On the 10th of the same month, at 9 pm, he convened the fourth general chapter in Marseille, in the House of the Calvaire, to promulgate the apostolic letters approving the constitutions and canonically establishing the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

It opened in Marseille, in the interior of the house chapel of the Calvaire, on 11 July 1826, at five o’clock in the evening.

The Blessed Sacrament was solemnly exposed; they solemnly sang the “Veni Creator” and “Sub tuum”, then the Chapter Fathers, went in procession to the hall of the Community; they were twelve in number …

The Very Reverend Father Superior General began by presenting to the capitulants the copy of the Constitutions approved by the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Leo XII.  He then read the approbation; then, in a trembling voice, he exhorted all those members of the Society to promise unerringly to observe this Rule, which was approved by the Church, he said, and imposed on us by God himself.

The Chapter Fathers, just as moved, replied, in voices mixed with tears, that they promised to do so.

They then asked the Very Reverend Superior General to write, on behalf of the whole Society, a letter to His Holiness to express the gratitude of the Congregation, and to assure him of their firm resolution to be faithful to the Rules he had consented to approve.

Rey I, p. 396

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”   John F. Kennedy

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    In Rome it was about more than just ‘ratifying some rules’, it was also about “canonically establishing the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.’ The founding of a great family, of a very specific way of life, one that gave/gives expression to a way of being. I think of the 12 Steps of AA – they do not call them ‘rules’ because people like me who need them to live would most likely rebel and walk away. But it is the same principle. We have the 10 Commandments, and many other ‘suggestions’ from scriptures. We have the unwritten rules of being a member of our blood families, and those we marry into. And rather than to impose they ALL are frameworks and guides that allow us to grow and move more freely ahead. They are blessings rather than constraints.

    I do not think of the Constitution and Rules as something which ‘imposes’ on us, but rather as something that helps us connect and work together, binding with love. guiding with love. A bit like the embrace of God, not there to stifle or hold us back, but rather to nourish and imbue us with all that is needed for us go forth, to share and give. It is from within that embrace that we live with immense freedom and hope. There is a shared connection with all who share the embrace. It is with the Constitutions and Rules that we connect and are free to move forth. Gratitude is then but a small part of our being, of our hearts, but it is the part that impels us to share and give, to live as we have been created, to love more fully. It impels, allows and invites to give all that we have been given and then to receive it all plus more and give again.

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