Now that the Oblate Congregation has been approved by the Church, it has equal status with all the other religious congregations and equal obligations.

The Oblates of the Holy and Immaculate Virgin Mary are a body, a Society, otherwise called a Congregation in the Church, as I have told you already, just like the Lazarists, the Passionists, the Liguorists, etc.

The first obligation is to give due honor to the Congregation, like sons to their mother. The image of the Oblate Congregation as a mother recurs frequently in the vocabulary of the Founder throughout his life.

The members who compose these Congregations honor their mothers by the affection they bear them.

The second consequence is the duty to be faithful to the Rule of Life, now that it belongs to the universal Church.

Could corrupt sons be found among us? Let any such beware. They have no more excuses, or rather pretexts, to delude themselves with thoughts of infidelity. They will render an account now to God and to the Church. The Jesuit, the Franciscan, the Carthusian has not a greater obligation to observe his Rules than we; these as much as they are under the same obligation. We were no doubt bound so to this observance when we were only tolerated; and now that we are approved and that the least details of our Constitutions are owned and guaranteed by the Church, woe to him who will not take them seriously!

Letter to Henri Tempier, 9 March 1826, EO VII n. 229


“Your faithfulness makes you trustworthy to God.”      Edwin Louis Cole

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Able to give life, to be fruitful, to nourish, to teach and guide, to give without measuring, to love and to love some more. Just a few of the images that come to mind when I reflect on what it means to be a mother. The congregation as a mother. In becoming a member of the congregation that there is such life. In the ‘we’ of the community is found the ‘I’.

    I think of the love of a mother, one who gives her all for her children, in part it is that which completes her in a way. If this then is the congregation – wow. Each member giving their all and serving the other, each other. The image of the mother, loving an ever widening circle of those around her. Fecund, lush, rich. Is this how the congregation appears to me, to others? Is this how I as an Associate would appear? Would I come simply to be fed or perhaps to be fed and feed others?

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