Our love for the Church inspires us to fulfil our mission in communion with the pastors whom the Lord has given to his people; we accept loyally, with an enlightened faith, the guidance and teachings of the successors of Peter and the Apostles.

CC&RR, Constitution 6

Father Fernand Jetté was Superior General during the lengthy period of discernment, preparation and dialogue that produced the Oblate Rule of Life that is our guide today. He was an influential figure in its production, and thus his commentary helps us to understand the spirit of the Rule. He writes:

Eugene de Mazenod suffered for the Church and for the Pope; he also accepted to endure suffering that came from the Church and from the Pope. At the same time he manifested an indefectible fidelity to the Church and to the Pope.

Some have understood his attachment to the Church of Rome and to the Pope as a reaction against Gallicanism, as an ultramontane attitude. But it was above all an attitude of faith and he has asked that we have the same attitude: that we be able to welcome the Church’s teaching with a disposition of openness, trust and receptiveness. This does not mean an attitude that is simplistic and never voices any observations and suggestions, but one that is a manly attachment and of a deep, enlightened faith; and, should there be any criticism, that it be truly positive, such as is worthy of a child of the family.

F. Jetté OMI, The Apostolic Man, p. 68


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”   Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend and as we ate we shared our thoughts and struggles and questions about our beloved Church and how we live with that. We both have our dreams of what we would like to see the church look like particularly in regards to women in and being a part of the Church. The question is always there – what would it look like? Will it ever happen in our lifetime that women will be on an equal footing as men in the Church, with the hierarchy of the Church? We don’t speak seriously of walking away from the Church for we both love her, are too much a part of her to waste time talking about that. As Peter said “Lord where would we go?”

    Reading Fernand Jette’s comments this morning; as he speaks of openness, trust and receptiveness there is a quiet whisper of ‘obedience’ in the swirl of my thoughts. Not a ‘giving up’ although most surely a little surrendering – it is a part of the attitude. It is all a gift somehow and if nothing else it shows me that I do not walk blindly on the path that I have been given to walk.

    I am learning and recognizing what it is to be a part of this great Mazenodian Family, the immense gift of it. I think of what Andy Sensenig shared yesterday and love what he said. “Compassion and collaboration” and “responding to the needs to the best of our abilities”. I am grateful for his reminder every bit as much as I am for St. Eugene and his Rule of Life, for what Fernand Jette did for us and for this day ahead when I will again offer my services in any way that they are needed by those around me.

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