From the first day of our existence as Oblates, our missionary successes would not have been possible without the presence and assistance of our lay supporters. Twenty six years later, this was proved true in Canada just months after the arrival of the Oblates in Quebec.

God works miracles for us… the beautiful domain of Longueuil, on the banks of the river St Lawrence across from Montreal, has been given to us completely free. It has a splendid house, a magnificent garden and, agreeable as it is useful, a meadow. Generous as they have been, the benefactors are inclined to add yet another piece of land to this already considerable property. Other good souls wish to add their sponsorships to those already received.

Letter to Fr Casimir Aubert, 26 September 1842, EO III n 2

These benefactors were so impressed by the zeal of these Oblates that they made generous contributions to their mission. To one of these benefactors who had given a large sum of money to accompany the gift of the house, Eugene wrote:

“…This request is all the more agreeable to us in that we are indebted to you for your pious generosity which has contributed considerably to the gift which has been made to the said Congregation…”

This missionary partnership continues until today – not only in temporal assistance, but with missionary cooperation as co-workers in a missionary Mazenodian Family. Today our Rule of Life expresses this gift of Mazenodian cooperation in these words: ” Lay people recognize that they are called to share in the charism according to their state of life, and to live it in ways that vary according to milieu and cultures. They share in the charism in a spirit of communion and reciprocity amongst themselves and with the Oblates.”

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    As members of the Mazenodian Family, we share in a way of being, in a way of seeing and loving. It is how we have been called; it is how we have become predisposed. It is how we will love and journey together. We foster and support each other; nourish and evangelize each other. It does not “just happen” but rather is quite intentional. This is our oblation, our gift of selves to God, to the Church, to each other and the world.

    I imagine we have all been told stories or seen clips on TV of siblings who did not grow up knowing each other meeting and connecting for the first time. In their adult years they meet and find each other: parents, children, siblings and even more distant. There are some who share a common name and who are raised on different continents. Their hearts recognize each other, they open just a flower does to the sun, and to the bees who pollinate them. They share in the same spirit with each other.

    Yesterday afternoon, within Lacombe Province, members of the Mazenodian Family, Oblates and Oblate Associates gathered via ZOOM to meet each other. For some it was a reunion and for others it was the first time they met. There was joy as we discovered and rediscovered hidden connections and realized our “belonging” with each other.

    “They share in the charism in a spirit of communion and reciprocity amongst themselves and with the Oblates.”

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