|Having outlined the major points of their vision statement, the missionaries continued:
Request to the Capitular Vicars of Aix, 25 January 1816, EO XIII n.2
Why did these men come together for the service of others? Was it pure altruism or philanthropy? No! It all hinges around the word “salvation.” From the beginning, Eugene was to define our ministry as that of being “co-operators of the Savior.” The aim of the lives and ministry of the founding group was salvation for themselves and for those to whom they ministered. It was the living out of the answer to the ageless Catechism question: “Why did God create us?” The reply was: “To love Him and serve Him in this world so that we can be happy with Him in the next.”
Eugene was convinced that anyone of his group who lived the demands of his vocation well (in other words, faithfully followed the Rule of Life) would go straight to heaven after his death. So, the missionaries had a clear purpose: eternal salvation for themselves and all the people they ministered too. Eugene summed this up in the Preface when he wrote:
Today, the same applies, when we speak of salvation by using Jesus’ own vocabulary of entering the Kingdom of God:
“We come before him bearing with us the daily pressures of our anxiety for those to whom he sends us (cf. 2 Cor 11:28). Our life in all its dimensions is a prayer that, in us and through us, God’s kingdom come.” CC&RR, Constitution 32
How beautiful this is: as Missionary Oblates, our life in all its dimensions is a prayer, as lay associates our life in all its dimensions is a prayer, as anyone who is touched in any way by the charism of St Eugene, our life in all its dimensions is a prayer. As a large world-wide Mazenodian Family, our life in all its dimensions is a prayer – and what a rich variety of instruments we make so that, in us and through us, God’s kingdom come! Eugene’s co-operators of the Savior!