DEPARTURE OF OUR APOSTLES FOR OREGON
Eugene proudly noted in his personal journal the departure of the first Oblate missionaries to the USA: Fr. Pascal Ricard (41 years of age) and Brother G. Blanchet, 28 years of age, and scholastics Eugène Casimir Chirouse, 26 years of age, and Jean Charles Pandosy, 23 years of age. Chirouse and Pandosy were still doing their seminary studies , and would be ordained to the priesthood in Walla Walla a year later.
Departure of our apostles for Oregon. Ah, how touching this was! How wonderful it was! While blessing them, I would have gladly prostrated myself at their feet to kiss these “feet of those who announce the Good News” [ed Is. 52, 7]. They departed pleased, happy to have been chosen for this great mission.
Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 22 January 1847, EO XXI
“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
Let us pause to pray for all missionaries: lay, religious and priests. May their courage and joy in proclaiming the Gospel in all lands build strong communities of witnessing disciples around the world.
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It is Frank’s invitation to prayer that sets me to looking at how we, the members of this Mazenodian Family are called and sent out – to each other and then further – each of us as “lights of the world” (yesterday’s Gospel).
“We will always be close to the people with whom we work, taking into account their values and aspirations. To seek out new ways for the Word of God to reach their hearts often calls for daring; to present Gospel demands in all clarity should never intimidate us…” (C8) “We will let our lives be enriched by the poor and the marginalized as we work with them, for they can make us heart in new ways the Gospel we proclaim.” (R 8a)
What will this look like for me today, in the very ordinary of my Monday as I prepare for the seemingly unimportant emails to send out and even how I ask for others to help me?