Missionary zeal was not only exercised outside of the community in preaching and celebration of the sacraments, but also within the house when people came to spend time and to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.
… one must know when it is time to close one’s door As for the Congregation of which you speak, I approve your taking care of them but it is an abuse not to be the master in one’s home. That the men come to confession in the house is all right, but that they come and install themselves at all hours and remain especially during the time for our recreation, that cannot be. There will never be recollection amongst us, never any freedom; oh no! No more of such servitude, this is clearly an abuse, let us not lapse into it again.
Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 13 March 1827, EO VII n 266
In many parts of the Oblate world, our associates experience a sense of belonging to our communities and like to come on a regular basis to visit, to pray with us, to share faith and to share a meal. Wherever I have experienced this relationship, I have been enriched by these times spent together. Eugene also sounds a realistic note of warning in that each one’s rhythm and need for privacy be respected. The Oblate community, just like any family, needs to have it moments to interact in private.
From our Rule of Life:
” Oblate houses and hearts are open to all who seek help and counsel. Priests and religious are always welcome; and other evangelical workers will be received so that they may share the bread of friendship, faith, reflection and prayer. At the same time, the community will also respect its members’ needs and their right to privacy.” CC&RR, Rule 41a