Fr. Lubowicki continues to show young Father Eugene’s youth ministry aimed at developing a Marian attitude in the young people in their approach to God and the expressions of their faith. He studies the Rule written by Eugene for the members of the Youth Congregation.

The Rule sets forth a life-style both for the individual and for group activities. With regard to activities for the individual, he invites them to a daily recitation of Saint Bernard’s prayer: “Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary”, and makes the suggestion that “in addition, frequently in the course of a day, they let fly some arrows of love toward her maternal heart by means of short but fervent aspirations”. While calling upon them to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, he reminds them that “before leaving the church […] they should not forget to say a few prayers to the Blessed Virgin because the Mother must never be separated from her Son”. In 1813 Eugene suggested that they should recite a decade of the rosary and to fall asleep “in peace with the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their lips, but even more so in their hearts”.

As a result, the presence of Mary permeated not only the days of the personal lives of the associates, but the time they spent together as well. Mary’s image was to be found on the Association’s coat of arms. All exercises were brought to a conclusion by the following prayer recited in Provençal: “May Jesus Christ be praised and Mary, ever Immaculate, be praised as well together with her divine Son”.

Meetings opened with the recitation of the Ave Maria and ended with the Sub tuum praesidium. The Rule bound the young people to recite the Divine Office in common every Thursday and Sunday: recitation of Matins and Lauds of the Blessed Virgin and singing of Vespers of that same Office. Consequently, it would seem that Eugene had forgotten his Venetian spiritual master’s teaching: “Never too much, always well done”! It is clear that he wanted to imbue the activities and the day of his young people with the presence of Mary.

C. Lubowicki, “Mary” in the Dictionary of Oblate Values, http://www.omiworld.org/dictionary.asp?v=9&ID=1056&let=M&pag=4

Eugene transferred this ideal to the Oblates and it has been carried over and expressed in our own day in our Rule as: “Mary Immaculate, in her faith response and total openness to the call of the Spirit, is the model and guardian of our consecrated life.”   CC&RR, Constitution 13


Then his mother and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Luke 8:19-21

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    God bless Eugene, his passion and his intensity of life. I find myself quietly agreeing with him. Perhaps because of his life of exile he knew intimately, what it was like to not have God, not have Mary, consciously before him, with him at his side. He found ways to do this relieve this state through Don Bartello certainly and for a while, but I think it was most likely later in the seminary that many of these practices became a base for him. A base and way of being that he tried to share with the youth who also, were lacking in formation of a spiritual base. They prayed thus, kept Jesus and Mary always before them until it all became a part of their very beings. I look at myself and see how prayer (in it’s many forms) is a part of my very existence and how that brings small joys throughout my day as I stop and re-realise how God is right there with me, how Mary has my hand and is leading me.

    It amazes me, the number of youth who joined Eugene’s group and while a part of it ‘played by his rules’. It might have been intense but it was quite obvious that the youth were in fact drawn to this way of living.

    “Mary Immaculate … is the model and guardian of our consecrated life.” What an incredibly powerful and comforting image. I find myself repeating these words, and there is a small amount of wonder with each recitation. I ask myself who I have consecrated myself to, and how do I live that out? Eugene King speaks of “savoring”, I think I want to savor these words this morning as I head out to a meeting and then clothe myself in them. I laugh because the image that comes to mind is of a young girl dressed up and striding forth with an air of supreme confidence in herself and who she is.

    “”Mary Immaculate … the model and guardian of our consecrated life.” The taste of life is so good!

  2. Kirk Jacob says:

    Frank, Thanks for lovely insights today.. I am reminded of my own childhood – learning the Memorare! Like yourself, Eleanor, I too, am quite moved by the number of youth who joined Eugene, some of them would later become his companions!
    I guess something about Eugene’s everyday faith conversations with them must have been transformational!

    Have a blessed day!
    With much love

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