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.

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This touches me this morning, and I find myself questioning if people can see Eugene’s charism, spirituality and mission in my actions and how I live as a member of the Mazenodian Family.

    I began this morning’s reflection by reading about Fr. Dandurand and his “unspectacular” (as was written about in the Historical Dictionary) life here in Canada. This led me to looking at how I was sent and lived since meeting Jesus and hearing him say my name more than 40 years ago. Like being born again and growing into who I have become.

    I have been given the grace today to look at my life so far; to recognize how I have given myself and lived my oblation in my community(s), serving God and my community in the small and ordinary of our lives. Not spectacular. It has been healing for me and hopefully those I walk with; so as to help others (and myself) share in my experience of God.

    “…together we may help one another experience the love of God, so we may be healed and give of ourselves in the service of the continuous unfolding of the reign of God within creation.” Is it enough to be measured? Does my life give “witness to being part of a supportive apostolic community in my daily life [and so] experience life and growth?

    I have found where I belong, where my heart belongs. I am an Oblate Associate. I think of Blessed Joseph Gerard and his life – small, ordinary and lifelong in a way that made it all extraordinary. It was a day-to-day thing.

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