As the activity of their first day of community life, Eugene had planned that “at this meeting we will draw up the Rule which we will have to follow. We will confer on the manner in which we will carry out our good work.”

The result was that the first Missionaries produced a request for authorization that they addressed to the Aix diocesan authorities. We can see this document as the statement of the founding vision of what today we refer to as the larger Mazenodian Family of all those inspired by the spirit and charism of Eugene. This is how they decided to express their ideals:

The undersigned priests:
 -deeply moved by the deplorable situation of the small towns and villages of Provence that have almost completely lost the faith;
-knowing from experience that the hard-heartedness or indifference of these people renders the ordinary help supplied by your concern for their salvation insufficient and even useless;
-convinced that missions are the only means by which these people who have gone astray can be brought out of their unfortunate condition;
-wanting, at the same time, to respond to the call which summons them to consecrate themselves to this demanding ministry;
-and wishing to accomplish it in a manner as useful to themselves as it is beneficial for the people whom they propose to evangelize;
-have the honour of requesting from you the authorization to come together at Aix in the old house of the Carmelites which one of them has acquired; and to live there in community under a Rule whose main points they now indicate to you:

(ed. three pages of points follow)

Request to the Capitular Vicars of Aix, 25 January 1816, O.W. XIII n.2

Two hundred years later we continue to express exactly the same goals and vision, but in different words:

The call of Jesus Christ, heard within the Church through people’s need for salvation, draws us together as Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Christ thus invites us to follow him and to share in his mission through word and work…

We come together in apostolic communities of priests and Brothers, united to God by the vows of religion.

Cooperating with the Saviour and imitating his example, we commit ourselves principally to evangelizing the poor.”   CC&RR, Constitution 1

This is why we continue being what we are after 200 years!


Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives.”   Denis Waitley


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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I sit here this morning wondering and listening. Listening to the words spoken, each and every one of them touching and resonating within my heart. They seem to focus and guide me, but still I am unable to respond. There is no ‘doing’ here. So I sit and be. Hearing God’s call, hearing whispered words that drown out all others “I am here, waiting for you to give [it] all to me.” All, as in everything. The joys, the sorrows, the wonderment, truth, the light and the darkness. My heart, my soul, my body. Is this how you would have me follow you Lord?

    Lent has barely begun – I feel as if I have jumped the gun. Follow you Lord? Already I feel myself on the cross. There is no blame, simply a small sense they are me and I am them, and you Lord are each of us. Follow you and share in your mission. That is what I try to do in my own way with Eugene and my beloved Mazenodian Family. Right now, quite unable to ‘do’ on my own, I feel as if I am being carried.

    Cooperating with the Saviour – I am on the receiving end here – it is I who am evangelized. This is one small part of why after 200 years the community continues.

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