MY CHILDREN HAVE CROSSED THE SEAS TO WORK WITH ALL THE ZEAL OF WHICH THEY ARE CAPABLE

At the end of the General Chapter, the Founder gave Father Telmon a letter to deliver to the Bishop of Quebec, the diocese adjoining the one where the Oblates were already ministering.

More than ever, Bishop, I am conscious of the worth of the charity which unites us over the great distance which separates us. My children have crossed the seas to work with all the zeal of which they are capable in that part of the vineyard of the Father governed by our venerable colleagues in the episcopate of Canada. This is one more bond which unites me to the bishops for whose service I am so happy to be able to confide a small detachment of the troops I have trained for the battles of the Lord.  have learned with joy from my holy friend the Bishop of Montreal, who is a father to them, that they have already done much good in his vast diocese.

Realizing how much good God was doing through their ministry, the heart of Eugene (often described as being as large as the world) expanded to dream to share this with the whole of Canada.

My whole ambition is that this good be propagated, if possible, throughout the whole of Canada which has been so understanding in their regard.
They are essentially men of the bishops. It is with this in view that I have founded them and, thanks be to God, they are all imbued with this spirit that belongs to their Institute.
So were it ever convenient to you, because of their proximity, to have recourse to their ministry, do not hesitate to avail yourself of it in keeping with the principles which guide them and of which I shall inform you if occasion arises.

Letter to the Bishop of Quebec, 10 August 1843, EO I n 22

This missionary zeal has been our hallmark for over 200 years – initially with a small group of Oblates, and now through the enthusiasm and generosity of all those who make up the Mazenodian Family throughout the world.

Our Rule of Life captures this well:

“…we have complementary responsibilities in evangelizing. We will spare no effort to awaken or to reawaken the faith in the people to whom we are sent, and we will help them to discover ‘who Christ is’. Our mission puts us on constant call to respond to the most urgent needs of the Church through various forms of witness and ministry…” OMI Constitutions and Rule, Constitution 7

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1 Response to MY CHILDREN HAVE CROSSED THE SEAS TO WORK WITH ALL THE ZEAL OF WHICH THEY ARE CAPABLE

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    This morning we began with Eugene speaking about his children and then describing them as a “small detachment of the troops I have trained for the battles of the Lord”. Although I struggle with idea of ‘military troops’ I am quickly reminded of their help during the great Ice Storm of 1998 when members of our military were deployed to help out in rescuing people who had neither power nor heat in the dead of winter for weeks and months. And more recently the numbers of the Armed Forces who worked along side of our healthcare workers during the pandemic. Complimentary, finding their place along side of all in the every-day ordinary of our lives.

    Eugene calling in those who were trained and formed to teach and care for those in need of more than sacraments; the many religious orders of men and women which he called to help with the daily and ongoing needs of life.

    I am reminded of the opening words of the OMI Lacombe Province Mission Statement and how together we proclaim the Word in our daily lives: “Disciples of Jesus, with the heart of Mary Immaculate, sons and daughters of Eugene de Mazenod, we are called to be Oblate missionaries in this time and place…”
    I think of the words of Ilia Delio: “Our lives have meaning and purpose… We either help build this world up in love, or, tear it apart. Either way, we bear the responsibility for the world’s future, and thus we bear responsibility for God’s life as well.”

    “…Our mission puts us on constant call to respond to the most urgent needs of the Church through various forms of witness and ministry…” Constitution 7

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