Our Response to the Extraordinary Missionary Month

L.J. C. et M.I.

Dear Missionaries,

“Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on mission in the world.” This is the theme for the Extraordinary Missionary Month called by Pope Francis:

“I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment as we commemorate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV (30 November 1919).”

As Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, vowed and lay people, living this missionary charism inspired by St. Eugene, we are provoked by these words of Pope Francis.  They remind us of our 2016 General Chapter call to leave nothing undared in reaching out to the new faces of the poor.

In this Extraordinary Missionary Month and beyond it, I bring before you some considerations:

 

Anniversary of Congregation First Oblation: Baptized and Sent

Baptized

Our baptism commits us to be messengers of the Gospel. Our mission as disciples of Christ begins from the moment of our baptism, regardless of the age at which we received it. We are called to live and build up this mission in all the situations of our existence.

“Baptism is, in a certain sense, the Christian’s identity card, his birth certificate, and the certificate of his birth into the Church.” said Pope Francis in his audience of November 13, 2013.

The Founder gave a special importance to the date of his baptism: “... What is infinitely more precious for him is the anniversary of his baptism which took place on August 2, 1782.” (See Diary of the Youth Congregation, July 31, 1814, OW XVI)

And me: Do I remember the anniversary of my baptism?

In his pastoral ministry, Saint Eugene regularly introduces the renewal of baptismal vows: when adopting the regulations of the Association of Young Christians of Aix in 1813 or at the Marignane mission in 1816 (Cf. Oblate Writings Volume 16).

 

Anniversary of Congregation First Oblation: Some Suggestions

SOME IDEAS TO PREPARE FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST OBLATION IN THE CONGREGATION

The General Committee of Oblate Brothers was asked to help in preparing the anniversary of the first oblation in the Congregation.

On November 1st, as we celebrate the feast of All Saints with the Uni versal Church, we will remember also that day in 1818 when, for the first time, the Missionaries of Provence took their religious vows.  In this year of the 100th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Maximum illud of Pope Benedict XV, we hear this call: “I decree an Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019, in order to raise greater awareness of the mission ad gentes and to resume with a new impetus the missionary transformation of life and pastoral care. May the Extraordinary Missionary Month be an opportunity for intense and fruitful grace to promote initiatives and intensify prayer, the soul of every mission, in a unique way.” Pope Francis

 

 

Anniversary of the First Oblation in the Congregation

Writen by: Brother Benoit H. Dosquet, General Committee of Oblate Brothers

The General Committee of Oblate Brothers was asked to offer help in preparing the anniversary of the first oblation in the Congregation.

On November 1st, we celebrate with the universal Church the Solemnity of All Saints and in the Congregation we remember that day of 1818 when, for the first time, the Missionaries of Provence pronounced their religious vows.

October is traditionally the month of the mission. This year Pope Francis asked that a special effort be made in this direction. He decreed the month of October 2019 “Extraordinary Missionary Month” with the title and theme: “Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ in mission in the world”.

Inspired by that, we offer a reflection on the theme “Baptized and Sent” to prepare for the anniversary of the first oblation in the Congregation. Let us rediscover how for our Founder the call to embrace the religious life and to commit to the vows, was an integral part of his founding vision.

You will find below the document and a space to share your answers to the question: #My Mission is … and yours? (A campaign that allows each person baptized, to express himself on his Christian mission in the world, via a simple sheet and a photograph).

(Source: www.omiworld.org)

Notes:  Since the attachment documents are quite long, we will publish them one by one seperately under the heading of "Anniversary of Congregartion First Oblation: .....".  Thank you.

 

A Missionary Oblate - Man of Action and Contemplation

(An Oblate Reflection for the Extraordinary Mission Month October 2019)

Written by:  Fr. Antoni Bochm, OMI, Regional Counselor of Europe

The mission we fulfill is primarily the mission of Jesus Christ.  He called us to himself and entrusted it to us but it still remains His mission of saving the world. The consequence of this is that we are not the first actors in the Lord’s field but joyful workers in his mission. This awareness should influence a lot our style of life and our style of work. We are disciples and messengers of Christ with all significances of that. Sometimes during different meetings, formation sessions, or individual encounters we hear the opinion that as Oblates we are missionaries and not monks, in the sense that we are called to the active life, to be always present among the people, to undertake activities to lead them to Christ and to give them the help they need in their journey.  Partially, that’s true—we are not monks—but we cannot forget that for being good missionaries of Christ we need to be close to him and to have a deep relationship with him. Simply, the condition for being a good missionary is a deep spiritual life.  Someone said that we cannot serve Christ without Christ; we cannot participate in the mission of Christ while neglecting our relationship with him.

 

 

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