By Bonga Thami, OMI and Originally Published by the Eugene de Mazenod International Center
With great joy and anticipation, the Oblate International Community of Aix-en-Provence is preparing itself to welcome 11 participants, from 10 Spanish-speaking countries, for the De Mazenod Experience which will begin on September 10th; a very special moment of formation and pilgrimage, encounter and sharing, deepening ones experience of the Oblate Charism in a place where it all began! Salvador Gonzáles (USA), Edward Terreros (Peru) and Jaime Dukowski (Canada) will be collaborating with the Aix community, for the animation of the Experience.
The main animator of the Experience is Salvador González, OMI, a Mexican, from California in the United States. Salvador met the Oblates as a child in his parish that was in one of the poorest places in the city of Oakland where he grew up. Talking about his Oblate background he tells us, “I keep many memories of my youth from the Oblates working with the poor and inviting us young people to serve the poor in our communities. My years of training led me to cross many borders, from the United States, to Mexico, and ending in Italy.”
As an Oblate, his main ministry has been preaching retreats in several oblate retreat houses in his home Province, along with prison ministry. Salvador also ministered in many Hispanic communities that do not have Spanish speaking priests. He shares with us that his wish for this Spanish De Mazenod Experience “is to be able to create a space for renewal, rest and prayer for and with my brother Oblates. Many of them come from difficult missions and ministries that eventually tire anyone. What more appropriate place to renew and rest than in the house of our first Fathers. My wish is that through this Experience all participants can feel loved and sent by our holy Founder Saint Eugene de Mazenod.”
We entrust this Experience, its animators and participants, to the intercession of our Blessed Mother and our Beloved Founder St. Eugene de Mazenod!