(Editor’s Note: February 17, the anniversary of Papal approval of the Constitutions and Rules of the Congregation of OMIs is known as “Oblate Day” and is celebrated wherever Oblates minister around the world. Here’s a snapshot of just one of those of celebrations that took place last week in San Antonio)
By Felix Bwalya Nyambe, OMI
The Oblates in San Antonio, Texas gathered at Oblate Madonna Residence to celebrate the 191st anniversary of the approval of the congregation and the Constitution and Rules by Pope Leo XII on February 17th, 1826. In attendance was Bishop Mike Pfeifer, OMI, Oblate Priests, Brothers, Scholastics, members of the Mazenodian family, religious men and women.
The Mass of thanksgiving and gratitude was celebrated by Fr. Warren Brown, OMI the General Councilor for Canada – US. St. Eugene De Mazenod, inspired by Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit developed a vision for the Church and the Congregation. This vision was expressed when he wrote the Preface of the Congregation. In his homily, Fr. Warren Brown, OMI stated, “The Constitution and Rules and the Preface are ways to salvation for the Oblates and the people to whom the Oblates are sent.” The Constitution and Rules and the Preface also lead to Sainthood and inspire Oblates to live Holy lives.
Most of the Oblates will remember or recall the famous words used during the profession of first vows; “Do this, and you shall live.” Indeed, the presence of our retired Oblate brothers at Oblate Madonna Residence give witness, or are a sign of fidelity to the Constitution and Rules and Love for the congregation and our Mother Church.
After the celebration of the Eucharist, Oblates, members of the Mazenodian family and guests gathered to share a meal and stories.