Having spent so many months on the theme of parish missions, I think it is important to pause and re-focus on our direction thus far. Saint Eugene has been speaking to us on this blog since May 2010. Because it was the year of the priest, I started reflecting on the texts of Eugene connected with priesthood. From there it was natural to begin to look at how the newly-ordained Eugene returned to Aix and put his priesthood into action.
Our chronological reading of extracts from his writings has invited us to accompany him on his journey of following the unfolding will of God for him. Responding to God’s call through events and persons, Eugene’s ministry opened out towards the poor of Provence, the prisoners, the youth, the seminarians, and those who lived in a state of abandonment in the villages of Provence. In 1815 he understood that he was being called to invite others to share his journey – and so we explored the foundation of the Missionaries and their first ministry as a group, the mission in Grans. Mission preaching was the main ministry of the Oblates, and so I felt that it was important to study this ministry in detail.
Now we will return to the first months of 1816 and continue to journey with Eugene…
Here in Aix en Provence we are living the excitement of the activities around the 150th anniversary of Eugene’s death. Two weeks’ ago we had a weekend of a highly successful public symposium on St Eugene and the transmission of faith. Now it is full-steam ahead to prepare for the celebrations of the day of May 21 in Marseille. As the whole Mazenodian family will be focused on Marseille, I will keep you informed as the events develop.