PAPAL APPROBATION: RECOGNIZING THEIR MINISTRY AS RELIGIOUS

POPE LEO XII

FOR FUTURE REMEMBRANCE OF THE MATTER

 This Society has for its aim the following objects: its members, who are bound by simple but perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and perseverance in the Institute itself, (from which vows they cannot be dispensed except by the Superior General or the Roman Pontiff), devote themselves principally to the work of preaching missions to the poorer classes in the common tongue, especially in places destitute of the aid of religion ; they give assistance to the clergy by providing them with suitable training in seminaries, and by being continually ready to assist parish priests and other pastors in the work of reforming the morals of the people through preaching and other spiritual exercises ; they generously bestow devoted care on the young, and they strive to withdraw this chosen portion of the Christian people from the seductions of the world by forming them into pious associations; lastly, they preach the divine word and administer the sacraments to those in prison, and accompany to the scaffold those condemned to death.

When, indeed, the great benefits flowing from this Society were perceived by all, its priests soon came to be spread far and wide, so that at this time they have four houses and a hospice, and their sacred ministry is exercised in six dioceses. They attend the hospitals of Aix, and likewise the prisons in that city and in Marseilles. At the present moment they have invitations to undertake the direction of several diocesan seminaries in various places.

…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.

How happy and satisfied Eugene must have been to have seen the Church recognition of the missionary goals that the Oblates had been practicing for the 10 years of their existence:

We must lead men to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.
Such are the great works of salvation that can crown the efforts of priests whom God has inspired with the desire to form themselves into a Society in order to work more effectively for the salvation of souls and for their own sanctification. To bring all this into being, they must carry out their duty worthily, faithfully fulfilling their splendid vocation.

Preface of the CC&RR

 

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.”   Mother Teresa

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One Response to PAPAL APPROBATION: RECOGNIZING THEIR MINISTRY AS RELIGIOUS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I take great joy as I read over and reflect on the significance of what this papal approval will mean to Eugene and his Oblates, to all the members of the Oblate family. To be a part of that, sharing the spirit of that. Such a tremendous gift. I began the morning somewhat struggling with some of the language and the seeming exclusivity of some of it. Often I can simply move quickly around it, but it has recently been coming at me throughout the past day or two from different quarters of my life and so has been lurking there, colouring my thoughts and prayers, my conversations with God, a part of my life that I will not dishonour by pretending it is not there. There is a need to acknowledge it so that I can get past it.

    And having said that I am now freed up to love greatly as Mother Theresa spoke of and to be grateful to God for having received so much. I have been led (sometimes dragged) into becoming truly human, then becoming more Christian (not exclusive of each other by any means) and finally to realising the possibilities and beginnings of becoming a saint. And I can do no less than to share that, share what I have been given, share who I have become with others.

    I re-read the quote from the Preface this morning and would change one word only -“Such are the great works of salvation that can crown the efforts of laypersons whom God has inspired with the desire to form themselves into a Society in order to work more effectively for the salvation of souls and for their own sanctification. To bring all this into being, they must carry out their duty worthily, faithfully fulfilling their splendid vocation.” This echoes and dances within my heart. Indeed I started out a little challenged this morning, but Eugene’s words have again helped me to focus on all that I have been given. As we approach the ‘World day of prayer for Vocations’ I can but thank God for choosing such a spectacular one for me. God has called me, has called each of us and so like Isaiah and like Eugene lived it “I am honoured in the sight of the Lord, and my God has become my strength.”

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