Meditations to prepare for the anniversary of the first vows of November 1, 1818

General Committee of the Oblate Brothers

“In the Word of God there constantly appears that dynamic of ‘going forth’ that God wants to provoke in believers. Abraham accepted the call to go to a new land (cf. Gen 12,1-3). Moses listened to God’s call, ‘Go, I send you’ (Ex 3,10), and led the people out to the promised land (cf. Ex 3, 17). To Jeremiah God said: ‘To all those to whom I send you, you will go’ (Jr 1, 7). Today, in this ‘go’ of Jesus, there are the ever-new scenarios and challenges of the evangelizing mission of the Church, and we are all called to this new missionary ‘going forth’. Every Christian and every community will discern the path to which the Lord is calling them.  But we are all invited to accept this call: to come out of our own comfort and have the courage to reach all the surrounding areas that need the light of the Gospel.”[1]

Extract from the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of Pope Francis, November 2013

In October 1815, Father Tempier was Vicar of Saint-Césaire church in Arles. We are familiar with the letters exchanged between Father Tempier and our Founder; they comprise the foundations of our Congregation.

Father Tempier was slow to reply: “Forgive me if I did not reply to your kind letter sooner. You failed to put your signature on it … May the Good Lord be blessed for having inspired you with the plan to prepare for the poor, for the inhabitants of our countryside … a house of missionaries who will go and announce the truths of salvation to them…

“By the grace of God, I feel this desire within me; or if I do not have it, I greatly desire to have it. And with you, everything will become even easier. So, count entirely on me…”[2]


We invite you to reread the Founder’s letter to Father Tempier of October 9, 1815 and to write your personal response. You will find this letter in “Selected texts” Rome 1983, pp.12-16

[1] Exhortation apostolique Evangelii Gaudium, Pape François, novembre 2013, Chap. 1, I, 20
[2] Lettre de l’abbé Tempier à M. l’abbé de Mazenod du 27 octobre 1815, collection Ecrits oblats II,2 Rome 1987, pp 9-11.