Reflecting on the unexpected way in which the Pope had shown a special interest in the Oblates, Eugene drew conclusions for all of us.

These men of ours, do they at least know this? If they knew what all this means, they would jump for joy or be overcome with admiration.
People here wait sometimes six months for a yes or a no, scrutinize a sign, try to guess the meaning of some thought of the Sovereign Pontiff – who for us has done everything. What right did we have to this? Who is it who gave me, in a single audience, the wherewithal to inspire in him an interest so strong, so real, so constant? How is it not possible to see the supernatural in this?

Because God was at work through the Pope, the Oblates need to be even more attached to the Congregation, aware that it was brought into existence by God.

From now on how can we not be overwhelmed with gratitude towards God and, looking seriously at ourselves, not attach ourselves still more to the Society which has just obtained such convincing proofs of the protection of the Lord, to whom we now belong in quite another manner since, in the hierarchical order, it is by her that we are attached to the supreme Head of the Church who is the sovereign moderator thereof.

Our response to God’s actions for us is the responsibility of being clear about our specific identity and spirit that makes us different to diocesan priests and other religious congregations. Unless we are clear about our identity in the Church, our future is jeopardized.

Now is the time to adopt this “esprit de corps” which incites us not to be surpassed by any other community in faithfulness to the Rule, etc….

Letter to Henri Tempier, 9 March 1826, EO VII n. 229


“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”     Confucius

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Unless we are clear about our Oblate Spirit, what future do we have?” What a loaded question! What is the Oblate Spirit, what does it look like? When I was first getting to know the Oblates I kept hearing the word “poverty” and at first thought they were all about helping the financially poor. Just that. As I met more and more Oblates the image seemed to take on a fuller image, and starting to get to know St. Eugene the dimensions filled out and continued to grow. For it seemed that there were many faces to this poverty that I was attracted to – inside and out. For me – I found myself growing because of my relationship with the community, I started to realise on a deeper level that it was about much more than just ‘helping’ the poor – I found myself in and amidst and one of the poor. For in it was in the community and that I was coming to know and recognize myself. Giving and receiving all together. Also included was the going out to and the coming back to. What was/is the mission? What did/does that look like? In the middle of all of it was and is the Church and being one of her missionaries. How do we, how do I support the mission. Add to that the specter of becoming a saint and sharing with others a way of living to realise that goal. Of becoming a co-operator of the Savior, a co-worker with Jesus. Wrapping all of that up in a sense and experience of feeling called, of being called which can seem to be vague and only a part of our hearts desire.

    The Oblate spirit is about so much more than can be written in just a few lines, it encapsulates so much. Perhaps even more than what Eugene first expressed 200 years ago. The Oblate spirit – what does that mean? It cannot be shrouded in mists and clouds. Once brought out into the daylight and expressed clearly openly the beauty and grace and indeed God’s own self/being can be readily seen and discerned.

    This morning has again invited me to look at what it is I feel drawn to and strive to live out and share. Like a conversation that is not new, but simply ongoing.

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