What is it today that provokes you to think of your future? Of your vocation?
In 1807, a young man by the name of Eugene de Mazenod had a dream, maybe like yours. Desiring to be a companion to the Redeemer, he realized his dream by founding the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, whose mission it was to go among the poor with its many faces. Today, this dream continues to be made real by Oblate priests and brothers in the challenge to build a better world in the name of Jesus.
How can you begin to realize your dream? First, by praying to come to know your vocation; then also by seeking out a spiritual director who can help you to discern God’s desire for you. You certainly could contact the Director of Vocations and discover with him the apostolic commitment of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
How can I join the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate?
If you sense a call from the Lord to become an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, it is a good idea to check if you meet the basic requirements for all candidates to religious or priestly life, bearing in mind that you will no doubt feel the desire to grow in some of the following areas:
A lot of faith, love and hope;
- Good physical health;
- Good psychological health;
- Aptitude for celibate life;
- Twenty years of age or more;
- The desire to radically follow Jesus;
- The ability to live in community;
- A sense of the Church;
- A love for the poor
Steps to Follow
1. A Period of Discernment
Any serious commitment presupposes a period of discernment to truly discover the desire of God. This discernment is made in prayer, but above all by getting in touch with an Oblate in your area who can respond to your questions and who can help you to see your life-project more clearly. You will also be asked to choose a spiritual director and to have regular contact with an Oblate or a community of Oblates. This step varies from candidate to candidate and may be long or short in duration. It could include living in an Oblate community.
2. A Period of Initiation: The Pre-Novitiate
After the discernment period regarding your call and Oblate vocation, if your decision is leading you towards joining the community you will be accepted into the pre-novitiate. As the word indicates, this is a time of preparation for the novitiate. In the pre-novitiate, all candidates live with some Oblates for between six months to two years, according to the journey of each one. During this step, discernment continues. This time of life in community allows you to come to know the Oblates better and allows the Oblates to get to know you better. You can continue your studies or work full or part-time. It is during the pre-novitiate that you can share your request to enter the novitiate.
3. A Period of Deepening: The Novitiate
The novitiate lasts for one year and is at the centre of Oblate formation. Every novice pursues a triple objective: to intensify his life of faith and prayer; to know more deeply the history, spirituality, and spirit of the Oblate charism; to experience religious life by living the vows in community.
4. Prerequisites for the Novitiate
- You must have completed your college studies if you intend to be a priest;
- You must have completed your secondary studies if you intend to become a brother;
- You are required to have lived in the pre-novitiate experience;
- You must not have any debts or obligations
5. A Period of Commitment: The Vows
At the end of the novitiate, the Oblate commits himself, through the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and perseverance for one year at a time. This commitment is renewed every year for a period of three to nine years before a definitive commitment is made.
The Oblate brother may be assigned work in an Oblate community as soon as the novitiate is ended. He may continue his religious formation through courses, sessions, or meetings. He completes his professional formation as needed through further studies or practicums.
The Oblate who is preparing to become a priest must follow undergraduate (or graduate) theological studies for three years. He thereafter does pastoral ministry in a parish for one or two years prior to his definitive commitment and ordination to priesthood. He may send to further studies in other fields, such as Spirituality, Missiology, Canon Law etc…
Vocation Contact Information
Missionary Oblates of May Immaculate – Vocation Office
71 Indian Trail