Three more prescriptions of a legal nature follow in the first Rule regarding relations with the Bishops, and then the final paragraph states:

Vicars General and Gentlemen: Such is a comprehensive outline of the regulations that the undersigned priests present for your approval in requesting your authorization to form a community.
Done in Aix, 25 January 1816
Eugène de Mazenod, Tempier, Icard, Mie, Maunier, Deblieu

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

 The paramount importance of this action of 25 January 1816 in the rich and varied life of Eugene de Mazenod is clear when, just a few hours before his death in 1861, he asked one of the Oblates at his bedside to communicate a message to all the Oblates:



Be sure to tell them that I die happy… that I die happy that God was so good as to choose me to found the Congregation of the Oblates in the Church.

Circular Letter to the Congregation 26 May 1861

Two hundred years later, the joy of Saint Eugene continues as he sees the contribution that has been made to the Church by those associated with his charism.


“Church is what you do. Church is who you are. Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ. Let’s not go to Church, let’s be the Church.”   Bill Hybels

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I find great consolation this morning in being here in this space, in prayer and quiet reflection. There is sorrow and there is joy; there is confusion and there is understanding. It seems as if I am like a soul divided and yet in truth I am not. How can it be that I can feel and experience so much at the same time, with opposites seemingly able to be present within me at the same time.

    I look at how Frank has knitted together the beginning and the end with Eugene’s letter to the Capitular Vicars and then his words to his community, his family. “Be sure to tell them that I die happy…” I think of some of the struggles that Eugene experienced in his life but he was happy having been able to live as called by God. I think for a moment of some of the many struggles that I have experienced in my life and yet I am filled with joy and gratitude for this journey that I continue to be on. Again I look at Paul and the joys and the struggles that he experienced, I look at how he gave of himself, how he loved his brothers and those associated with them. He loved the poor, not just those in far-off lands where he ministered, but here in the city, in his family. I realise I am not just looking at the faults or the weaknesses but the whole picture – I think perhaps that is a great by-product of love. I realise it is how I (most imperfectly) look at Eugene, at the Church, at the members of the Mazenodian family at large, at my parish community, at my friends and at those I meet.

    I sit here this morning and feel consoled. I am not sure how you did this Frank, but at least for me you have knitted together Eugene and the Church, Paul and God – for a moment the words “paschal mystery” come to mind, centered around and in Jesus, the cross and death, the resurrection and new life.

    “Two hundred years later, the joy of Saint Eugene continues as he sees the contribution that has been made to the Church by those associated with his charism.” Thank you Frank and all who come here – this has been a gift.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I come back here this morning, out of habit I suppose – being here is a part of my daily habit, my daily ritual of prayer. I trust that the Spirit will speak to me through the words of yesterday – the same ones I saw yesterday, but perhaps seen with new eyes, with a new focus.

    I think of “Being the Church”. For a long time I would go to church, sit in church and even say that I was a member of my church. But ‘being the church’ – a different story all together. I must again admit that I was not totally aimless and lost before the Oblates entered my life, but I certainly never thought of anything so intimate – for it is quite intimate and daring too to step forward and think “I want to be the Church”. It is and will be life changing. Is not simply totally amazing and wondrous who God chooses to speak to us through!

    I put it into the context of what Bill Hybels said; “Church is the human outworking of the person of Jesus Christ.” Looking at it in that light – to be a part of – not the whole thing for I am one of many and yet I live it so intimately. When did this happen?

    Look Eugene, look at what has happened. Look at what you started with your founding vision. Isn’t is wondrous and amazing, that all of it beginning with God, with Jesus, with the Church, with you and the Oblates – endless ways of being each a part of the other, separate and yet not. Once again I feel most comfortable in my skin. This is who I am, who we are. Look Lord, look at your people.

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