WHERE ARE WE? THE STORY OF EUGENE IS THE STORY OF EACH MEMBER OF THE MAZENODIAN FAMILY

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. 

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One Response to WHERE ARE WE? THE STORY OF EUGENE IS THE STORY OF EACH MEMBER OF THE MAZENODIAN FAMILY

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “The story of Eugene is the story of each member of the Mazenodian family.” What a wonderful and scary thought is that? Perhaps the word awesome fits better. For it is both wonderful and fearful at the same time, full of joy and perhaps just a wee drop of dread. It is not just a matter of inserting myself into a community of really super people and somehow having their goodness ‘rub off’ onto me. I once had an old aunt who lived next door to a convent. She knew all of the Sisters by name and each morning and evening would listen to them singing their prayers. She was so sure because she was in such close proximity that she would be assured a place in heaven – not by anything she did but because their holiness would somehow rub off onto her. I don’t think its quite that simple [but who knows].

    The dread [perhaps not the best word to use] seems come from the idea of oblation, commitment, responsibility. For if I become a member of a family, any family, the Mazendian family, then it is in being and receiving gift, in loving and being loved. It is a relationship that is two way. Certainly not something that I can walk away from and then come back to when it is convenient. It is lived. We must each of us be honoured by the other. A “both and” type of thing.

    The wonderful part? “the story of Eugene is the story of each member…” wow! How do I live that out? How do I honour that? Still it takes my breath away and I am grateful.

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