EUGENE, SUPERIOR GENERAL OF A WORLDWIDE MISSIONARY CONGREGATION
© Laurent Girard / Studio Mazenod (2011) – Tableau du Jean-Jacques Martin
1818: Eugene’s dream of never-ending horizons to preach the Gospel to the whole world:
N.B. And even though, because of their present small number and the more urgent needs of the people around them, they have to limit the scope of their zeal, for the time being, to the poor of our countryside and others, their ambition should, in its holy aspirations, embrace the vast expanse of the whole earth.
1841: First Oblates sent to evangelise outside of France: to Canada and the British Isles and Ireland
Foreign missions compared to our missions in Europe have a special character of a higher kind, because this is the true apostolate of announcing the Good News to nations which have not yet been called to knowledge of the true God and of his son Jesus Christ…. This is the mission of the apostles: “Go, teach all nations,” this teaching of the truth must penetrate to the most backward nations so that they may be regenerated in the waters of baptism.
You are among those to whom Jesus Christ has addressed these words, giving you your mission as he gave their mission to the apostles who were sent to convert our fathers. From this point of view, which is a true one, there is nothing higher than your ministry and that of our other Fathers who are wearing themselves out in the glacial regions to discover the persons whom it is their task to save.
Letter to Fr Ricard, 6 December 1851, O.W. II n157
1861: at the time of Eugene’s death there were 415 Oblates in 4 continents. Today there are over 4000 Oblates in 67 countries