In my childhood catechism lessons, before the Vatican Council took effect, Sister M. hammered into us that the call of the disciples was all about the vocation to be a “priest, brother or sister” – and that the best possible thing that could happen to us was to receive such a “vocation!” I was so thrilled to dream that perhaps I had received such a privileged vocation! The Vatican Council soon shattered my privileged illusions by pointing out that all the baptized actually had a universal vocation to holiness, and that there were no first and second class disciples.

Sister M was totally wrong because the model of Jesus and the disciples is the model of how the Church functions, and the local parish, and the family, and any intentional group that comes together to live apostolically in any particular situation. What a gift!

The community of the Apostles with Jesus is the model of our life. Our Lord grouped the Twelve around him to be his companions and to be sent out as his messengers (cf. Mk 3:14). The call and the presence of the Lord among us today bind us together in charity and obedience to create anew in our own lives the Apostles’ unity with him and their common mission in his Spirit.

CC&RR, Constitution 3

The vision of St Eugene draws us together to live this model in an intentional way. Through the eyes of our crucified Savior we are called to gather around His call and presence. He forms us in our times of prayer and through the people and events of our everyday life. Our loving Savior invites us to be his companions and messengers. This is our Mazenodian vocation, which we make our own as Oblates, as associates, as co-workers, as supporters and benefactors – as we express the beauty of our fundamental baptismal calling of being companions and messengers,


“Sometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth! Authentic Christian discipleship is marked by a sense of wonder. We stand before the God we know and love as a friend, the vastness of his creation, and the beauty of our Christian faith.”   Pope Benedict XVI

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am barely awake this morning, it was a late night and so my thoughts and movements are slower than others. They are deliberate for I am here in this space. Outside my window it is grey and raining, yet there is light. The sense of wonder that Frank speaks of is there, that God should call me, invite me to sit with him Him.

    I still remember hearing His voice – that first time ‘hearing’ God say my name; “Eleanor, I love you. I have called you by name – you are mine.” Instant recognition. Joy unlike anything I had ever experienced, unlike anything I had thought possible. In that moment or moments I was carried to a new level of consciousness, a new plane of existence. Joy, awe, wonder and gratitude seemed to fill the universe and although I could not sustain that 24/7 it started to become a way of being. As I moved forward in life there was fire within me, I seemed to burn with life itself. I don’t remember hearing the words follow me, but as I look back that is what was happening to me. Quite early on I realized that I would not be satisfied with anything less than everything.

    The Holy Spirit seemed to be always at work, planting road signs that I never realized that I saw and followed until I was able to pause and look back. It remains that way today. People that God put before me, that He invited me to walk with and listen to.

    That founding vision that first began before time was. Frank expresses it so beautifully and it is this that I take with me this day to ponder and reflect on. “The vision of St Eugene draws us together to live this model in an intentional way. Through the eyes of our crucified Savior…”

  2. Jack Lau, OMI says:

    To stand before All in wonder. This is the stance Earthday and Passover calls me to. A stance of freedom which calls me into a radical relation ship with others within the diversity of all creation.
    Your story Frank of Vocation and mine and each one are unique. My encounter with the Oblate was not within the clericalism of the pre Vatican chuch but with in a community (on our formation team was a women and mother is six) where we were respected for our gifts and life experience. The expanding umbrella of the Mazenodian family reminds me of a parade in the crescent city of New Orleans.

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