In legal language, the Pope states that because the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate has been approved by the Church, this approval is valid throughout the world and no local ecclesiastical authority can go against it. It was for this recognition that Eugene had worked so hard to achieve: to be universally recognized as missionaries for the most abandoned and have the backing and support of the Church to facilitate this ministry in the most difficult conditions. The Oblate dream was blessed and assured of ongoing support.

 In what has been stated above the same judgement and decision must be given by all judges whether ordinary, or delegated, and also by the Auditors for the causes of the Apostolic Palace, by the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, even those who are Legates A Latere, by Vice-Legates and Nuncios of the Holy See. And We withhold from all without exception the faculty and authority to interpret or judge in a different manner. Moreover, We render null and void beforehand any attempt to decree otherwise, knowingly or unknowingly, by any person or by any other authority, the Apostolic Constitutions, ordinances and other decrees to the contrary not-withstanding.
…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.


“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.”   Michael Phelps

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “Recognizing that the church has spoken.” Recognition – remembrance, acknowledgement, appreciation. Which of us has never wanted or needed some kind of recognition – be it from our family members, siblings, parents; from our friends and colleagues, our bosses; from our community, our Oblate brothers and sisters; from our fellow parishioners; from our church most certainly and most deeply from our God. It is how we have been created, a part of our human dna, it is with this that we come from God and will return home to God. Need and desire for recognition is a part of who we are – not everything – but certainly a valid and a good part. It helps to fuel and feed the dream, to strengthen and support it.

    I am coloured by that very acknowledgement, that recognition, whether it comes from the Oblates I walk with, the people I work with, or even the most intimate and precious of all, the hearing “beloved” spoken and filling my heart. I think of the poor that Eugene loved and walked and worked with. Many of them being recognized for who they were (here I think of his words in his Lenten sermon at the Church of the Madeleine) – who felt that for perhaps the first time the “Church” was recognizing them as valuable and loved people – what that gave to them, how that fed them.

    I am preparing my reflection for the coming weekend at church and so have though about the readings off and on this morning especially John’s gospel. All about preparing the way, about being recognized, being promised, being fed and supported. It brings such peace and joy, contentment.

    As Frank said; “The Oblate dream was blessed and assured of ongoing support.” Recognition – for Eugene, the Oblates, all members of the Oblate family. It’s like we are all carrying a miniature copy of that brief in our hip pockets as we move along and through our lives – it gives us strength, feeds us courage and protects us.

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