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World Youth Day - en route to Lourdes

9 August 2011

Monday – en route to Lourdes. 8 hour bus trip. And weather? About 24 and mostly sunny.

Having just left Aix-en-Provence, the birth place of the Oblate, the pilgrims were each asked to finish off the following “Aix-en-Provence means to me…….”

A beautiful place full of history
Stephen Pocock

A place that builds into its history and makes new history by the second and is unforgettable.
Carlos Sandoval

A place that builds up on what it has to offer the more I see, with each thing having some sort of relation to me so far.
Shannon Vaz

An adventure and Catholic experience that I will remember forever
David Tobin

An incredible sight to see that’s full of history and culture, I will never forget the time I spent here.
James Gardner

A place bursting with culture and tranquillity.
Will Ryan

A place of awe inspiring scenes and people.
Zachariah Willatgamuwa

A place of friendship and a new experience
Nicholas O’Hara

Inspiring sights that will stay with me and a climate that is perfect
Tim Malmo

The origin of the founder of our community. It is full of beautiful history that means a lot to me and the rest of the Oblates.
Lawson Kennard

An amazing experience that I will never forget.
Adrian Broccio

Means beauty to me.
Dwight Rogers

Where our leader grew up and had his epiphany about how to go about his life.
Chris Warren

The start of a great experience to strengthen my relationship with God.
Lachlan Cauchi

The start of an amazing journey and story. That of the Oblates and St. Eugene.
Connor Van Doorn

The beautiful facades of historic buildings and tiny laneways which hold so much history and many stories which continue to be told and will never be lost, some of which I have heard and been inspired by.
Tishan Lokuge

A place of worship and a sense of community, love and friendship. This is an experience that I will never forget.
Anthony Giuliano

A place of beautiful old buildings that we inspiring when I saw them. When I come back to Australia I will tell everyone to visit Aix-en-Provence and see all the Cathedrals.
Andrew Aiello

A Longer Comment by Tony Pham
Wow, what a start to the pilgrimage it has been! From the beauty of the French cities to the wonderful history of the Oblate community seen in Aix-en-Provence, the experience in France has been nothing short of amazing. After enduring an exhausting 22 hours in transit from Melbourne to Dubai and then Dubai to Nice, the Oblate community of Australia wearily set off on their spiritual journey. On our first day in France, we checked into our hotel in Aix en Provence, ate dinner, and went off to bed, leaving no time for any sightseeing due to our late arrival. Recharged, and reenergised, the group went on a tour of Aix-en-Provence, the birthplace of Eugene de Mazenod, on the next day. The tour was led by a local guide and Fr Frank, an Oblate Priest in Aix-en-Provence. His knowledge and passion about the town provided a wonderful insight into the circumstances in and around the great life of our founding Father, Eugene de Mazenod. We also visited the town of Marseille. There, we were able to relive the ministry of Eugene de Mazenod, aided by Fr Frank’s colourful descriptions and his interesting and at times humorous, anecdotes. The scenery and history of Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles was truly awe inspiring. Today we visited the original Oblate House in Marseilles where I was able to experience the Oblate spirit, through their openness to us and their charity towards the community in general. In the last couple of days, I have truly come to know the true Oblate spirit that Eugene de Mazenod brought to the world.

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