Just a coupe of months after St Eugene and his fist companions established a community of missionaries in Aix in France the Founder and Fr Tempier decided to take a step further and pronounced their vows in the presence of each other. It happened on Holy Thursday night during the Adoration at the altar of Repose in the chapel of the old Carmelite convent they purchased. They didn't make it a big celebration. In fact it was very simple but they were praying so that the others could follow them by taking religious vows. St Eugene didn't want to impose the vows on his companions but he wanted to inspire them by his own example and commitment to living those vows. In a religious congregation what draws the members close to each other is their commitment and closeness to Christ. The vows express and establish that. At the very outset of his missionary project St Eugene de Mazenod believed that this new community could grow stronger only if they were totally committed to Christ the Lord. He cared so much about his community that he was the first one to take the vows. His vision is still with us as the Oblates continue committing themselves to God by the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and perseverance. I see that the reason that we are so closely united to each other as Oblates is our closeness and commitment to Christ. Every day I discover it that the closer to Christ I am the closer to my Brother Oblates I am.
Fr Daniel OMI
An Oblate Priest