A very memorable event we attended today: The perpetual vows of four Missionaries of God’s Love (MGL). It is always a powerful experience to witness young people taking a commitment for life. Those four young brothers made their final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and thus they placed themselves for the service of the Church of Our Blessed Lord. The joy that was shining from their faces was a convincing sign that they took the right step. I am not surprised that they were so happy because, can anyone have a greater happiness then to join his life to the Lord Jesus? It was also a new experience to me as I have never witnessed vows in other Congregation then the Oblates before. However what has struck me most was meeting the founder of the Missionaries of God’s Love Fr Ken Barker. I must say that those priests and brothers are living a very unique experience of having their Founder around. They are directly exposed to the experience of the Holy Spirit he had when he founded their Congregation. They assimilate their charism by observing and being influence by him. As I was listening to his homily my mind, I must confess, had wandered away. I was thinking of our own Founder St Eugene de Mazenod. I thought of those early Oblates who knew him and who learnt from him what the Spirit had communicated him. Although I couldn’t meet him personally but it doesn’t mean that Fr Eugene doesn’t communicate his experience of Christ to us. Once again I was overwhelmed when I started contemplating the mystery of the Communion of Saints. I am convinced that Fr Eugene keeps influencing us. Last year when I was overseas I was confronted by a person who was surprised that I spoke of our Founder as if I was seeing him regularly rather than treating him as a saint. I do treat Fr Eugene as a saint but he is so powerfully present in our lives as Oblates, as his spiritual sons, that simply sometimes I forget that he is dead. In a sense the fact that the Church recognized him as a saint means that he is alive in God in such a dynamic way that we walk our oblate path with him by our side.
Fr Daniel OMI
An Oblate Priest