I WANT TO INSIST AGAIN THAT OUR FATHERS NOT BE SENT ALONE INTO THE MISSIONS.

Apostolic community was always a non-negotiable condition of Oblate life for Eugene. When he sent the first Missionaries to Canada it was with the intention of their living in a community from which they would do their missions. Once there, however, the Oblates became aware of the urgent need for evangelization among people who were abandoned and did not have anyone to offer them the possibility of eternal salvation. Thus began the ongoing conflict between two Oblate values: closeness to the people in meeting the most urgent needs versus the necessity for apostolic community.

I certainly have something to say about the sudden choice you have made of Bro. Loverlochère for the missions to the Indigenous Peoples. Do you not know that he needs much exercise in the practice, not only of religious, but even of the ordinary Christian virtues? It is not right to leave him on his own. And in that connection, I want to insist again that our Fathers not be sent alone into the missions.

The Jesuit Fathers have just made it a rule that even in the missions of the Maduré, the Fathers must always go in pairs. It is my formal intention that you adopt this policy. It must only be set aside by dispensation and necessity.

Letter to Father Jean Baptiste Honorat, 1 March 1844, EO I n 32

We will see that this was to be a constant preoccupation of Eugene as the foreign missions developed. It is a struggle that has still not been successfully solved today.

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1 Response to I WANT TO INSIST AGAIN THAT OUR FATHERS NOT BE SENT ALONE INTO THE MISSIONS.

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I somehow doubt that any of us come to this place every day just to get to know St. Eugene de Mazenod, although that is one of the fruits of listening to and praying with him. Here I find myself invited to look at myself and my actions/inactions in the light of Eugene and then my brothers and sisters, in the light of Jesus and his first disciples. I listen to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. None of this is necessarily easy, and I am sure that I often miss the mark and fail miserably, but I keep returning and trying again. I know that if I listen the Spirit will speak to me through the words and reflections of others.

    I think of the hardships experienced during this pandemic, and how we have all had to find ways to be and communicate with others. It is a part of our DNA to be and share, to walk with and learn from others.

    I am reminded of how Eugene de Mazenod and Henri Tempier made their first vows not only to God and the Church, but also to each other. We are called to community and communion – with each other.

    Through Him, with Him and in Him we are nourished by and with each other.

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