Eugene recalls the death of a 28-year old Missionary Oblate as a result of typhus

 We just held the anniversary service for our Father Pons… Here we put feeling into what we were doing, and it was easy to recognize that it was heartfelt. That is how we should pray, especially as we should for the brothers whom we have so many reasons to remember, and to whom we want to witness that the memory of their virtues is still alive in the Congregation, which they have edified so much and served so well during their too-short lives.

This dear Father Pons was only 28 years old when he was taken from us, or rather, when God called him to himself. How much good had he already done in so few years.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 18 September 1837, EO XVIII

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.”  (Hebrews 13:7-17)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    One of the most endearing ways that the Oblates give witness to the memory of their deceased brothers is in how their mission crosses are passed down to others to carry and wear in their lives. To take up and put on the cross of one who has been a model for or with them, whether they have chosen it specifically or joyously received it as perfect gift. To put on a specific cross and call it our own, we then carry the stories and share them.

    Some years ago I was invited to help in the updating our Province’s Necrology record. The record contained the stories of the lives and virtues of the early Oblates who came to this continent and how they spread out and across the length and width of this continent and then on to other continents to continue. Their models the apostles.
    Those stories were introductions and gradually became every bit endearing to me as the custom of handing on their cross.

    And now we to do the same thing in the manner of our state of life and where we have been called to be as missionaries.

    Perhaps one of the greatest gifts that has come from the Oblate Studies Program is learning the stories of so many Oblates down through the past 200 years. I have witnessed how the very virtues that began with the apostles were carried and lived to the full by succeeding generations of missionaries up to and ongoing in the present.

    The shared charism giving life to so many virtues, startlingly alive throughout the Mazenodian Family.

  2. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    A new morning – a new light.

    I think this morning of Frank Morrisey OMI who died on May 23rd – ten days ago; of his years of missionary service with and to the Oblates and the Church. He was a humble man and a missionary; bringing light into areas of the world. His passion was quiet and deep like the ocean with so many hidden, unseen depths.

    I read again the words from St. Paul to the Hebrews. Frank, like so many of his brothers who have gone before him, spoke the word of God in how he lived, as an Oblate missionary, priest, teacher, advisor, model, friend…

    We are left to imagine as to how Eugene and so many others are gathered around him to celebrate the new life that he experiences now with his Beloved and those he has lovingly served. I think of his smile this morning and I am happy for him; happy at where he is now, in the light which he has served all of his life. I just bet you that his smile is as serene as ever, filling his face with quiet joy.

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