The OMI’s usually renewed their vows on November 1 during the Founder’s lifetime. Because there were 30 Oblate seminarians at the Major Seminary (studying and living with the diocesan students) the ceremony was held at the Seminary.

Customary attendance at the morning Mass of the Major Seminary, after which our Fathers and Brothers renew their vows. Never had the assembly been so numerous; besides the Fathers, about thirty Oblates were present. After the customary address, four priests individually made their renewal, then the Oblates five at a time, finally the two Coadjutor Brothers. This assembly has been among the most touching. It’s self-explanatory.

Eugene de Mazenod’s Diary, 4 November 1848, EO XXI


When Eugene referred to the OMI scholastics in formation, he always called them “the Oblates” as opposed to the “Fathers and Brothers” who were the ones who had completed their formation. There is something touching about this usage because it gives the impression of a person on a journey of becoming. All of us in the Mazenodian Family are on a journey of becoming what God wants each of us to be each day- accompanied by the example and intercession of Mary Immaculate and Eugene.


“Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate Associate says:

    November 1st, 1818 – the anniversary of the Missionaries of Provence making their religious vows. Not just any day, but the day which began this “journey of beginning” that many members of the Oblate Family now celebrate on February 17th each year.

    This journey of becoming for each member of our family, our community as we come together, to look back on our journey and see the signposts of our past and then together continue “straining forward to what lies ahead” as St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians.

    Becoming who God has created each of us to be – in a flow of life, a part of our breathing in and breathing out. It is this flow of love which carries us through our days and our nights.

    A small seed planted eventually to become great tree: sharing its seeds on the ground so as to eventually grow into small trees which are on their own journey of becoming.

    Each member of a family daring to hope. “Our call to live Christ Jesus in apostolic community… To live Christ Jesus crucified (by) proclaiming the Word, with daring humility and trust, as prophets of the new world with Mary Immaculate.”

  2. Kirk says:

    Yes, Frank. I am reminded of the key Oblate value to help this processing of becoming Oblate namely to allow our Being to generate our Doing and always to avoid the opposite position. Blessings Kirk

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