Ingrid, a native of Benin, a midwife by profession, is a student in Health Law in Paris. Clement from Sainte Foy-Lès-Lyon, French, works as an engineer in Paris. Manta from Chad, Michel, from Ivory Coast, are students in Lyon, respectively in Computer Science and Purchasing. Two of them have lived or are living at the Chavril House. The other two took part last year in “Thursdays at Chavril”. Three of them participated in the GECO (European Gathering of Youth around the Oblate Charism) in Aix-en-Provence, last August.
But all four have been touched by the spirituality of St. Eugene de Mazenod. On Sunday, September 17, they made a commitment for one year, as “Lay Oblates”, to follow Christ, to know him better and to live the mission among the most abandoned, together with the Oblates.
Rule 37a of the OMI Missionaries says: “The charism of Saint Eugene de Mazenod is a gift of the Spirit to the Church, and it radiates throughout the world. Lay people recognize that they are called to share in the charism according to their state of life, and to live it in ways that vary according to milieu and cultures. …. They participate in the charism in a spirit of communion and reciprocity between them and with the Oblates.”
These four young people are not the first to engage in this way; Astrid, Jean-Baptiste, Maxime, Sophie, Thibault, these 5 young students or young professionals led the way the previous Sunday, September 10, in Aix. Last year in Lyon, there were also Fanny and Ivana who had composed their prayer of commitment in these terms:
“Lord Jesus, you who call us to serve our brothers and to make your Church live, we thank you for this call, your presence, and your mercy. O Christ on the cross, we adore you, because you loved us, even dying for love of us. With Mary our mother, who stands at the foot of the cross, we say again and again, ‘Your will be done.’ Saint Eugene, guide us in our mission, help us to remain faithful to our commitment, to be cooperators with Christ the Savior and close to the human race. Teach us to practice charity, charity, charity and zeal for the salvation of souls.”
These young men and women meet several times a year, in Aix, Chavril or Fontenay sous Bois. Therefore, there seems to be opening a new and unprecedented way that inspires young people who wish to live their Christian life in the spirit of the Missionary Oblates.
The Eucharist during which these four young people committed themselves was a very beautiful celebration! Twenty of their friends, a veritable “rainbow” of origins from all countries, accompanied them with their faith and their joy! Deo gratias! (Pierre Court in www.oblatfrance.com)