521 - April 2012
February 22nd, 2012 - March 24th, 2012

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GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

A work in progress

They’ve begun to talk about it in Aix-en-Provence and in the diocese of Aix & Arles: things are changing with the Oblates in Aix!

All those who rub shoulders with the Missionary Oblates know that the house is where they were founded. Just to remind you, Eugene de Mazenod bought part of a former Carmelite monastery to bring together there the youngsters from the Congregation of the Youth of Aix and to establish there the community of missionaries who would become, in 1826, the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

This place is now the birthplace of the Congregation and has a special place in the heart of the Oblates and the whole Mazenodian family. Given its importance, on December 7, 2011, we experienced the transition of the Aix community from the Province of France to the General Administration. As Fr. Paolo ARCHIATI, the Vicar General, said: “It’s the passing of the baton as in a relay race.” He added, “This movement is in the service of life…”

 

The remodeling is only a foretaste of the project. When the work is finished, a new intercultural community will animate a new place, at the service of individuals and groups, youth and adult, from France and from abroad, for periods of formation, the discovery of St. Eugene de Mazenod and the Mazenodian charism.

 

The realization of the project has been entrusted to an architect of Aix, Mr. Eric Ferment. The various sub-contractors have been chosen and all of these companies meet each Wednesday in the foundation room for a site meeting.

The work that has just begun is impressive, but take heart! When the work is finished, at the end of 2012, the building will be more functional and the patrimony will have been preserved and enhanced.

As was stated in the bulletin, OMI Information 518, January 2012, one consequence is the closing of the International de Mazenod Center throughout the construction period. Only a small community of three Oblates is living in the house of our foundation, so as to ensure a presence and promote a smooth operation of the building site.

The community invites the whole Mazenodian family to support this project with their prayers, first of all so that the members of the future community prepare themselves to give a “soul” to the “International Eugene de Mazenod Center” and that they therefore realize the desired goal of this renovation. And that the place radiate the Mazenodian charism for generations to come! (Benoît DOSQUET)



2012 Meeting
The members of the General Formation Committee met in Rome on February 24-March 2. The first day was spent listening to reports on formation in the different regions, in light of the call to conversion given to us at the last Chapter, as well as the new General Norms of Oblate Formation. Then there were four major themes for this year`s meeting: the preparation for and the celebration of perpetual oblation; a formation program for Oblate Brothers; a formation program for the novitiate; and ongoing formation.


Concerning preparation for perpetual oblation, first of all we reviewed some programs being used in the various Units and Regions. After that, with the help of Frank SANTUCCI, we put together a program to be proposed to the Units and Regions, something that will allow the candidates for perpetual oblation to live in depth this very important step.

The proposal of a formation program for Oblate Brothers is in response to a resolution of the last Chapter which called for the development of common standards in the first formation of Oblate Brothers. The proposals we have made will be taken into consideration by the Committee of Oblate Brothers in November before making any recommendations to the Superior General. Fr. Paolo ARCHIATI and Brother Benoît DOSQUET joined us to work on this program.

The committee reiterated the importance of ongoing formation in the Units and local communities. The document from the last General Chapter and the new Norms give some precise suggestions on this subject. Apart from what is already presented in the Norms, the committee intends to consult about existing programs in the various Units before making a concrete proposal during its next meeting in 2013.

In addition to the major themes of the meeting which we mentioned above, other highlights marked our work week: the meeting with Father General, Louis LOUGEN, and visits to the International Scholasticate and the Interprovincial Scholasticate of Vermicino, Rome.

The General Formation Committee is composed of six members, an Oblate from each Region and the Assistant General in charge of formation. It meets each year to study problems linked to formation and to make recommendations to Fr. General and his Council.


Acta Administrationis Generalis

With help from the General Secretariat, Fr. James ALLEN has prepared the 2010 and 2011 editions of the Acta Administrationis Generalis. For more than 30 years, the Acta has been an official publication of the General Administration containing: Documents of the Holy See regarding our Congregation, Acts of the General Chapters, Letters of Superiors General to the Congregation, Communiqués from Plenary Sessions, Lists of Obediences given by Fr. General, Lists of important appointments, Lists of Oblates who made perpetual profession, and of those who died.

Because of the diminishing need for paper-printed documents, Fr. Louis LOUGEN and members of the General Council suggested that we print and mail fewer copies of the Acta Administrationis Generalis than in the past. Thanks to the humble and faithful work of Fr. Théophile LE PAGE, every Province will receive two copies of the new editions of the Acta. One copy will be sent to every Delegation and to the six Oblate Institutes of higher learning. If someone else, an Oblate or an Institution, is interested in receiving an additional copy, please contact the General Secretariat. It will be possible to order a hard copy or/and an electronic version in PDF. (e-mail gensec@omigen.org)



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