Missionary zeal was not only exercised outside of the community in preaching and celebration of the sacraments, but also within the house when people came to spend time and to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.

… one must know when it is time to close one’s door As for the Congregation of which you speak, I approve your taking care of them but it is an abuse not to be the master in one’s home. That the men come to confession in the house is all right, but that they come and install themselves at all hours and remain especially during the time for our recreation, that cannot be. There will never be recollection amongst us, never any freedom; oh no! No more of such servitude, this is clearly an abuse, let us not lapse into it again.

Letter to Jean Baptiste Honorat, 13 March 1827, EO VII n 266

In many parts of the Oblate world, our associates experience a sense of belonging to our communities and like to come on a regular basis to visit, to pray with us, to share faith and to share a meal. Wherever I have experienced this relationship, I have been enriched by these times spent together. Eugene also sounds a realistic note of warning in that each one’s rhythm and need for privacy be respected. The Oblate community, just like any family, needs to have it moments to interact in private.

From our Rule of Life:

” Oblate houses and hearts are open to all who seek help and counsel. Priests and religious are always welcome; and other evangelical workers will be received so that they may share the bread of friendship, faith, reflection and prayer. At the same time, the community will also respect its members’ needs and their right to privacy.” CC&RR, Rule 41a

This entry was posted in LETTERS and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This is just like any family or so it would seem to me – even though it is a rather large family. As we grow up there are times for just the parents to be together, and there are times reserved for our siblings. There will come a time when the in-laws leave and return to their own homes. And there is a time when it is just each of us alone with our God – there are times reserved for just this. We do not share with the world at large our most intimate thoughts and ways of being – they are reserved.

    There are boundaries to be respected here, not fortresses just boundaries dictated by and with very real love. I think that it may be out of personal wounds and neediness that we sometimes try to destroy those boundaries and feel that we have a personal ‘right’ to be an integral part of others lives. Eugene spoke of it as a form of servitude and although I have not thought of it in those terms – that’s a good way of putting it. It can be an intrusion and an abuse. It’s funny (not joking but I am always a little surprised when this happens to me) but at this moment I am thinking of Jesus and how there were times when he went off on his own, and then other times when he and his disciples went off to be and pray and celebrate and then others when he was out there with and before the whole world.

    And those times when we all come together in love and friendship to share, reflect and pray with each other though treasured are not the norm but rather a celebration of each and all of our norms together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *