The De Mazenod Experience in Polish is currently taking place in Aix at the cradle of our Congregation since the 1st of September till October 7th 2015. The Experience is animated by Krzysztof ZIELENDA (Superior of Aix), Roman TYCZYNSKI (France-Benelux), and Paweł RATAJCZAK (Assumption, Canada).
The recently formulated De Mazenod Experience program is meant to be two months long, however, in order to allow the Polish Oblate participants to find “a time window” the program had to be shortened to six weeks. The first sign of “Polish atmosphere” manifested itself in Aix already in January of this year during the retreat for the Superiors of Polish Oblate communities.
Preparing for the Experience the participants list kept changing but in the end a very fine group, openhearted, with an ability to create a joyful and sincere community, made it to Aix. Even though all the participants are only Oblates of Polish background and the spoken language remains Polish, as a group they truly represent the whole of the Congregation. The group is made up of Oblates working in Canada, US, Luxembourg, Sweden, Madagascar, Cameroun, Ukraine, Belarus and of course Poland itself; and among the participants are two Oblate brothers.
For some of us this is our very first visit to Aix – for others they have been here before. For some it is part of a sabbatical program – others, just a stop in the middle of their mission to take some spiritual power – and yet for others, it is a moment to prepare for a major change in their mission.
For us here our “Daily bread” is prayer and the Eucharist in the chapel of First Vows of our Founder. Sharing, visiting places associated with the life of St. Eugene and his first companions, as well as the upcoming retreat, all these are common for a De Mazenod Experience program, but the uniqueness of the group gives to it all a very special coloring.
Andrzej JASTRZEBSKI, OMI