THE VISION OF THE MAZENODIAN FAMILY TODAY: MISSIONARIES TO THE NEW FACES OF THE POOR ACCORDING TO THE EXAMPLE OF MARY, WHO WAS FULLY ATTENTIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE POOR

“What for Mary was honor to birth was also good news for a people. They could anticipate one who would save or restore. What for Mary was a personal longing, she was able to personify for the poor ones. Her personal happiness, or being blessed, was transformed into vindicating or asserting rights for a whole people. In spite of suffering and oppression, she claimed that justice will come, that injustice will be righted.”(Dorothy Yoder Nyce)

We are members of the prophetic Church. While recognizing our own need for conversion, we bear witness to God’s holiness and justice. We announce the liberating presence of Jesus Christ and the new world born in his resurrection. We will hear and make heard the clamour of the voiceless, which is a cry to God who brings down the mighty from their thrones and exalts the lowly (cf. Lk 1: 52).

CC&RR, Constitution 9

The wording of this Constitution startled some when the time came for its ecclesiastical approval. Father Jetté, who was the Superior General, responded in the name of the Oblates:

“The allusion to Mary’s canticle is to be read in the biblical perspective of salvation. As Oblates of Mary Immaculate we love to live our vocation of missionaries to the poor according to the example of her who was fully attentive to the needs of the little ones and the poor among God’s People. On January 30, 1979, in his homily at the shrine of Zapopan (Mexico), Pope John Paul II did not hesitate to quote this same passage when he was speaking of the Christian commitment to serving the poorest of the poor” (Réponse aux Observations de la S.C.R.I.S., April 16, 1982)” F. Jetté, The Apostolic Man, p. 103

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1 Response to THE VISION OF THE MAZENODIAN FAMILY TODAY: MISSIONARIES TO THE NEW FACES OF THE POOR ACCORDING TO THE EXAMPLE OF MARY, WHO WAS FULLY ATTENTIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE POOR

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    “What for Mary was a personal longing, she was able to personify for the poor ones. Her personal happiness, or being blessed, was transformed into vindicating or asserting rights for a whole people. In spite of suffering and oppression, she claimed that justice will come, that injustice will be righted.” This speaks directly to what the logo for the upcoming 37th General Chapter depicts: “Pilgrims, Hope and Communion.” Dear Eugene, this was what you began, the dream that you had and made real. I look at the placement of the logo, perfectly situated along side of Mary our Mother. I want almost to insert myself into the midst of that picture, and say yes I walk with you.

    And together we do “…announce the liberating presence of Jesus Christ and the new world born in his resurrection.” Together we join with Mary, singing her canticle and there is an added sweetness to the very air that we breathe.

    I am reminded of our province mission statement: “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.
    As daring members of the prophetic Church, we stand with the voiceless, hearing and making heard their cry, which is a cry to God who brings down the powerful and lifts up the lowly.
    In so doing, we risk finding ourselves among the marginalized of our community, our society and our church, taking our place among the poor and the powerless, walking with those who, like us, hold within themselves tremendous beauty, strength and gifts as well as weaknesses, brokenness and limitations, that 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.”

    Just as Mary prefigured, and that Eugene envisaged for all it is the being that gives life to the doing. As the small book before me announces “The Path is Made in the Walking…” and even this announces both Mary whose name we take and the words “Pilgrims, Hope and Communion.”

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