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

Called to come together by the vision of St Eugene, community is not an end in itself. We come together to respond to the call to bring salvation to the most abandoned.

The words of Parker Palmer, written in the context of the particular struggles of the USA in 1980, continue to give us something to think about today:

“Community is another one of those strange things which eludes us if we aim directly at it. Instead, community comes as a by-product of commitment and struggle. It comes when we step forward to right some wrong, to heal some hurt, to give some service. Then we discover each other as allies in resisting the diminishments of life. It is no accident that the most impressive sense of community is found among people in the midst of such joyful travail: among blacks, among women, among all who have said no to tyranny with the yes of their lives.” (“The Promise of Paradox”)

If this is so powerfully true of great humanitarian ideals, how even much more powerful is an intentional apostolic community that gathers around the Savior to join Him in His “no to tyranny with the yes of our lives!” This is the ongoing vision of Eugene de Mazenod today.


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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    On first reading this morning I sort of wanted to shy away from today’s focus, for there seems to be nothing very grand or glorious in it – starting with the title. It seems the stuff of everyday and for some reason I begin to think of the apostles, those first disciples and followers of Jesus. Nothing grand or glorious in a crucifixion, especially when it happens to a Saviour. No wonder they were disheartened and afraid – their hearts though not so ready to give up on Jesus. They gathered together in fear and sorrow, waiting. And then when Jesus appeared in their midst He did it in the ordinary of the day – no flaming chariots – even when he ascended into heaven.

    It seems to come down to the ‘ordinary’ and what that looks like for me. How in my life have I said no to the tyranny with a quiet or deafening yes of my life.

    He sent me to evangelize the poor and the poor are evangelized. It is not simply ‘them’ who are evangelized – it is me – we evangelize each other.

  2. Jack Lau says:

    Parker Palmer is an important read. And isn’t it true, when all is well we/I often don’t see the workings of community life, but when I share my joy or struggle that is when it lifts me up or dances the dance with me. What it says, community really only work in the midst of great struggle and deep love -vulnerability.

  3. Bart Zavaletta, former Oblate Scholastic says:

    I have recently come to the conclusion that there seems to be a most difficult mission to the poorest of the poor and the most abandoned that we have (except for the tremendous work of Fr. Jim Irvin, OMI – may he rest in eternal peace) all but ignored and that is the mission to the Unborn and those women and men contemplating abortion. Am I wrong on this one? Does their exist anywhere within the Oblate world a mission to the Unborn? They are the poorest of the poor and among the most abandoned – in fact they are the most discriminated against and most voiceless and innocent among us. I remember seeing a billboard in Chicago that read “The most dangerous place to live in America is your mother’s womb!” What does that say about us? Why have we not focused in on this injustice to the degree that it merits? I personally will begin to pray for a new Oblate mission to the Unborn – and I will ask it through the intercession of Fr. Jim Irvin. LJC et MI!

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