THE “SIGNS AND WONDERS” IN THE PREACHING OF MISSIONS

The central mission of each Oblate community was the preaching of missions in the Provençal language. Since 1816, the format of these missions had been unchanged.

Eugene  reminds the Oblates of the highlights of each mission. Every ceremony was meant to have a dramatic attention-grabbing quality through which a Gospel message could be proclaimed, understood and become a moment of encounter with God. These tangible signs and actions show the continuity between the approach and preaching of Jesus continued by his disciples over the centuries.

What is prescribed in the Rule as for example:

      •  the entry of missionaries into a place they are going to evangelize…
      •  consecration to the Blessed Virgin,
      • renewal of baptismal promises,
      • tpromulgation of the commadments,
      • procession of the Blessed Sacrament,
      • funeral service and the instruction after the Gospel of the Requiem High Mass
      • procession and absolution at the cemetery,  
  • the penitential procession,
      •  the act of contrition…
      • the general Communion

are obligatory in all the missions.

Letter to Bruno Guigues, 5 November 1877, EO IX n 652

For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished  through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God… as it is written,“Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand.” (Romans 15: 18-21)

I have dealt with these in detail in earlier entries, from http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=591  to  http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/?p=836

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One Response to THE “SIGNS AND WONDERS” IN THE PREACHING OF MISSIONS

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I think of how we start out as children with our basic features, desires, hearts, bodies, strengths and weaknesses. And as we grow these aspects of ourselves remain, while at the same time growing, stretching, and deepening. In some areas we are healed while not in others – it is ongoing.

    I have had the privilege and opportunity to take part in the Oblate Studies Program out of OST. This is more than a program about a few men out of millions, separated and apart from the rest of the world for at its centre is Jesus; Jesus and his apostles and they are the models. The first Christians, a part of the birth of the Church; she, a gift to all of us and we are a gift to each other.

    Eugene entered the picture with his first companions, his founding congregation; the immensity of the gift of the Holy Spirit and its lived expression in the beautiful Oblate Rule of Life. We ate our meals on how the congregation grew and was sent out into the greater world, across continents and to be with different cultures; that was based on Eugene’s experience in the villages surrounding Aix and which were captured in his “Instruction on Foreign Missions”.

    Now the Oblates and all who we call the Mazenodian Family walk with, a part of the Church, living her treatise in the Evangelii Nuntiandi Encyclical. Even and especially now how the Oblates around the world continue to be true to Eugene’s early instructions and to the Church’s teachings, each a part of the other. What began in the beginning, continues on today; it is in and for all times and all persons. Wholeness continues to thrive.

    The first time I heard “We must lead men [and women] to act like human beings, first of all, and then like Christians, and, finally, we must help them to become saints.” Written 2000 years ago and then 200 years ago it continues to live and thrive.

    These are some of the ‘signs and wonders’ of preaching of missions!

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