The Oblate chosen to inaugurate the mission in the United States was 41 year-old Fr Pascal Ricard. Eugene wrote to inform him of this choice:

The new diocese of Walla Walla is in rather a beautiful country where the harvest of souls will be very abundant. I must have a man to put in charge of this mission who is mature and experienced and whom I can recommend to the new Bishop, who has already become one of our friends, as a dependable and wise religious since, for the time being, our Fathers are to educate nearly all his clergy.

And for my part I need to confide the direction of our men only to an elder son of the family on whom I can rely entirely since he must be placed at such a great distance from myself with the members chosen from our Society. So there, my dear Father, is where you are called by Divine Providence.

Letter to Fr. Pascal Ricard, 8 January 1847. EO I n 74


“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”   (Viktor E. Frankl)

How conscious am I about my specific mission in whatever I do today?

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    This idea of specific mission, within a greater mission – terrifying and exciting in the same breath.

    The word obedience keeps pushing its way to the surface of my mind – along with it’s twin, oblation. Obedience – a way of listening and walking with that opens the doors of our hearts to that which is greater, and it si through that door that oblation is born.

    “Do this and you will live.”

    It is the beginning of acquiescing to that which is greater than oneself at so many levels.

    Specifically saying yes to God’s mission as lived out through the Church; in sharing the charism of Eugene de Mazenod and his sons and daughters, members of the Oblate/Mazenodian family. It is within all of this that I discover who I am, and what specific mission God gives to me.

    To be who God has created me to be – found in and with others, community, family…

    My words are clumsy and totally inadequate, yet my heart is full and brimming over with joy and gratitude, with great love… This is what I bring with me today in my meeting with others.

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