Jesus “took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.” Mark 6:34

Imitating the “virtues and examples of Jesus Christ” led Eugene to deal with the last area of mission in the 1818 Rule: the mission of the houses where the community of Missionaries lived. Each of these communities had a church, open to the public. Missionaries outside and at home, –they were to use their church to continue their evangelization activities as a center of permanent ongoing mission.

Finally, to make themselves useful to the places in which the houses of the Institute are established, not only will hear the confessions of all who come to them, but they will have the public recitation of morning and evening prayers. In the evening these will be followed by an instruction or meditation… 

The major thrust of their ministry was to instruct a people who had been left ignorant by the many years of Revolution. Eugene now continues by listing the areas of instruction where the Missionaries needed to concentrate

in which, they will gradually deal with
all the guiding principles of the Christian life
and of authentic piety,
so that they will bring souls to the love of God and his Son Jesus Christ,
in the practice of mortification
and the other virtues,
in the frequent reception of the sacraments,
and in devotion to the most holy Virgin, the octaves of whose feasts will be faithfully celebrate.
On Sundays, in addition to the services held in the morning for the Congregation of Christian Youth, there will be a catechetical instruction in the evening.

1818 Rule, Part One, Chapter 3, § 7. Public exercises in the church


All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.   Dalai Lama

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I like the idea of the recitation of the Morning and Evening Prayers – we did that last summer at St. Pauls U. during the summer institute every morning – I loved it. Have never heard of it being done in a church open to the community – but that could be a wonderful opportunity.

    I also love the idea of receiving the sacraments frequently – the availability and opportunity for daily Mass has at specific times in my life been something that I found I could not do without. Am at a place now where I “could” maybe do without the daily Eucharist but do not want to – there is a part of me that has come to look forward to that time and way of being with God.

    Again I am reminded of Eugene’s statement about leading people “to act like human beings, … live like Christians, and finally, we must help them to become saints.” Eugene seems to be reminding them 200 years ago of what it would take to make this a reality, just as it would today – so that the church is not just a “Sunday” place to go to for an hour or two – it is more a part of our whole life.

  2. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    As I read this from St. Eugene, I realize that we can only be close to the people if we make ourselves available. And the Oblate family is known for that through out the world. Yet we ought not rest there, but ask ourselves;
    How do we do this in the 21 century?
    How do we do this in a era when fear?
    How do we make sure our prayer remains creative and available to all and not a duplication of a “clerical” format?

  3. Gracias, Jack Lau, for deep, insightful and challenging questions.

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