Wednesday, May 27, a few days after the Feast of St. Eugene, the Mazenodian Family came together to respond to the invitation given them by the Oblate International Community in Aix. During the prayer time which introduced the meeting, the participants listened to a reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians (2, 1-12), as well as to extracts from the Oblate Constitutions and Rules on the value of poverty and personal responsibility for the Oblates to reform themselves throughout their missionary life.
Fr. Krzysztof ZIELENDA then recalled the essential points which were developed by Fr. Gilberto PIÑÓN during his speech of February 15, 2015. The Identity of “lay associates” was then clarified as “a response to the call from Christ that lay associates live their baptism enlightened by the Charism of St. Eugene de Mazenod. In a family spirit they share among themselves and with the Oblates the same spirituality and the same missionary vision.”
However, to organise such a group and to give it an autonomous structure, it is important to take into consideration our proper culture, as well as the wishes of those interested. The Oblate community of Aix made two proposals to the participants. Firstly, to continue to consolidate around the Oblate community those who, directly or indirectly, are linked with it, i.e. the Mazenodian Family. Secondly, to gather into a new group of “lay associates” those wishing to know more about the charism of St. Eugene and to live it. This new group of lay associates would be autonomous from the Oblate community, nevertheless it would remain linked to the Mazenodian Family.
After reflection in groups, we arrived at the conclusion that we were not yet ready to become a group of “lay associates” autonomous from the Oblate community. We will continue to live as the Mazenodian Family, attentive to the call for the creation of a group of “lay associates”.