Patrick VEY, OMI

This year, the OMI Youth Monastery from Fulda, Germany, once again successfully hosted its “OMI on Tour” event, choosing the Oblate city of Aix-en-Provence, France, as their destination. 

Immersing themselves in the life of St. Eugene de Mazenod

On Easter Monday, Fr. Piotr DEPTA, Fr. Patrick VEY, Ramona, Lea, and twelve young participants began their journey to France.  They traveled overnight, and by Tuesday morning, the group had arrived and settled into “the oldest and first Oblate house in Aix, ready to unwind and recharge for the days ahead.”

Their pilgrimage began with a tour of the OMI Mission House and a walk around the city.  Their objective was to immerse themselves in the life of St. Eugene de Mazenod, learning about his childhood, teenage years, and time as a young priest.  It was a chance for the young people to learn and feel connected with the founder and the Oblate Charism.

Eucharistic celebration in the Foundation Room – Aix

Mass at the tomb of St. Eugene in Marseille

As the days went by, the young pilgrims learned more and more about the life of St Eugene.  By Friday, they became semi-experts.  The organizers, thrilled to share their passion for St. Eugene and the significance of Aix to their faith and charism, found the experience to be mutually enriching, noting, “It was a great joy for us Oblates to be able to share our enthusiasm for St. Eugene and the Oblate Charism.”

The educational aspects of the pilgrimage were complemented by various cultural and recreational activities.  The itinerary included visiting the Papal Palace in Avignon, a Mass at the tomb of St. Eugene in Marseille, and climbing to the iconic Basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde.  Each day ended with evening prayer and some time for games and chats. 

A pilgrimage to the heart of the Oblate Charism

The journey home on Saturday morning was a mix of music, conversations, and reflection on the days spent together.  Maximilian from Hünfeld summed up the pilgrimage, “the trip was a great experience and had many impressive aspects.  From the fantastic weather to the breathtaking excursions with an extremely high learning factor, to the leisure activities.  It was a thoroughly harmonious trip and convinced me that I would like to go again next time.”
The success of this initiative of the OMI Youth Monastery is not measured by the wealth of information they received but by the memories and sense of community after having pilgrimed together to the heart of the Oblate Charism.