|Roman Catholic Mission and Community|
Our mission is to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to seek it before all else. We fulfill this mission in community; and our communities are a sign that, in Jesus, God is everything for us.
Our Founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, looked upon the world of his day and saw people whose lives had hardly been touched by the message of Christ. Today, we continue to see people who have not experienced fully the love of the risen Lord.
The term missionary, in the traditional sense, means someone sent to distant places to proclaim the Gospel and build the Church. Oblate missionaries can be found working in sixty-seven countries around the world. Oblates from Canada and more specifically from OMI Lacombe Canada have the option of working anywhere the Oblate mission is being lived. Presently, we have members of OMI Lacombe Canada ministering in the United States, England, Latin America and Africa with a special emphasis on Kenya. Our work in these places is challenging and exciting. We are proud of the good work of our Oblates – both canonical and lay – in developing and encouraging the growth of lively local churches.
However, the literal meaning of the term missionary is one who is sent. In this sense, we believe that anywhere an Oblate finds himself sent to the poor, he is doing missionary work. An Oblate working in the heart of downtown Vancouver or Toronto is as much a missionary as one in Igloolik, Nunavut, Happy Valley, Labrador, Flin Flon, Manitoba or Meru, Kenya.
So, we strive to seek out, befriend and respect as sisters and brothers, the abandoned poor with their many faces: weak, unemployed, illiterate, victims of addictions, sick, marginalized, immigrants, minorities – not only the materially poor, but also those who are poor in spirit, those who do not know the name of Jesus Christ.
Our mission invites us to a team approach, to collaboration with laity and other religious communities, to formation of lay leaders who will serve the needs of others, to become a part of the lives of those to whom we minister.
But first, our mission asks us to be men who have experienced in our own lives the loving kindness of God. To be men who are driven on by this love to risk our lives for the sake of his Gospel.
From the youngest and newest members to the oldest and most experienced, Oblates live in community wherever possible. In Oblate life, community means a unity and a communion of life and heart with our brother Oblates. We work at that! In the more remote areas in Canada's north, in sparsely populated areas across Canada, and in other missionary territory, you will find Oblates living alone. Even so, our love for the community causes us to gather from time to time to support one another and to pray and celebrate as brothers.
The community allows us to be ourselves, encourages us to develop our talents, invites us to share these gifts, and supports us in ministry. Because our faith is strengthened in the community, we are able to minister more effectively.
As Oblates, we want our communities to be real centers of life and hope, which speak to our brothers and sisters around the world. By living together in spite of the difficulties involved, we believe that Christ wants us to show that his unifying love and spirit are stronger than all the forces of disruption, and that the liberation of people has already begun.
Click here if you would like to contribute to the mission of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.