As priests and brothers, we have complementary responsibilities in evangelizing.

CC&RR, Constitution 7

During the summer break I had the privilege to attend the USA national meeting of the OMI lay associates. Again and again I was struck by their missionary generosity and zeal. “Complementary responsibilities” – together with the vowed Oblate brothers and priests – were abundantly clear as they shared their experience’s as associates in the charism of St Eugene.

From the moment that Eugene was inspired to found the Oblates, he turned to many people to appeal for their essential support to help him convert his dream into reality. This was “complementary responsibilities in evangelizing” put into practice. For 200 years the same generosity has been manifested in all our oblate missions. Without everyone assuming their “complementary responsibilities,” effective evangelization would not have been possible.

Let us pause to identify some of those whose “complementary responsibilities” have been responsible for our own ongoing evangelization. Let us give thanks – and, as we pray for them, let us ask for the grace to be able to follow their missionary example through the quality of our lives.



“Community is and must be inclusive. The great enemy of community is exclusivity. Groups that exclude others because they are poor or doubters or divorced or sinners or of some different race or nationality are not communities; they are cliques–actually defensive bastions against community.”   M. Scott Peck

This entry was posted in WRITINGS. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Peg Hanafin says:

    What a lively definition. Thought provoking. Thank you.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Complimentary roles – How Eugene did it in France with first of all the youth and then with many religious communities (and am thinking primarily of women’s communities in his time). This was also what seemed to come out of Vatican II, a real ‘opening of the windows of the Church – for women – for all lay peoples.

    With the canonization of Eugene in 1995 – more opening and inviting and sharing. Not that it had not been there before but it was more defining, more overt. For a second I stop and look at the orchestration of it in my life and am wowed. There is an image seen some years ago of a person conducting an orchestra – Eugene – but Jesus i also there and then so many – Oblate priests and brothers and all who worked with them. Watching as some Associates have stepped up and joined them. Nobody replacing the other, just each of us in our own roles as chosen for us by God. Sharing in the charism – not changing it or replacing it but rather sharing in it. Not a lessening of other ways and paths but rather enhancing of where I, where we all are.

    The image has sharpened over the past few years – it has become both more and less defined or perhaps it is just my own awareness of how it is in my life that has grown, being shaped and reshaped.

    Immense joy and gratitude for the role I am given to play and the footsteps that I have been led to follow and walk with.

Leave a Reply to Peg Hanafin Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *