Thomas Jefferson said that he liked the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. Yet, for Eugene, our history and its human instruments helped us to understand God’s plan for us for the future. We have already seen these historical events above, but for the sake of publishing this important letter in its complete version, we are invited to read the chronology and its interpretation again:

In such circumstances, the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars in charge of the examination of the Code of our Rules had to be acquainted with the desire of the Holy Father. He himself chose for this task some cardinals, to whose memory our lively gratitude will always remain attached.
God permits that it was His Eminence Cardinal Pacca, Prefect of this Congregation, a man highly recommended for his zeal to help the Church in her misfortunes and for his unshakeable fidelity to the Sovereign Pontiff, in spite of outrages, persecutions and moreover even in captivity and prison he remained an intrepid confessor of the Catholic Faith;
then the holy Cardinal Pedicini who assumed the task of ponent of our cause and in the course of the very attentive and, certainly for us, very honourable discussion of our Constitutions, applied himself tirelessly to all stages of the work; finally,
to these two was joined Cardinal Pallotta, of dynamic talent and remarkable learning.
These Prelates, after having weighed everything with the greatest attention, have declared, on February 15, 1826, that a petition should be addressed to the Holy Father in view of expediting Apostolic Letters in the form of a brief, His Holiness sanctioned this decision and added thereto his confirmation; He approved our Institute and its Constitutions and Rules and gave the order to expedite the Letters in the form of a brief on February 17, 1826.

Letter to all the Oblates, 25 March 1826, EO VII n 232


“History is a vision of God’s creation on the move.”   Arnold J. Toynbee

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    It is hard to get past the titles, the ‘ponents’, the ‘prelates’ and the ‘prefects’. They are titles and positions that I struggle with because I do not properly understand them, they are not terms that are used in my daily life and yet they seem to hold much importance in the scheme of the church and her history. In my lack of understanding I want to push them aside as of no consequence, of no use, as being simply hierarchical. I am above all that I tell myself until I look above this space at my name followed by two words – Oblate Associate. That is a title in a way. It does somehow define who I am, who I try to be, as much as do the letters OMI. Oh yes that is different. At least that is what I want to tell myself. But I must acknowledge that I come here every morning, looking at Eugene and the history of this great family and it is here that I see God and God’s movement and grace in all of creation. It is here that with reflection I recognize also God’s movement and grace in my own life and self.

    “Yet, for Eugene, our history and its human instruments helped us to understand God’s plan for us for the future.” I am not sure if I want to laugh or cry at myself this morning but for sure this statement is true in a very personal way. This is a glimpse of my own poverty, my ongoing struggle with a sin, a wound really that keeps coming back. At the same time I find tears in my eyes and there is a small moment of relief for at least I can identify what is going on within me. A part of me wants to sing out in gratitude for showing me who I am. Light is coming to an area that still even now wants to remain in the shadows. I feel as if I am beginning to shed yet another skin, to break down yet another wall. I stop to wonder if it is this way with all people. No matter – it is this way with me and I must thank God for being so gentle. Here through Eugene and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate I see myself – a very small microcosm of God’s creation on the move.

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