session about “interculturalism,” a reality which we face in many of our communities, such as our society.
Throughout the year consecrated to Oblate vocations, we had held this intention in our prayers. Each month, several members of the community and the Mazenodian Family gathered around the tomb of Saint Eugene de maze nod in Marseille to pray the rosary in this intention.

In Saint Laurent du Verdon

In Saint Laurent du Verdon

Finally, we can not forget the beautiful feast that we had organized on the 22nd of September in Saint Laurent du Verdon, in the vicinity of the castle which had once belonged to the de Mazenod family. It was in this castle, in September 1818, that Saint Eugene de Mazenod had written the first Rules of the lives of the “Missionaries of Provence” with two of his companions.
The Father General, Louis Lougen, had come for this occasion, along with other Oblates and about fifty lay people from the de Mazenod Family. We celebrated mass in the little village church and blessed the plate on the church wall to commemorate this important event.

Joseph BOIS, OMI

Category: Community, News

CIEM – upcoming events

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With a great joy the Oblate community of the International Center of  Eugene de Mazenod (CIEM) in Aix shares with you news of its mission and invites you to participate in the upcoming events.

Summer Session for the Scholastics

Summer Session for the Scholastics

The Session for the Novice Masters has ended on July 31st. Few days later, we welcomed the Oblates and their youth from the region of the US and Canada. They come to Aix to shoot some videos for the Year of the Oblate Vocations. At the beginning of this week, we welcomed 22 Italians (Oblates and young men) passing a night for their vocational pilgrimage at Aix. At the same time we began a session for the Oblate students, so-called the Summer Session for the Scholastics. They are 22 scholastics and 2 formators.

Summer Festival

Summer Festival

Meanwhile, we are going to have also “Summer Festival”, an event prepared for the last few months by the community in collaboration with the Oblate Youth of Aix and of Lyon.

Here is the program of Summer Festival:
Wednesday, August 15th, at 6pm: Mass of the Assumption in the cloister
Thursday, August 16th, at 6.30pm: Visit of the house and international evening in the cloister
Friday, August 17th, at 8:30pm: Prayer vigil until midnight
Saturday, August 18th, at 8:30pm: Christian BOBIN’s “The Walking Man” show
Sunday, August 19th, at 11 am: International mass

Castle of Saint-Laurent du Verdon

Castle of Saint-Laurent du Verdon

In September, another event on our agenda is the 200 years of the Oblate Rule of Life.
It was on early September 1818, Saint Eugene de Mazenod drawn back to Saint-Laurent du Verdon, in his family castle, to write the Constitutions and Rules of his newly-born community.

To celebrate this anniversary, here is the program:
Friday, September 21, 2018, at 18:30, at the Oblates’ Chapel : A Conference on the coat of arms of Monsignor Eugène de Mazenod by Mr. Cyril GAMBINI, the director of Saint Eugène de Mazenod College in Marseille.

On Saturday, September 22, 2018, the community invites you to an outing to Saint-Laurent du Verdon to commemorate the bicentenary of this event by:
Mass at the church of Saint-Laurent du Verdon at 11am
Blessing of the commemorative plaque, followed by drinks and then a Visit of the castle
Picnic on the banks of the Verdon Lake.

Thank you for your atention to these proposed events.
We wish you the best for the month of August.

Oblate Community of Aix

Category: Community, News

Patrick’s Oblation

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If one can assimilate “oblation” and “offering”, the word “Oblate” designates the one offered to God. Oblation is therefore a consecration. On the Sunday of the Holy Trinity, Patrick VEY, Oblate scholastic in internship at Aix Community, renewed his oblation. He made the gift of himself. He therefore devoted himself to God to be in the world a sign of his love.

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Oblation is a commitment of faith and love expressed publicly. The renewal of Patrick’s oblation was made at the Mission Church in Aix, in front of Father Paolo ARCHIATI, Vicar of the Superior General and in the presence of many Oblates and faithful. During this celebration, Patrick delivered his testimony on the discovery of the call to missionary life and his vocational stages in Germany, Italy and France.

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After his year-long internship in Aix, Patrick returned to Italy in order to continue his formation in the missionary life by studying canon law. We hope that his final commitment will be made soonly in a few months. His formation for priesthood will end with the diaconate and priestly ordination. The Missioning will follow.

Krzysztof ZIELENDA, OMI

Category: Community, News

Community News – April 2018

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Spring has arrived and there are already many people on Cours Mirabeau. Here are some updates from our community, to invite you to rejoice with us in all the wonders that the Lord accomplishes.

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Our community retreat at the Xavières Sisters retreat centre at La Pourraque was a happy time of conversion. At the beginning of December, we welcomed Father Mario BRANDI who knew the house for having stayed here almost a year, two years ago. He had been recalled to Cameroon for a year and, on his return, Father General sent him to our community. So, we are six, seven with Patrick, a scholastic on regency, who will leave us at the end of August.

Father Bonga took a month’s vacation home in South Africa and in January-February it was Fr. Asodo’s turn to see his country again; where he combined business with pleasure by taking some time for personal formation… Jo Bois went to join him in Indonesia for three weeks, a vacation offered as a gift by a faithful from that country, on the occasion of his 50th ordinaton anniversary. A very nice present for Jo!

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The community also had a nice weekend in Palermo, invited by lay people from there, many of whom had previously made a trip to Aix. We were able to get to know this city where our Founder stayed for two years during his exile.

During Lent, as every year, groups of Christians gathered to meditate and pray the Sunday Gospels. For the end of Holy Week, we proposed a retreat in silence. A dozen people participated. And on Easter day, at noon, we were able to share the joy of the Resurrection together.

Joseph BOIS, OMI

Category: Community, News

In the footsteps of St. Eugene de Mazenod in Palermo

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Last March, the community of Aix, invited by a group of lay people from Misilmeri, made a pilgrimage to discover in Palermo the places where Saint Eugene de Mazenod lived. He arrived there on January 6, 1799, and spent his last four years of exile in Italy.

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The palaces of Branciforte, Ventimiglia, Butera, the quarter of Tanners, the quarter Kalsa, the Church of Saint Ignatius in Olivella, the cathedral and so many other places make the stages of a route traveled in two days. With the texts of Saint Eugene on hand, the Oblates of Aix, guided by Ileana CHINNICI and Vincenzo DAVID, discovered these magnificent places and the events of their Founder’s life. Without a doubt, St. Eugene’s stay in Palermo has inspired many of his future choices.

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The pilgrimage to Palermo was also marked by the fraternal welcome and friendly encounters around Sicilian meals with the lay group of Misilmeri. The group of passionate hearts of Saint Eugene welcomes with joy those who want to walk in the footsteps of the Oblate Founder in Palermo.

During the stay in Palermo, the Oblates of Aix were able to participate in the Mass celebrated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the independence of Mauritius. The pastoral care of emigrants is part of the mission of the Oblates of this city.

Krzysztof ZIELENDA, OMI

Category: Community, News

News from the CIEM

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It’s mid-January 2018, the period of “Les galettes des rois” is not yet over! so we can still wish you all a Happy New Year.

Christmas with Frat Mazenodienne

Christmas with Frat Mazenodienne

What marked the end of the year 2017, it is, I believe, the week where we all did the spiritual exercises, as a community, all together with individual accompaniment, under the direction of a Jesuit Father from Marseille. Each of us took a big spiritual boost

In early December, our Chapel got a facelift with new benches that replaced the dilapidated chairs which had long done their time. We were able to do these changes thanks to the generosity of the faithful of our parish community and our brother Oblates of Scandinavia.

It was also at the beginning of this month when we welcomed a new member in our community: Fr. Mario Brandi. He isn’t a stranger here, having spent his sabbatical year with us in 2015-2016. He had been recalled to Cameroon for a year to replace the novice master there. On his return, Father General offered him to join our community: a precious reinforcement for the community!

Prayer for Oblate vocations at the tomb of St. Eugene

Prayer for Oblate vocations at the tomb of St. Eugene

Christmas and year-end holidays were lived peacefully, with the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation and Christmas Masses as the main highlights.

The first week of the New Year, as is our habit, was devoted to preparing different sessions for the coming months, visits from different groups and people, the commitments of each one within the community and outside it, not to mention our holidays! It was a week of dense work lived with the joy of being together in a relaxed atmosphere.

In a meeting during community Year Planning week

In a meeting during community Year Planning week

Easter will soon be here, and to prepare for this great celebration, the community will offer a retreat during the Easter Triduum to all those who wish to live this period differently. After Easter, we will begin a two month De Mazenod Experience for the francophone Oblates, animated by Joseph Bois, Asodo and Ronald LaFramboise from the USA.

Best wishes for this New Year.

Joseph BOIS, OMI

Category: Community, News

50th Anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of Fr. Joseph Bois

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Gathered in the Mission Church on Monday, October 30, 2017, many of Fr. Jo Bois’s friends came to participate in the Thanksgiving Mass celebrated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

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Surrounded by his Oblate missionary confreres, Fr. Jo presided the Eucharistic celebration, full of emotion and joy.

The chosen readings were St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians “Building the Body of Christ in Unity” and the Gospel of St. John, “The appearance on the lake and the call to Peter “Do you love me?”, During the homily, the faithful listened attentively to the testimony of Fr Jo. He presented the main stages of his family, religious and missionary life by simultaneously projecting some photos to allow the assembly to discover and know what Fr. Jo’s 50 years of ministries were. His testimony was a beautiful message; rich in simplicity, fraternity and joy!

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All those who came to share this time of prayer and Fr. Jo’s gratitude, then gathered in the Mazenod room. There, around a very copious aperitif, everyone was able to thank Fr Jo and take part in this festive moment.

Chantal BERNARD-BRET

Category: Community, News

News from the CIEM community

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The end of the year 2017 is already on the horizon and we come to share with you some recent months’ activities of our community and the Eugene de Mazenod International Centre.

Since Easter, we have had four major sessions: two “De Mazenod Experiences”, one after Easter, in English, and another one in Spanish is currently underway, with Oblates mostly from South America as participants. During the months of July and August, three important groups followed one another: the annual 3-week Scholastics Summer Session, mainly for Scholastics preparing for Final Vows. Then a week with 45 young people who collaborate with Oblates in Youth ministry, from different European countries (GECO). And then a retreat of 20 Italian lay associates, members of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate (AMMI). The month of August ended with the annual retreat of the general administration (Father General and his 11 councillors and secretary).

GECO 2017

GECO 2017

Three community members of European origin have managed, with great difficulty, to take a few days off. For the other two (BONGA and ASODO), it will be in December and early next year, respectively.

Fr. BONGA, who finished his training in Lyon in June, left in mid-September for Canada and England to preach retreats. He’s been back, a week ago, and our community is complete again.

Fr. Roberto VILLA, who had come to replace BONGA, returned to his country, Italy, and is now responsible for the community of Vercelli.

In September we welcomed Patrick VEY, a Scholastic from the Central European Province, he is in Aix for his year of Regency.

The community during the recollection in Sufferchoix

The community during the recollection in Sufferchoix

Without mentioning all the visits, more or less long, numerous and varied. With the month of September, the “ordinary” activities have begun: the reception of 12 students, the groups of young or old who collaborate with us and all the activities related to our chapel.

At the end of November, we will all go away for our annual retreat, a week of Spiritual Exercises at a retreat house not too far from here.

We wish you a good and beautiful end of the year.

Joseph BOIS, OMI

Category: Community, News