I visited the new cemetery in Aix where I would like to build a chapel to place the venerable remains of my two families…

 I would authorize that they publicize all the dead whom they bury in this cemetery and that they celebrate Mass whenever their devotion inspires them to, in the confidence that the souls of our loved ones will benefit.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 21 February 1838, EO XIX

From childhood, Eugene had loved his family: “I have not changed over the years. I idolize my family. “I would let myself be cut up into little pieces for some members of my family.”

From 1816 onwards the Oblates also became his family, which he wanted to “be the most united family in the whole world.”

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family.” (Romans 8, 28-29)


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One Response to MY TWO FAMILIES

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning I double-clicked on the pictures so as to be able to read some of the names and then to discover that I recognized some of the men. Recognition of those who are also members of my family, my Mazenodian Family.

    I think of Jesus on the cross as he gave his mother Mary to his closest friends and then his dearest friends to his mother. Family!

    I am reminded of Eugene – not just with those who were members of his Missionary Oblate family but of the poor; I remember how he addressed the poor and abandoned living in and around Aix in his first Lenten Homily in the Church of the Madeleine. “My brothers, dear brothers…” and how he called upon scriptures to reinforce and emphasize what he had just said quoting from Psalm 81 and St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

    This magnificent love which Eugene invited and actively encouraged all to take part in; not just a few in his own small corner of the world, but to all people around the world. A man with a heart as big as the world, a father to his many sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Looking at Eugene’s heart I recognize how his heart and the hearts of his family members have been and continue to be without borders.

    I am privileged to be journeying with three men who are discerning if God is calling them to go deeper and look at the process of becoming an Oblate Associate. In our ever changing world we are finding different ways to meet and learn about each other, learn about this whole “Oblate” way of being; what better way to start at the begin and journey with them in the Eugene 101 course out of San Antonio. They are meeting and getting to know St. Eugene de Mazenod and his family members in a very direct and intentional way. Who better to learn from and walk with than Eugene himself? Last night I had the joy of realizing that I am sharing exactly that which has been shared with me as we talked about the lived meaning of “oblation” and then about “Being in order to Do.”

    Our families are meeting each other, becoming connected in new ways.

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