In 1818 there were only priests, and within a few years the Congregation expanded to being brothers and priests. Today, our Rule of Life expresses the foundational pillars in this way:

The call of Jesus Christ, heard within the Church through people’s need for salvation, draws us together as Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Christ thus invites us to follow him and to share in his mission through word and work.
We are a clerical Congregation of pontifical right. We come together in apostolic communities of priests and Brothers, united to God by the vows of religion. Cooperating with the Saviour and imitating his example, we commit ourselves principally to evangelizing the poor.
CC&RR Constitution 1

With the growth of the Mazenodian family today, I dream of one day seeing our First Constitution include these elements:

The Mazenodian family is formed by men and women called by Jesus Christ the Savior, each in their own way as laity or religious or priests, to be linked in apostolic community in living the charism of Eugene de Mazenod as co-operators of the Savior to evangelize those who are the most abandoned.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This is how my heart reads the first Constitution – not as a challenge but with a quiet serenity that is stronger than any army on this earth. There is a ‘certitude’ to it that no one can take from me for it has come from God himself, from Eugene’s invitation to us to stand at the foot of our crucifixes so that we will be able to overcome the struggles and challenges that are presented before us, modelling ourselves on Jesus and the Apostles.

    I return from having spent two days working together with members from our local units of Oblate Associates and Oblate priests and brothers. We ate, talked and prayed together, listening to each other, learning from each other – daring and allowing ourselves to be “linked in apostolic community in living the charism of Eugene de Mazenod, as co-operators of the Saviour” – in order to “evangelize those who are the most abandoned”. Sharing our gifts with each other so as to evangelize, love, serve and support each other.

    There is no lessening of the gift of ourselves to God or God’s love for us – rather the way before us only opens wider, inviting us to love each other and all others in a fuller and more Christ-like way. Walking with and struggling together, celebrating and giving thanks together. It is Eugene himself showing us how to be open to the new as he founded the Youth group and then the 1st small society of missionaries; he and his first companions showing us how to become a congregation and a family – ever growing to meet and serve the needs of the Church, around the world. That momentum continuing over the centuries as Eugene “communicated his spirit” which came directly from the Holy Spirit in the form of a most particular gift; how his spirit was communicated over the past 200 years and how that spirit continues to communicated and shared by the members of his, the Mazenodian Family.

    This is “who we have become”; who we are continuing to become.

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