In living in healthy balance between doing and being, the Missionaries had the responsibility of studying and constantly renewing themselves and the contents of their preaching and teaching.

When the missionaries are not on a mission, they will return with joy to the privacy of their holy house, so that they may employ their time to renew the spirit of their vocation by meditation on the law of God, and the study of Sacred Scripture, the fathers of the Church, dogmatic and moral theology, and the other branches of ecclesiastical science. They will also prepare new material for future missions.

1818 Rule, Part Two, Chapter One. Regarding other principal observances

Unfortunately the zeal and pastoral generosity of the Missionaries tended to fill their time and put studies in second place.

The present Oblate Rule of Life continues to promote Eugene’s desire for renewal and inner development for the sake of the contents of our ministry.

Ongoing formation encompasses all aspects of our development. It renews and develops our spiritual life and its inner resources and favours our growth in emotional and affective maturity. It increases our pastoral skills. It enables us to be critically aware of the integration of our life and mission at all stages of our development.

CC&RR, Constitution 69


“Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.”       Bo Bennett

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  1. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    I remember reading these text and desiring them to be a reality, but in daily parish ministry and living alone it was not the case. I would pick up a book at night and within 5 minutes I was asleep. I was young, zealous and foolish. And we did good things.
    Eugene knew that-he too burnt the candles from both ends and so we see his need of community and rhythm.
    Each of us will be different, what are your passions and interest, what do you want to learn more about?
    Who else in the community/de Mazenodian family have similar interests. And then in “trust” share your self, your dream, your soul with an other.
    When that happens, you will know it and your light will shine.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am constantly amazed and grateful for the wisdom of Eugene and others around me. It’s like a light is turned on and I respond with “of course!” I find myself laughing – at myself. Putting words to ‘what is’. Ongoing formation and learning some how seems to help expand my vision, my dreams, how I see and relate to God and others.

    Perhaps it is a part of me being in the second half of my life, as is suggested by Bo Bennett (had to look up who is this Bo Bennett), but I find myself not only eager to learn, but also realising that formation is necessary for me to continue to grow in life (development). There seems to be a flow – back and forth and I am thinking that is one more aspect of the flow between ‘being’ and ‘doing’ – sort of like a spiral type of movement – all connected. And it somehow fits into that “second gaze” that Richard Rohr speaks about, bouncing back and forth. Awesome!

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