Then Brother Benoît DOSQUET reminded us of the Oblate Triennium. That is to say the 3 preparatory years to the jubilee which started on the 8th of December 2013. The theme of the 1st year was: “A new heart: life in the Apostolic Community”. That of the 2nd year is: “a new spirit: a lifelong training”. The 3rd theme will be: “a new mission: zeal to leave nothing undared”.
Father Joseph BOIS then recalled the circumstances, the conditions and the reasons that guided Eugene de Mzenod to buy, in 1815, the Carmelite Convent at the top of the cours Mirabeau. After careful consideration, Eugene de Mazenod realised that, to help the poor, to intervene in the abandoned countryside, and to be there to help the unemployed youth of Aix, his isolated effort would not be sufficient. It is with Father TEMPIER that he found real support and with 3 other priests that he installed in the building recently acquired. The 25th of January 1816 thus marks the birth of the “Missionaries of Provence”. The 25th of January 2016, the Community will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its foundation.
Father Krzysztof ZIELENDA then outlined the path to be taken until this date and gave details of certain projects already envisaged. To celebrate the bicentenary of the Oblate foundation, several leads have already been proposed: a solemn mass at the Cathedral of Aix on Sunday the 24th of January, on the 25th a celebration between Oblates followed by a simple meal open to the youth and/or to the poor, an exhibition on the history of the Oblate Missions and without doubt other activities to be found, to be created or to be invented… From this point of view, participants at the meeting were asked to give their advice, and to share their ideas.
A meeting will held in February to specify what the Congregation understands by “lay associates” or “the Mazenodian Family” and also to advance the plans envisaged for the year 2016. A moment of warm hospitality around a brotherly meal closed the evening.