Mission Week in the Mont Sainte Odile Parish Community in Alsace, France

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“In joy and hope you will be my witnesses” (cf. Acts 1:5)

This was the theme of Mission Week, which took place from Sunday, April 7 to April 14, 2024, in the parish community of Mont Sainte Odile in the Diocese of Strasbourg, in Boersch and Ottrott, Alsace, France. At the opening Mass of Mission Week, presided over by the Episcopal Vicar of the Diocese of Strasbourg, the Mayor of the Commune of Boersch made a symbolic gesture and handed the missionaries the keys to the town.

Some fifteen Redemptorists (priests and brothers) from all over the world, hosted by Alsatian families and supported by some thirty lay people, toured the streets of this large parish community.

“What is this invisible link, this common thread that has prompted most of them to leave their habits behind, to welcome or be welcomed by a stranger, to offer a room, a meal, shared time?” (Introduction to the Closing Mass).

They wanted to share the reason for their joy in believing and the source of their hope.

They went out to meet all sections of the population: men and women, young people and children, to visit the sick and elderly, to bring the Eucharist and the anointing of the sick to those who wished it, to listen to and comfort those in need.

In their sermons, they developed the theme – “Witness to Christ in joy and hope” – in all its meanings. There were many highlights of this missionary week:

  • Eucharistic celebrations, confessions, prayers, times of adoration
  • Visits to families, from door to door
  • Mass for the sick and elderly, with the anointing of the sick
  • Catechesis, with sharing of the Word of God (Gospels)
  • A day dedicated to the “Forces Vives” of the parish community and to young people, with an evening procession on Friday evening.
  • Saturday was dedicated to the family and the Virgin Mary, with a procession led by children.

“It’s faith in the one Lord that has brought us together. We wanted to share with all those who opened their doors or windows, with those who joined us for our joyful evenings, our joy at being the beloved sons and daughters of the Father, and our conviction that God is present in our lives and that this makes us happy.

Today, even more than yesterday, we can say that we are a family, brothers and sisters in Christ. How are we going to care for each other, how are we going to help it continue to grow, in faith, hope and charity?” (Introduction to the closing Mass).

Yes, “In Joy and Hope”, we believe that from now on, the themes and slogans of this mission week will remain engraved for a long time in the memory of many of those who witnessed it. It is in this way that “the history of our parish community of Mont Sainte Odile will continue to be written, strengthened by all the moments lived and shared with the missionaries.” (Introduction to the closing Mass)

In expressing their gratitude and thanks to all those who, by their presence and the witness of their lives and faith, contributed in one way or another to the success of this Mission, the missionaries also returned the Keys of the City to the representative of the Town Hall.

Let us pray once again that the efforts made during this missionary week will bear much fruit in terms of conversion and adherence to Christ, the Redeemer of men and salvation of the world. Amen

Fr. Nicolas AYOUBA, C.Ss.R.