by Geri Furmanek, National Director for Mission Enrichment & Oblate Associates
The General Council, in preparation for the 200th Anniversary of the Oblate Congregation in 2016, called to Aix-en-Provence Oblate animators from all over the world. Beginning on March 10, 2014, in the conference room dedicated to Oblate Cardinal Guibert at the Oblate Center on the Cours Mirabeau, 25 gathered to spend 2 weeks together. There are 2 translators, 2 presenters, a General Councillor and 20 animators (Oblates, and lay men and women) from the various parts of the Congregation. We are here to soak up the history, exchange our resources with each other, communicate ideas, build community and pray to be led to assist, in whatever way we can, our celebrating together the Oblate charism.
For today, let me give you a brief feel and a few pictures of our life here… It is Spring in southern France with temperatures in the 30sand 40s F. Grass is growing, new shoots on the olive trees and shamrocks are poking out of the earth. Most of the renovations are completed with only minor work being done now. Depending on where your room is located, there is a lot of going up and down staircases – reminders of a historical building.
Next week I hope to share with you a little more in depth, along with individual pictures of the participants, where they are from and where they are presently in ministry. It is a diverse group, excited about what we are doing, and open to sharing and listening. The three languages we converse in (or try to converse in, along with charades) are French, Spanish and English.
Now, a few photos…