Oblate Youth Service News

Oblate European Youth Encounter 2013

On Monday the 12th of August Lisa McKee, Fergal Owens, Dave O’Donnell, Michéal Lane and myself travelled to Aix-en-Provence where we met Fr. Peter Clucas and began our six days following in the footsteps of St. Eugene de Mazenod. During the week we were fortunate to stay in the Oblate Foundation house in the town of Aix which is half an hour north of the City of Marseille. During the course of the week we got to see first-hand where the Oblates came from.

In the same way as we were there to represent the Oblate Youth Service based in the Anglo-Irish Oblate Province, we met other amazing Oblate Youth members from across France, Italy, Poland and Spain. Together we shared our reasons for being members of Oblate Youth groups and what our groups do at home and other projects we may have abroad. We were able to share our ideas with them while listening and taking onboard along their ideas and thoughts on the Oblate Youth Service.

The reason for the week was to get to know the person that St Eugene was and in my opinion there was no place better to do it than in the foundation house. Each day we studied letters that St Eugene wrote before and after he became ordained as a priest and founded the Oblates. We witnessed the obstacles that were put in his way during his life but how he managed to overcome them. We were given the chance to explore and learn about the town he was born in and returned to later in life. While in Aix-en-Provence we travelled to Marseilles where St Eugene was Bishop before he died. In Marseilles we had the chance to visit his tomb which is located in the cities cathedral. We celebrated our final mass together as a group around the alter which is was build over his tomb at the back of the cathedral. 

The week in Aix-en-Provence was not like any other project that the OYS undertake in that it was not a week for us to care or serve others but a week for us to focus on ourselves and how we as a group can improve the Oblate Youth Service and understand, like St Eugene, that we have no limits. 

The Author: Amy Kiernan

Oblate Youth Service Member