At this stage the communities were generally composed of young Oblates. Eugene as the Founder was always conscious that the foundation of the Missionaries had come from God with a specific mission and spirit (charism). It was his responsibility to ensure that each Oblate and community be faithful to this charism, and he thus expected a monthly letter from each community in which the superior recounted the life and activities of the community  – and an annual letter from each Oblate sharing his individual life and experiences.

I’m not prepared to absolve you of the obligation of sending me reports on personnel and events at least once monthly. In that respect your letters leave a lot to be desired. I’m completely in the dark about the situation of the members of your community and even your own. Please tell Fathers Dassy and Vincens that their letters always give me the greatest joy…

Letter to Bruno Guigues, 27 May 1835, EO VIII n 516

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Yesterday I was talking with the receptionist where I go for physiotherapy – a beautiful lady whose children are now in their twenties – some of them starting their own families. She told me that it was her 30th wedding anniversary and how much she loved her husband. Her whole face was transformed as she spoke of him. They have been through rough times and wonderful times; there has been struggles every bit as overwhelming as the joys they’ve received. And as I ‘celebrated’ with her I received the ‘greatest joy’ from her – simply because we have become friends sometimes and because we make it a point to share ourselves and our lives – the good and the difficult when we see each other.

    When I first began this journey with St. Eugene de Mazenod, with the Oblates and indeed with all those who we now call members of the Mazenodian Family I found myself reading, rereading and reflecting on a thesis called “Eugene de Mazenod, Cooperator of Christ the Saviour, Communicates his Spirit” –written by Frank Santucci OMI. I wanted to know more about this saint who had founded the Oblates and what we now call the Mazenodian Family. I felt called to share with them and so I needed/wanted to know more about this spirit I felt called to follow in my own life.

    It has been through and with them that I have learned who I am. It has been through and with them that I am able to walk the path that God has called me to journey on and that Eugene de Mazenod invited me to join him in living.

    It is my greatest joy in communicating with this Family that I love – it from within them that I am able to go out and live our shared spirit. I learn from and with them – I learn to walk with Eugene on this path sharing with him and his spirit and indeed the spirit of all those who are a part of this family. They are indeed my greatest joy.

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