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Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:27

French revolution gave way to Missionary Oblates

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St Eugene de MazenodThis year, Australia’s fleet of Oblate Missionaries will join the worldwide congregation to mark the order’s 200th anniversary since they were founded by St Eugene de Mazenod. Their story, life and ministry demonstrate four fundamental characteristics which can be applied to our daily life, reports The Catholic Leader on the Oblates' history and mission.

France's saving grace after the French Revolution came directly from a young Catholic priest with a heart to save the souls of the poor and forgotten.
St Eugene de Mazenod, a man born into wealth and nobility, felt called to renew the Church and work with the poor in France, founding the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Against all odds, including opposition from local clergy, the congregation began building a bright future for Catholics in a nation struck by enormous turmoil and pain.

The Oblates eventually ventured into Switzerland, England and Ireland, and in 1894, they landed on Western Australian soil with sights on establishing a parish and school.

This year, Australia’s fleet of Oblate Missionaries will join the worldwide congregation to mark the order’s 200th anniversary.

4 oblatesOblate priest Fr Michael Twigg is one of five Queenslanders who answered the call to prolong St Eugene’s charism in the congregation, along with Fr John Sherman, Fr William Ousley, Fr John Wotherspoon and Fr Peter Daly.

Their call to the Oblates have influenced their Queensland communities of Iona College, Rosies Oblate Mission, the iconic Iona Passion Play, and St Eugene’s parish and college in Burpengary and Deception Bay.

Fr Twigg said the vision of St Eugene de Mazenod’s of growing missionary men to save the people of France could still be found in the works of today’s Oblates.

“God inspired Eugene to begin a missionary congregation, and God invites others to play a role necessary for the success of its mission,” he said.
“The invitation to the Henri Tempier (the second Oblate) continues across the years to all who feel called to participate in Eugene’s charism and spirituality.

“It is not the question of a passing fancy to do good, but of being convinced of being needed by the most abandoned to make a difference in their lives.”

Photo on the right from The Catholic Leader, left to right: Oblate Father Christian Fini, Fr John Sherman (first Queensland Oblate), Fr Michael Twigg (most recent Queensland Oblate) and Fr Andrew Chen.

Read the full story "French revolution gave way to Missionary Oblates" published on 25 January 2015 from The Catholic Leader.

Read more about the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Australia.