The work of the missions could not proceed without the generous spiritual and material help of lay collaborators. We see this in the letter of Eugene to one of his biggest supporters:

I must begin by making excuses for having replied so late to the letter that you did the honor of writing to me. Please put the blame on those who will not accept the least delay in the usual services that they demand of my me. I am grateful for what you have done…

She was in Marseille, and the Missionaries were preparing themselves for a city mission there the following year:

It seems most likely that we will go to your area in January and February for the mission planned for such a long time; then we will need the help of your prayers and those of all the holy persons who are interested in God’s glory and the salvation of souls. However, take care not to wait till then to recommend me to the Lord. 
Please accept the assurance of my respectful sentiments; I have the honor of being your very humble servant. 
Eug[e]ne de Mazenod, m[issiona]ry priest. 

Letter to Madame Roux-Bonnecorse, 27 July 1819, O.W. XIII n. 26

 Henri Tempier in ND du Laus reflects this same spirit of appreciation for the collaborators when he writes to Eugene:

I have always forgotten to write to you that here we pray here for the benefactors of the work of the Missions as they do at Aix. Point out the value of that the next time that you pray, underline the holiness of our place, the fervor, and the large number of people who are praying.

Letter from Henri Tempier to Eugene de Mazenod, 13 June 1819,
Oblate Writings II.2, n. 13


The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.    Albert Schweitzer, theologian and medical doctor

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  1. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    A Blessed Feast of St. Thomas to all those from India in the De Mazenod family.

    These two notes, from our first and second founder speaks of how they were not closed in on the community but open to others to participate in the mission of the society. It was not exclusive, but open, allowing each person regardless of their state in life to share the gifts they have for the well-being of the other.
    And to see this in 1819, is able to remind us that no one is an island unto them selves but we need each other. Gerard May, in an article entitled; “The Only Way; From Cruelty to Compassion Through Personal Transfomation” writes; True confidence arises only in this atmosphere of interdependence, where nothing is isolated or cut apart. Pride and arrogance comes from a seperate sense of self, which is set over and against something or someone else. Humility comes from the realization that one’s own being is rooted-as is everything else-in the ground of all being.”

  2. John Mouck says:

    This kind of, not really but kind of, speaks to my feelings about what it is to be an Oblate.
    I think the term “Oblate Associate” should be scrapped.
    I consider myself to be an Oblate. I may not be an ordained Oblate priest (that calling never came to me), but I certainly try to conduct my life following Eugene’s ideals and I am certainly inspired by his fire. I think this qualifies me. I look forward to the day I can be a “vowed” Oblate in Lacombe.
    I am pretty sure other “associates” around the world feel the same.
    Truth be known, we are becoming more and more vital to carry on the mission, especially in the western world, as our absolutely incredible Oblate priests age, while the work load, the need increases.
    Of course I bow to the sacredness of the Oblate priest and the power of The Spirit. I hope She is, I think She is, I feel She is guiding me.

  3. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associates says:

    I really like the idea of being a ‘part’ of something. I googled the word collaborator and collaboration and read about ‘working together’. I love that idea, where we each bring our separate gifts and work together. Jack’s quote says it all: “True confidence arises only in this atmosphere of interdependence, where nothing is isolated or cut apart. …. Humility comes from the realization that one’s own being is rooted-as is everything else-in the ground of all being.” It speaks to me of community and relationships, of sharing and of prayer.

    For myself, being an Oblate Associate – by that name or any other is definitely a response to a call. To become a “vowed Oblate” as you put it John, is to become a religious member of the Congregation – which of course is certainly not something that I feel called to and I am sure not something that the Congregation is considering! I am happy to be a part of the Oblate family, to be able to journey with and share in the mission.

    It is amazing what God calls each of us to. You might remember a few months ago me going slightly off the rails about praying the Divine Office, the Liturgy of the Hours. Today was my day in a class titled Devotions and the Liturgy of the Hours in a Parish Setting and part of it will entail setting up a plan to bring this to a parish. It’s all a part of the Pastoral Liturgy Summer Institute. I have no idea where God is going with all of this but the ride is sure great.

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