… It is now eleven years since Our Predecessor, Pius VII, of happy memory, shortly after he had by God’s protection guided back to port the storm tossed vessel of the Church safe and sound, openly stated that, due to the disorders of Church and State in France, preachers of the Gospel were needed for the work of recalling to the right path of salvation the sheep that had gone astray. And it was but a short time afterwards that a small band of priests was formed in the diocese of Aix, in Provence, in southern France, to undertake this sacred ministry.

…Given at Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the Fisherman’s Ring, on the twenty first day of March, 1826, in the third year of Our Pontificate.

Pope Leo XII

Apostolic Letter of Approbation, 21 March 1826, Missions O.M.I., n° 280 (1952), pp. 118, 138.

Eugene’s response was his founding vision for us:

The sight of these evils has so touched the hearts of certain priests, zealous for the glory of God, men with an ardent love for the Church, that they are willing to give their lives, if need be, for the salvation of souls.

Preface of the CC&RR


“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”   Martin Luther King, Jr

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    The sheer grace of putting these three items together, seemingly disconnected and yet not – all connected with the same inter-woven thread of love. I am reminded of the many ways that God feeds us, nourishes us and fills us with all that we need for our journey, together and yet strangely alone. The Word feeds all. A very wise and gentle Oblate once shared how he would open the Constitution and Rules to read and take it all in, to study and learn it. He had been doing it for many many years. And he had never been able to get past the Preface. It no longer mattered to him – for him it was all there, everything that he needed was right there.

    Sheer genius in matching these two, the letter of approbation and the Preface together. The language is certainly that of another time and place and yet still it speaks to me and echos within my heart. Coming here this morning, is like having a window and a door opened, light coming in and bringing new life to what seemed just ‘to be there’. It fuels and feeds, inspires and focuses. “Are not our hearts burning within us, are not our hearts burning with love. Jesus is risen, is risen is with us. Jesus is risen, is risen today.’

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