505 - November 2010
November 1st, 2010 - November 30th, 2010



FRANCE: Remembering St. Eugene

The Archdioceses of Aix-Arles and Marseille, the Province of France and the community of Aix en Provence are collaborating in the organization of three events during 2011 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Eugene de Mazenod.

5-6 March 2011: A symposium on the theme of the transmission of faith according to St. Eugene de Mazenod. Since 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Eugene, the symposium aims to explore the context of his time and to show how preaching and the transmission of the faith are related to the founding vision of the Missionaries of Provence. It will explore how, in his ministry as Bishop, St. Eugene promoted the accessibility of the experience of God and the transmission of the faith to the people of his time. The symposium will take place from Saturday the 5th at 9.30 am to Sunday at 16.00 at Aix en Provence. There will then be a conference open to the general public on Saturday the 5th at 1700.

21 May 2011: A day of pilgrimage in Marseille with a Solemn Mass at the Cathedral.

May and Summer 2011: An oratorio on the life of Saint Eugene and the Oblate charism today. It is a performance that can be held in the cloister during the summer or in different churches.

During this anniversary year the centre will be very happy to welcome you to Aix should you wish to come to visit the places of foundation, or organize a pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Eugene; or pray at his tomb or in the places connected with the beginning of our Congregation. Please let us know at cimaix@yahoo.fr and we will do our best to help you to plan your visit and to assure its success. (International de Mazenod Centre)

FRANCE: 25 years in Lourdes

It has been 25 years since an international community of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate came to Lourdes to work along with other chaplains of the world-famous shrine. To commemorate this event, special celebrations took place on October 19 and 20.

It was 25 years ago that the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, Henri Donze, entrusted to the Oblates the care of young pilgrims to Lourdes, as well as an international ministry at the shrine. The first Oblates arrived in Lourdes on September 19, 1985. They were Frs. Angelo CAPUANO (Italy), Noël LECA (France) and Mark KEMSEKE (Belgium). Fr. Mark is still ministering at Lourdes. Currently, there are twelve Oblates coming from eight countries.

The connection of the Oblates with the Lourdes shrine dates back much earlier. Three years after the apparitions of Mary to the young girl, Bernadette Soubirous (February 11 to July 16, 1858), the then Bishop of Tarbes invited an Oblate, Fr. Ferdinand GONDRAND, to give a retreat to the diocesan clergy. The Oblate also met privately with visionary and at his request, St. Bernadette wrote down the first apparition.

Since then, the Oblates have been part of the shrine’s history. It was the Oblate Archbishop of Paris, Joseph Cardinal GUIBERT, who, as delegate of Blessed Pope Pius IX, consecrated the upper basilica at Lourdes on July 2, 1876. The record books of the Lourdes shrine record many pilgrimages led by Oblates, beginning in 1870.

St. Bernadette stated that Mary told her: “Go tell the priests to come here in procession and build a chapel here.” In Bernadette’s dialect, “procession” meant a “pilgrimage.” It was the Oblates that organized the first diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes: the diocese of Marseille in 1872 and a year later, the diocese of Aix-en-Provence. In 1883, the first national pilgrimage to Lourdes was organized by the Oblates of England, Scotland and Ireland. That Anglo-Irish pilgrimage continues to this day.

Oblates of Mary Immaculate from around the world continue to lead pilgrimages to Lourdes, a place where Mary revealed her name to a young country girl: “Que soy era immaculada councepciou” – “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It is a name especially dear to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. (http://www.oblaci.pl)

FRANCE: Fr. Albert Schneider - 1914-2010

Fr. Albert SCHNEIDER, former General Councillor for Europe, entered the house of the Father on Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

Albert was born on December 21, 1914, at Jouy aux Arches, Moselle. He entered the novitiate of St. Ulrich in September of 1932 and pronounced his first vows there on August 15, 1933. His final vows were on October 11, 1938, at Burthécourt.

In the meantime, he did his military service from October 1935 until October 1937. He was mobilized again on August 24, 1939 and was discharged on August 1, 1940.

He resumed his studies and was ordained a priest on July 6, 1941. He then taught at the minor seminary of Ajaccio (Corsica) and later, at the major seminary.

In August 1954, he was named Vicar General of the diocese of Ajaccio. He also served as Director of Religious Education. At the same time, he was superior and treasurer of the major seminary until his appointment as provincial of France-Midi in 1967.

In 1973, he became General Councillor for Europe, a ministry that included much travel in Europe and in the entire world.

On January 1, 1981, he received his obedience for the province of France-Midi. Upon his return from Rome, he devoted himself to the preaching of retreats, something which took up almost his entire time. He continued this activity until his final years, in spite of his age. The last retreat he preached was to the Oblates at Pontmain in 2009.

On Monday, September 27, Albert presided at the 11 a.m. liturgy. On Tuesday, the 28th, Rogatien PAPION brought Albert in his chair to Morning Prayer in our chapel. After the singing of the Benedictus, Albert spoke the first intercession and at the last intercession, Albert’s breviary fell and he began to gasp. He did not regain consciousness and at 8:45 a.m., his earthly life was over.

He asked that after the funeral Mass, his body would be cremated and that the urn with his ashes would be placed in the Oblate crypt at the Ste Foy les Lyon cemetery.

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