Once the missionaries had completed the presentation of their vision statement to the diocesan authorities and elected a superior, they began a ten-day period of prayer and recollection in preparation for their first parish mission, which was to begin in Grans on 11 February. In this way a pattern of setting time aside for intense prayer before each mission was established:
On the evening preceding the day before their departure, the missionaries having the joy of being designated will go on retreat after evening prayers. It is the norm that each mission that is done be preceded by at least one day of retreat.
1818 RULE Chapter Two §2
The days of prayer were indispensable if the missionaries were to remain true to their ideal that all their ministry was to be an invitation to others to participate in the same relationship with God that the missionaries themselves enjoyed.
Today our original founding vision continues to be expressed in our Rule of Life:
We are men “set apart for the Gospel” (Rom 1: 1), men ready to leave everything to be disciples of Jesus. The desire to co-operate with him draws us to know him more deeply, to identify with him, to let him live in us.
We strive to reproduce in ourselves the pattern of his life. Thus, we give ourselves to the Father in obedience even unto death and dedicate ourselves to God’s people in unselfish love. Our apostolic zeal is sustained by the unreserved gift we make of ourselves in our oblation, an offering constantly renewed by the challenges of our mission.”
CC&RR Constitution 2
Today our original founding vision continues to become more inclusive and far-reaching:
The charism of Saint Eugene de Mazenod is a gift of the Spirit to the Church, and it radiates throughout the world. Lay people recognize that they are called to share in the charism according to their state of life, and to live it in ways that vary according to milieu and cultures. They share in the charism in a spirit of communion and reciprocity amongst themselves and with the Oblates. In order to live more intensely the mission of evangelization according to the Oblate charism, some lay people gather in associations.
CC&RR, Rule R37a
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams