A couple of days ago we performed a spiritual farewell for Br Casmir and Br Anthony who were heading off to Aix en Provence in France to join some dozen of young Oblates for a course on the spirituality of our Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The brothers will spend the next three weeks in the cradle of our Institute. It is a powerful experience to be immersed in the place which is saturated with joys and struggles of our early Missionaries. One can breathe there the atmosphere of those austere but happy moments when St Eugene de Mazenod and his first companions established the first community which gave origins to our Congregation. This former Carmelite convent has been our mother house for 200 years. Now it is still home for all Oblates and an international community of six Missionaries, who live there permanently, take care not only of the property but predominantly the support and guide various groups of the Oblates and our Associates who come to the Southern France for some time of contemplation, study and renewal. Every July the Oblates from Aix invite scholastics and brothers in first formation to come to this sacred place to strengthen their own commitment to the Oblate way of life by drawing strength from the richness of our Oblate tradition but also to create a community of mutual support and encouragement. I find the idea of the program excellent as it gives our young brothers an opportunity to establish friendships at this challenging time when they discern their final vows. Let’s pray that those young men may return to their respective provinces full of fire of the Holy Spirit who inspired St Eugene to found our Congregation.
Fr Daniel OMI
An Oblate Priest