After a year of the Oblate missionaries’ presence in Canada, they had made such an impression that three diocesan priests had come forward to join them. Each of these priests, Fathers Dandurand, Léonard and F. Durocher, would play a major role in the Oblate mission there for many years. It was thus important to send more Oblates to Canada to be involved in the formation process
As for Father Perron, he has already been destined for Canada. His presence becomes all the more necessary in that three priests have already joined us, and you know well enough that we need to present them with a model of regularity other than the men we have over there.
Letter to Fr Hippolyte Courtès, 24 November 1842, EO IX n 780
The underlying reason was that, in the midst of demanding pastoral work and missionary absences, there had to be a visible community to give witness to the Oblate charism of apostolic community as the dynamo of the mission.
Today, sadly, in many parts of the world the missionaries are so busy doing generous ministry, but without the witness of a visible apostolic community. These are the very areas where there are few or no vocations to the Missionaries.
The same holds true of our groups in the Mazenodian Family. The groups that witness to being part of a supportive apostolic community in their daily lives experience life and growth.
People need to SEE Eugene’s charism, spirituality and mission in action.