The Oblates had been in Canada for 7 years and were zealous in responding to the challenges of preaching the Gospel to as many people as possible. This meant that they were not living a regular community lifestyle as they were so often on the move and regularly being forced to minister alone – something that worried Eugene who always insisted on the necessity for community life.

I broach with extreme distaste the subject of the conduct of our men in Canada. Too long have my mind and heart been wearied thereby. Several times already I have been on the point of taking a severe decision, for it is not tolerable.

The superior of the community was the one who was meant to maintain unity and care for the welfare of its members.  Often the independent-minded young Oblates were not happy with their superior who was human with faults. It was not teh man they were to obey, but what he represented as the figure to inspire people to live by the Oblate Rule.

They are too prone to argue and not enough to obey as conscience demands. Since when must a superior have all the qualities and virtues there are in order to be respected? What authority have the subjects in a community to control his actions, measure his worth and bear judgement on his ability, his experience? When he is punctual and observant of the Rules, has competent knowledge and enjoys the confidence of the Superior General, what more must be asked of him?

Letter to Eugene Guigues, 22 May 1848, EO I n. 97


Leadership is not about being the best. Leadership is about making everyone else better.” Author unknown

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate Associate says:

    What a beautiful way of describing true leadership. It is not about the personality of those who are sent to walk-with and lead us. It is about the trust and faith we have in God to be with us no matter our likes or dislikes.

    This morning I picked up the OMI Rule of Life and it opened to page 94. “All of us are coresponsible for the community’s life and apostolate. As a body, therefore, we discern the Spirit’s call and seek to achieve consensus in important matters, loyally supporting the decisions taken. Such shared decision-making can best take place in a collegial and trust-filled atmosphere.” (C 73)

    This is for all of us who are vowed and committed members of the Oblate/Mazenodian Family. I personally have offered my support and obedience to those who have been appointed as our superiors and leaders. Not because I want them to know how good I might think I am, but rather because the Spirit has led me to this way of serving with love and because I am as human as the person next to me, in front of me and behind me. I do not need to do the planting, but I do want to become fruitful.

    I find myself joining and silently singing The Deer’s Cry.

    It is not just about surviving; it is about living more fully.

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