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Oblatio
Past Issues - 1 - 2012/1
PRÆFATIO
Notre identité. Our Identity. Nuestra identidad
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 being 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.”

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