523 - June 2012
May 3rd, 2012 - May 25th, 2012



On the march toward Aparecida

On April 25, 1813, Eugene de Mazenod began the Christian Youth Association in Aix, to bring youth closer to Christ and to form them in the Christian faith. Our Founder accompanied and cared for this Association, and its members shared the house in Aix when, three years later, in 1816, the first community of the Missionaries of Provence began their great adventure. This Association was so important to the Founder that in the rules written by him, he asked that there be such an Association “in all the houses of the Institute.”

From July 18-22, 2013, we will celebrate in Aparecida (Brazil) the Oblate program in preparation for World Youth Day, 200 years after the Founder created the Youth Association! We believe this to be a blessed coincidence. The Province of Brazil invites us to participate; they are preparing this program with great enthusiasm and energy. For several months, an image of Our Lady of Aparecida graces the meeting room of the General Council. It is the same image that the Provincial of Brazil, Fr. Rubens Pedro CABRAL, sent to all the Oblate Provinces of Latin America and some other regions to accompany our journey to Brazil. Our Mother helps us to follow in the footsteps of Eugene, in his passionate vision for the mission with youth. We too, the members of the Central Government community, would like there to be an enthusiastic mission with youth in every Oblate community. Many Oblate Units have stated that the mission with youth is one of their missionary priorities. So we would like to confirm this as a priority for our whole Congregation.

Since the year 2000, and in an ever more intense manner, the Oblate preparation for World Youth Day has become a big family celebration and also a strong impetus for our mission with youth. In recent years, many Units have seen the start of new missionary initiatives; some found the inspiration to begin something new; others felt the challenge to renew their mission. Little by little, the young people themselves were asking to be part of our mission and family, by showing their enthusiasm for St. Eugene de Mazenod. We have personally witnessed this enthusiasm. It seemed as if Eugene was in their midst, renewing their joy and hope as he did 200 years ago with the youth of Aix.

We want to invite each and every Oblate to direct his steps, in one way or another, to Aparecida 2013. Not everyone can be physically present but we can be there in spirit. We also invite all those who consider themselves to be part of this great family, born of the heart of Eugene de Mazenod. We all have something to contribute. Many youth are making great efforts and great sacrifices to travel to Brazil. Experience itself so far tells us that it is worth it. This same experience tells us that if there is good preparation, participation in the program is very fruitful. And also, when things are prepared in advance, this can solve almost all problems. It is important to get in touch with the Provincial of Brazil, Fr. Rubens Pedro Cabral (rubens.omi@ig.com.br), to begin to prepare and provide for all the details.

In addition, we would like that there to be present in Aparecida at least one Oblate from each of our Units, even if they do not come accompanied by a group of young persons. Father General and other members of his Council who will be present wish to have a meeting for a few hours with all the Oblates present at Aparecida, to seek together new ways for our mission with youth. After the Congregation’s Congress on the Mission with Youth held in Australia in 2008, we believe that the time has arrived to relaunch this mission with renewed vigor. It seems to us that Eugene de Mazenod himself is moving us forward in this initiative and that this could be the best way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Youth Association. WE’LL SEE YOU IN APARECIDA!

In the name of the Central Government Community,
Luis Ignacio ROIS ALONSO, OMI.

Another step forward in electronic communications

The vocation of the Oblate Communications Service is to help the Congregation, in faithfulness to the spirit of Saint Eugene de Mazenod, to share past and present experiences and to promote unity while respecting and valuing differences. In other words, the Service wants to make an important contribution to the communion between the General Administration and the whole Congregation and, at the same time, among the different Units, helping to create that family spirit so dear to the heart of the Founder.

In recent years, we have tried to give more importance to electronic communications which are of a more immediate nature and considerably less costly. We are aware that in some outposts of the Congregation, it is not yet possible to make use of the Internet, but we again want to encourage the Major Superiors and the local superiors that they themselves send printed copies of the various communications to those communities.

For this reason, starting from the month of April, there will be a further reduction in the mailing of the printed bulletins “Information” and “Communiqué.” As we have done for several years, we will send to each Oblate for whom we have an e-mail address the notice of publication on the Congregation’s web site (www.omiworld.org) of new bulletins, in two formats, html and pdf (printable), in three languages (English, French and Spanish). Two printed copies will be mailed exclusively to each Major Superior and mission superior. They will take care to ensure that each member of the Unit entrusted to them will receive these communications, either electronically or in print. They will also assure that a printed copy is delivered to their secretariats and preserved in the local archives.

We will also continue to send printed copies, as an exchange, to the editors of some newspapers and magazines, as well as to those benefactors who have explicitly requested them.

Of paramount importance, therefore, is the updating of e-mail addresses. The Communications Service uses the database of the General Secretariat. We believe that of the 2,000 current e-mail addresses, at least 500 of them are no longer in use. We ask every Oblate to help us on a regular basis to keep our data up-to-date, checking to see if his information in the Personnel on the Omiworld site corresponds to his present situation. That information may be sent to genstat@omigen.org or gensec@omigen.org or webmaster@omiworld.org.

The most important thing, however, is send us news about the Oblates and their experiences so that we might share them with all the Oblates: we are present in more than 60 countries! Please send electronic copies of all Unit newsletters and publications to information@omigen.org. Water that does not circulate grows stagnant! Thank you.

Oblatio, a new periodical?

Not exactly, because it intends to be in continuity with the presti­gious periodical “Etudes Oblates,” which began in Canada in 1942, and continued from 1974 under the title “Vie Oblate Life.” Its 70 volumes are a rich mine for studies, a secure reference point to get to know the history, charism and spirituality of St. Eugene de Mazenod and the religious family he founded . Oblatio will also include the bulletin “Documentation OMI,” edited by the Information Service at the General House since 1968.The periodical puts itself in continuity with the past, especially by seeking to deepen the charismatic roots of the Oblates, an indispensible condition for an ever clearer identity, and a daring mis­sionary outlook.

At the same time, Oblatio sees itself as a new periodical. New in its source: it depends no longer on only one Province, but on the Center, and intends to be the expression of the whole Congregation. New in its content: it will continue to deepen our history and spirituality. But at the same time, it will look at how we are actually living out our charism: to read and discern the signs of the times; to critically evaluate our mission; to be sensitive to the call of the Spirit; to be open to the future as prophets. New in its collaborators: in the last 70 years, the studies and contributions were made mainly by people in the West (Canada, Europe, the United States). Since the Congregation is now developing ever more in other “worlds” (Asia, Africa, South America), we expect to see new writers come forth. With new issues and questions, they will be able to bring out new readings of the charism, and to show every­one the richness of our missionary history in different countries, from the past until today. New in its readership: Though the main readers will be Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, it is addressed to all the members of the great Family which is united by the de Mazenod charism -- the Institutes and groups inspired by that charism, or started directly by Oblates, our lay associates, and all the various collaborators in the different areas of mission. We wish to see them all as authors of articles published by Oblatio.

But should a new periodical have its title in Latin, an old, “dead” language? Another new aspect of Oblatio is the fact that besides French and English, there will also be articles in Spanish, the third official lan­guage of the Congregation. How can we put the three languages into the one title? They all have a common root -- precisely Latin. So we chose a word - Oblate - which immediately brings out the deepest reality of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and is commonly used to identify both the religious and the laity connected to them! Obla­tion signifies both life and mission, without any separation of the two. Under the inspiration of the Spirit, and in answer to the call of Jesus to follow Him, Oblates give themselves completely to God, loved above all things, without conditions and without looking back, forever. The Founder reminded his Oblates “to work seriously to become saints.” But oblation also expresses itself in the same radical giving of oneself to the Church, to people, to the mission, with a love ready “to sacri­fice ... even to death” In this way, we really become co-redeemers with Christ the Saviour: missionaries because we are Oblates.

After an Editorial, the periodical will normally have four sections, about the life and mission of the Oblates :

  • History: studies on the origins and development of the Institute, and the various aspects of its spirituality.
  • Life and Mission: a look at the Oblate charism today, how it is be­ ing lived, and to the challenges to which it is called to respond.
  • The Oblate Family: Contributions about various events and experiences from institutes and lay people who are in some way connected to the Oblates
  • Documents: from the riches found in archives from around the world, some unedited texts of special interest, from the past or present; and also relevant bibliographies.

Begun at the closing of the 150th anniversary of the death of St. Eugene, Oblatio wishes to be an instrument to provide a deeper under­standing and vitality of his charism, and to be of service to the Church and to the poor “with their many faces.” (Fabio CIARDI, Director of the General Service of Oblate Studies and Research, Oblatio No. 1, 2012, oblatio@omioblatio.org)

Mass of Saint Eugene de Mazenod

The Deschâtelets Archive in Ottawa has asked us to inform the Oblate world that there are available numerous printed copies of the official Mass of Saint Eugene de Mazenod. This Mass, for use on the Founder’s feast day, May 21, and other occasions, can be had in English, French and Spanish.

For further information, one can write to:



Archives Deschâtelets
175 rue Main Street
Ottawa ON
Canada K1S 1C3

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