Fr. Stanley Puchniak OMI’s book titled History of Western Canada was published at the beginning of June, 2017. The book is available by request as a PDF file, or as a CD-Rom. There will also be an e-book format available shortly. Those wishing to purchase the book can contact the provincial office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 416 767 4760.
“The history of the Catholic Church is the history of Canada itself,” writes Fr. Stanley Puchniak OMI in this work. This survey of the work of the Polish Oblates in Western Canada covers the period from 1896 to 1970.
In 1841, after twenty-five years of existence, the Oblate Congregation had only 41 priests and four Coadjutor Brothers. There were few vocations. Oblate activities seemed to be stagnating, and Bishop Eugene De Mazenod OMI was looking for new openings but none could be found. No European country offered any; in France the 78 dioceses were closed to the Oblate Fathers. The opportunity in Canada swept the entire Congregation with enthusiasm… And so it was that the young Congregation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate would venture beyond the boundaries of France where their zeal would find a worthy challenge.
Though the “pioneer Oblates“ are now gone, a second, third, and now fourth generation have continued their missionary work. Though under less trying conditions provided with more creature comforts, the life of the Oblate continues to be one of sacrifice and often of loneliness. Their only strength comes from their faith in God and Christ’s promise of a hundredfold to his faithful servants.