From Saturday, October 30 to Monday, November 1, the gathering “Au large avec Ignace! »Brings together in Marseille the members of the Ignatian family from France, French-speaking Belgium and Luxembourg. More than 7,000 participants are expected. The city of Marseille was not chosen by chance.

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Among the highlights of these three days of gathering is a time of meditation in the Old Port, for the refugees who died crossing the Mediterranean, as well as for the deaths of Covid-19 and for the victims of sexual violence in the Church. .

A “family celebration”. This is how the gathering “Offshore with Ignatius!” ”Which will be held in Marseille from Saturday October 30 to Monday November 1. The Ignatian family brings together those who recognize themselves in the spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola: spirituality characterized by the search for God in daily life, through rereading or even spiritual discernment.

Imposing to say the least, this family has tens of thousands of members around the world. More than 7,000 are expected in Marseille for this All Saints weekend, coming from all over France, French-speaking Belgium and Luxembourg. For collective times, participants will meet in the vast Chanot park, a stone’s throw from the Vélodrome stadium. Long-planned, this event is part of the Ignatian Year, which began on May 20, 2021 and ends on July 31, 2022.

In addition to religious congregations such as the Company of Jesus (the Jesuits), Xaviere or the Sisters of the Cenacle, movements and communities will not be left out. First and foremost, the Community of Christian Life (CLC), which has 800 small groups of baptized people in France wishing to “become adults in the faith”, will constitute one of the largest contingents of the Marseille gathering. The Christian Movement of Executives and Leaders (MCC) will also be well represented, as will the Chemin-Neuf community, founded in 1973 under the leadership of a Jesuit.

Around 1,500 young people are also expected to take part in the gathering: adolescents attending the Eucharistic Youth Movement (Mej), but also students and young professionals from the Magis Network. Around thirty families with children will also follow a program adapted to their pace.

But in addition to a “family celebration”, this large gathering, appropriately entitled “Offshore”, is also an opportunity to “discover the signs of brotherhood in a disrupted world”. The choice of Marseille is no accident. The one that its Archbishop Jean-Marc Aveline readily presents as the “last great cosmopolitan city” of the Mediterranean basin, with a unique cultural and religious plurality, concentrates major issues: fight against poverty, interreligious dialogue, reception of migrants …

Among the highlights of these three days of gathering is a time of meditation in the Old Port, Saturday October 30 at 6 p.m., for the refugees who died crossing the Mediterranean, as well as for the deaths of the Covid-19 and for the victims of sexual violence in the Church. Earlier in the afternoon, participants will have strolled in small groups through the streets of Marseille, “discovering a city open to the world and Ignatian Marseille”.

It is indeed from this port that many missionaries of the Ignatian family have left over the past centuries, to China, the Maghreb and even the Middle East. La Xavière was founded a hundred years ago in Marseille, while the first Jesuit house in the 17th century was in the Panier district. Today, the Jesuits have been running the Saint-Ferréol shrine in particular since 2017.

It is in this church directly overlooking the Old Port that a Mass will be celebrated on Sunday October 31 at 11 am, broadcast live in the program Le Jour du Seigneur (France 2). The next day, the solemn mass of All Saints will be celebrated at Chanot Park, and broadcast live on KTO and RCF.

Pope Francis, himself a Jesuit, had been officially invited to come to Marseille for this gathering, but did not follow up. With some proposals open to all, such as a big festival on Sunday October 31st in the afternoon, the Ignatian family intends to take advantage of this event to make themselves better known to the public.


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