The Secular Institute of the Cooperator Oblate Missionaries of the Immaculate (COMI: Cooperatrici Oblate Missionarie dell’Immacolata) spent ten grace-filled days (19 – 29 July) at the foundation house of the first Oblate community in Aix-en-Provence.

The first part was dedicated to the biannual report on the work accomplished by the General Directors. Immediately afterwards, the COMI took part in spiritual exercises in the footsteps of St. Eugene de Mazenod, wisely guided by Fr. Fabio CIARDI, Director of the General Service for Oblate Studies. Then, at the end of the retreat, there was a meeting of the General Council.

Special moments in these days were the missionary send-off of two COMI who will be opening a new mission in Argentina, the renewal of temporal vows by three COMI and the 50thanniversary of oblation of one member.

This experience provided the opportunity to return to the font of the charism of St. Eugene and to live, with renewed missionary zeal, the COMI vocation in the world, on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the OMI Congregation.

For each COMI, it was a great gift to be welcomed into the “motherhouse”, thanks to the fraternal and warm welcome of the OMI community in Aix, and to have a special opportunity to live concretely among ourselves the commitment and the grace to be “one heart and one soul, “as St. Eugene recommended to his children.

The COMI, founded by the Oblate, Fr. Gaetano LIUZZO on 22 August 1951, as the “feminine face of the Oblates,” were granted papal approval in 2001. Currently, they are present in Italy, Congo, Uruguay and Argentina.