In view of having a spiritual renewal during the year of the Oblate bicentenary, the Oblates of the Mission of Belarus had 12 days of spiritual pilgrimage to Rome and Aix-en-Provence. Out of the six Oblates serving in Belarus five of them (Jerzy KOTOWSKI, Andrzej JUCHNIEWICZ, Piotr BIELEWICZ, Szymon FORAJTER, Dmotrij ZANIAMONSKI) could make this journey.
First they visited Rome and participated in the Jubilee for Priests in the Year of Mercy. During the days of that special papal retreat, they were hosted at the General House, where they also had a fruitful meeting with Fr. Louis LOUGEN, the Superior General. The group celebrated a Holy Mass in the chapel of the heart of our Founder, together with Fr. General. After that they also renewed their vows, touching the very altar before which the Founder and Fr. Tempier made their vow of obedience as Oblates. Then, following the Oblate tradition, they sang the Salve Regina before the statue of the Oblate Madonna. Fr. General then blessed all of them with the Cross of St. Eugene de Mazenod.
The second leg of the pilgrimage was a visit to Marseille and Aix-en-Provence to be in touch with the spirit of the Founder. In the founding house they spent a few days in prayer while visiting the main places of Oblate spirituality in the two cities. At the end of the pilgrimage all of them witnessed within themselves a rekindling of Oblate spirit. A special thanks to the General House community in Rome and the community at De Mazenod International Centre (CIEM) in Aix for their generosity and hospitality. (Andrzej Juchniewicz)