THE CHARISM OF ST EUGENE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE CHURCH AND IS BIGGER THAN THE MISSIONARY OBLATES

Eugene was in Switzerland to close down the Oblate community.

Today and every preceding day, whether here or at Fribourg, I have not ceased to hear repeated to me how much people regret to see our Fathers depart.

After seven years of preaching the Gospel to the most abandoned of the diocese, a general appreciation was expressed at what they had generously achieved.

From the Bishop to the last cleric, from the Prefects to the last country people, people say the kindest things, competing to give the greatest praise. All these testimonies of esteem and affection have been expressed with the feeling of most profound conviction. This unanimous manifestation from the whole district is a witness to the good conduct and services of our men and are for them a very much appreciated reward for their work and an immense consolation for me.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 2 July 1837, EO XVIII

Eugene, as founder and as father of the Oblate family, was proud and gladdened by the achievements of its members.

Today, whenever circumstances force the closing of an Oblate site of ministry, the same sentiments are invariably repeated. It is important to remember that the Mazenodian charism is greater than those who bring it, and its spirit remains in the hearts and minds and actions of the people.

In many parts of the world we find groups of lay associates continuing to gather and live the charism of St Eugene for many years after the Oblates have left the site of ministry. The charism of St Eugene belongs to the whole Church and is bigger than the Missionary Oblates.

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One Response to THE CHARISM OF ST EUGENE BELONGS TO THE WHOLE CHURCH AND IS BIGGER THAN THE MISSIONARY OBLATES

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    “…remember that the Mazenodian charism is greater than those who bring it, and its spirit remains in the hearts and minds and actions of the people.”

    I am reminded of the early church, the early disciples, men and women, ordinary people like you and me and how they shared this with others. God’s love has never been intended to be for just a select few. Jesus died for all of us.

    I believe that God’s love is so immense that if we do not share it, it will wither and die. I think of how a flower does not remain with its buds being unopened; it’s very nature is to open and share it’s glory with the rest of creation. This is what oblation looks like; how the Oblates in this instance have been, receiving the experience of God and then sharing it with the rest of the world. The seeds which the winds pick up and carry, then scattered wherever…

    Eugene himself shared (and continues to share) his experience of God – not just holding it for himself and a small group of men, not just for the few in France. It was never that limited.

    Imagine if no one had shared with us, if the Church herself was simply for a select few. How barren life would be for us, how empty and meaningless. So we share; everything we have been given, allowing our gifts to be received by all. I think of Rule 37a; according to our state and milieu. This is a part of our oblation, to God, to the Church, to each other, and indeed the world. It is in this way that we evangelize each other and those we meet along the way; we nourish and are nourished.

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