Eugene, writing in the third person, as the “Director”, for the official Diary of the Youth Congregation spoke about the importance of his baptism anniversary on 2 August.

The Reverend Director reminded the congregants that the next day would be his birthday, but that this commemoration had no value in his eyes. What is infinitely more precious for him is the anniversary of his baptism which took place on August 2, 1782. He begged all the congregants to help him thank God for so great a grace, for which he declared he can never be grateful enough and asked them to join their prayers with his, which stand in need of this support if he is to summon up the hope of seeing them accepted by God.

Diary of the Aix Christian Youth Congregation, 31 July 1814, O.W. XVI,

The next Diary entry refers to this event:

A number of congregants thought they could find no better way of following the Director’s wishes than by coming and assisting and uniting themselves with the Holy Mass he offered this morning in the chapel of the Congregation.

Diary of the Aix Christian Youth Congregation, 2 August 1814, O.W. XVI

 “Rituals, anthropologists will tell us, are about transformation. The rituals we use for marriage, baptism or inaugurating a president are as elaborate as they are because we associate the ritual with a major life passage, the crossing of a critical threshold, or in other words, with transformation.”        Abraham Verghese

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  1. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    Great writings Frank. Again the Congress was a great success. Good luck with the new year that is up you and all at OST.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Another anniversary and as I sit here I have to admit that I to not typically celebrate the anniversaries of Baptisms – not my own nor that of those I know. Whether this is a reflection of my own upbringing I am not sure. Yet I do celebrate and rejoice in in the day of my conversion experience. And when we have baptisms in our parish I celebrate and really rejoice those who are joining us, with those who are joining us and it is much bigger than just the joining of our parish community, but rather the whole of who we are in God.

    What is of particular joy and note to me this morning was how some of the youth decided to celebrate Eugene’s baptism – by joining in with him and actively assisting him in the celebration of the Eucharist, as Eugene himself wrote – uniting with him in that which he himself offered. ‘Uniting’ themselves with him – they were not mere bystanders who were ‘watching or witnessing’ something, but rather they joined in with. There is a great depth there. Is this not what we try to do somehow – as we are each called?

    Happy Anniversary Eugene. I am unable to find the words my heart is searching for but it works like this which: ” We remember how you loved us to your death, and still we celebrate, for you are with us here; And we believe that we will see you when you come, in your glory, Lord, we remember, we celebrate, we believe.”

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