News from the community of Aix-en-Provence

Summer 2019

The summer months, like every year, were quite busy, with the hosting of sessions, different groups and individual visitors and pilgrims. They were quite warm months too, but we were not the only ones in this heat wave!

The De Mazenod Experience in English animated by Bonga, Asodo and Angelo ended in June.

In May, we learned about the appointment of our new superior since Krzysztof Zielenda was finishing his 2nd term, Asodo replaced him. We took advantage of the presence of Fr. General, who came to meet the participants of the De Mazenod Experience, to install the new superior on June 20.

Krzysztof left us at the beginning of July to take a good rest in his native country before joining other skies.

For the moment, the community has only 5 members. But we hope to have some reinforcement in the months to come.

Scholastics Summer Session

Scholastics Summer Session

July was taken by the summer session for scholastics and in early August, two groups of young people from Italy and Spain came to discover the birthplace of Eugene de Mazenod and the cradle of the congregation. They also organized a beautiful prayer vigil at the Church of the Mission.

During these three months, several groups or individuals stayed with us: a group of laity from Poland, families or friends of Oblates. Fortunately, we have a bursar who, as they say, “does not have both feet in the same clog!”

Many of us were also taken by outside activities: Bonga went to preach a retreat in Czech Republic, Jo in Strasbourg for the Oblates of France and in Switzerland for nuns.

Youth groups from Spain and Italy

Youth groups from Spain and Italy

When Mario arrived in Aix, he had some problems with his teeth. We encouraged him to seek treatment, and, with the help of our Polish brothers, he found in Poland a good (and much cheaper) dentist who is giving him another chance to “bite and chew.” Mario has already made several trips to Poland and we share in his hopes that he will soon be able to eat something other than yogurt, minced meat, soup etc.

Two of us have experienced more painful events: at the end of June, Jo lost his elder sister, following a long suffering with cancer, and, at the end of August, Benoît learned about the death of one of his uncles who lived very close to his family.

We must also highlight several repairs or maintenance that are inevitable in a centuries-old house: repairing a stained-glass window of the church that was falling apart, and some rooms needed some maintenance etc.

As every year, we welcome 12 university students, at the beginning of September, they had an integration weekend lead by Benoît and Bonga.

Last week we began another De Mazenod Experience, in Spanish this time, with 11 participants and 3 animators from South America: Peru, Guatemala, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The Experience will end on November 8th.

Team of co-operators

Team of co-operators

The community does not miss projects for this year and the years to come. Fortunately, we have a small team of about fifteen people that we call “co-operators” who participate, in different ways, in the activities of our community, and help us to imagine and implement our projects.
We wish you a good 4th quarter of this year 2019.

Jo Bois OMI