We continue to explore Eugene’s reflection notes on the contents of his retreat using the Oblate Rule for meditation. The Rule of Life contains all the elements of the Oblate vocation.

In the judgement of the Church, this is what we must be if we are to embrace the ministry we are called to and if we are to respond with fidelity to our holy vocation.
At least we must seek this perfection with all the powers of our soul. It concerns our salvation. We are dedicated, consecrated to it, on entering the Congregation. Happy necessity!

Retreat notes, October 1831, EO XV n. 163

As I reflect on these words, it is within the Year of Oblate Vocations – but within a wider context too. Here in the US Oblate Province we are marking this Year by launching the concept and reality of the Mazenodian Family and the vocation of each participating group of people who are connected with the charism of St Eugene. I will share a lot more on this exciting adventure.

Each member of the Family has a “holy vocation” which is associated with a “ministry” – all connected with our “salvation” and our concern for the salvation of the most abandoned. Just as the Oblate brothers and priests “dedicated” and “consecrated” themselves to this – so we hope that each participant in the charism of St Eugene de Mazenod will understand their own dedicationa and consecration. “Happy necessity!”

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am happy for and with all the members of the Mazenodian Family, here in Canada, the US and around the world. I think of how the Oblates began, how each of them received a ‘holy vocation’. Holy as in being ‘whole’ – not a word that is so popular as it was 200 years ago. A couple of weeks ago I questioned within my course what the professor meant when he said we are on ‘holy ground’ – it had to be more than just some nice pious sounding words.

    I think of our humble beginnings, this beautiful Mazenodian Family which I, which we were called to be a part of, invited to come and join, enter into. It began – yes with God, but in a specific way with Eugene de Mazenod saying yes to God’s call – one man who then called others to walk with him, walking, being in a very specific way; a way that did not change but which grew became increasingly relevant over time.

    The mission grew and spread out and Eugene received from the Church approval of the Rule of Life and even it over the last 200 years has changed – not the original intention and spirit but it has found new expressions and relevancy – ‘this is who we are’. What began with one continues to grow – the mission has not changed, but it’s appearances have in some ways. I think of the Constitutions and Rules – which begin with the Preface – it has not changed. These beautiful Constitutions and Rules have grown, maintaining their relevancy and way of being; they grow outward and invite everyone of us who feel of us who feel called to this dedicated and consecrated way of living – each of us within our own state of life.

    I read again the words of Eugene – “It concerns our salvation.” Not a one-shot event – it is ongoing and this is what I am recognizing and realizing as I continue to learn and enter more deeply into participating in this communal and yet personal and intimate dedication and consecration.

    Happy necessity indeed! This is what we must be, this is who we must be!

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