200 Years of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
During the Inter-chapter meeting in Bangkok (April 22 – May 4, 2013) Fr. Superior General, Louis Lougen OMI proposed a special “Oblate Triennium,” a three year period, “To fan the flame of oblate life and mission in anticipation of the 36th General Chapter and the 200th Anniversary of the Congregation.” The Oblate Triennium will begin on December 8th 2013.
The themes for each year prepared by our General Administration are the following:
Dec. 8 2013 to Dec. 7 2014
“A New Heart”: Life in Apostolic Community
Dec. 8 2014 to Dec. 7 2015
“A New Spirit”: Formation
Dec. 8 2015 to Jan. 25 2017
“A New Mission”
This program in our province will focus on the following areas:
Renewal of Oblate Life
Oblate Youth Ministry
1. Renewal of Oblate Life
The Oblate Triennium is made of two pillars to help us respond to the Spirit’s call to conversion.
The first pillar is sharing our faith in community. This is not discussion or debate about ideas, but an invitation to conversations on the level of faith; opportunities to enrich each other by witnessing our experience of God; faith–story telling to deepen our communion with one another; and occasions to talk about what really matters.
The second pillar of the Oblate Triennium is to express conversion through concrete gestures creatively discerned and owned by each Oblate, local community, Unit and Region. These practical actions may be small or large, significant and transforming, personal and communitarian signs of conversion: recycling refuse; doing Oraison together each day; leaving good ministries for a new ministry that is closer to the poor; simplifying our lifestyle; etc.
2. Oblate Youth Ministry
Fr. Luis Ignacio Rois Alonso, the General Councilor and the Liaison for Youth Ministry in the General Council explains the program for Oblate Youth.
In 2016, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of what we consider the beginning of our Congregation. Our Superior General has expressed the desire that youth who share our Oblate charism, might be able to join us in our preparation.
St. Eugene With Youth
In 1813, St. Eugene de Mazenod established the Christian Youth Association in Aix. In November 1814, he obtained the approval of the Pope for the Youth Association. A year and some months later, the Carmel of Aix opened its doors to the first group of Missionaries of Provence and the Youth Association. From our beginning as a congregation, missionaries and youth have shared life, faith and mission… and also a place in the house. We believe that it is NOT possible to celebrate 200 years of the beginning of the first Oblate community without the presence of young people. This presence will be beneficial to both the Oblates and to the youth, if we walk together in a common process of conversion, living together the Oblate charism. We want to explore all possibilities for inviting young people who are living our charism to join the Oblate Triennium.
Youth in the Oblate Triennium
Principles: The same as for our religious communities during the Oblate Triennium. Two main tasks:
1. Hold regular meetings to share life and faith.
2. Make gestures and concrete actions of conversion.
Gatherings to share life and faith: Develop a program following the inspiration of St. Eugene in his mission with youth: to help them to be human, Christians and saints… Possible themes: How to grow in the human dimension (human values, studies, profession…); How to grow as Christians (Gospel values); How to grow to be saints (prayer, the sacraments, charity). God’s plan and vocational discernment.
Concrete gestures of conversion: As a result of the meetings for sharing faith and life, the youth will individually commit themselves to grow in their human, Christian dimensions and in holiness.
Youth Programs on a Congregation level:
1. The 2nd Oblate Congress on the Mission with Youth. In Aix, at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016 (the program, the dates and the ways of participating will become more concrete in the coming months). One of the objectives of the congress will be to try to develop a brief strategy for the mission with youth for the whole Congregation.
2. A pilgrimage to Aix. The community in Aix will prepare a brief program for those youth or groups of youth who would like to come to Aix in pilgrimage. The details will be announced in coming months.
3. Oblate pre-World Youth Days in Poland. The Province of Poland would like to invite youth and Oblates to participate in the Oblate pre-World Youth Days in 2016 in Poland, continuing the tradition of the recent years.
Please see: Letter from Fr. Luis Ignacio Rois Alonso, General Councillor
3. Parish Ministry
Since most of our ministries are concentrated around parishes, we strongly feel that the people who we minster to should also be involved in our triennium preparations on a parish level. For this reason, the Jubilee Committee has prepared several programs which can be adapted into each parish.
Below are the following suggestions:
- A pilgrimage of an Oblate cross, icon of St. Eugene de Mazenod and his relics through our parishes and Oblate communities, with special devotions taking place at the given time.
- Starting in January 2014 monthly celebrations dedicated to Oblate Saints, Blessed or special occasions.
- In August, the annual walking pilgrimage from Toronto to Midland is an occasion to share Oblate charism with youth.
- During the season of Advent, we propose special programs for children with a focus on the following Oblate Saints: 2014 – Br. Anthony Kowalczyk; 2015 – Bl. Joseph Cebula; 2016 – St. Eugene de Mazenod
Pastoral materials for parish spiritual activities will be posted very soon.
200th Jubilee Materials