“Evangelizzare pauperibus misit me” – “He sent me to evangelize the poor”
This beautiful charism of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has inspired the sons of St. Eugene de Mazenod for well over two centuries, to be close to the poor and the most abandoned wherever they are.
Even today, with nearly 3500 members in their family spread across the five continents, the Oblates continue be faithful to their call and mission. They continue to read the signs of the times and identify the new faces of the poor.
“They are new because new social, political, religious and economic realities deprive them of their dignity, or because our more courageous reading of the signs of the times helps us to recognize them more clearly.” (Acts of the 36th General Chapter 2016, no. 5)
In that regard, the Oblates have very clearly recognized that being committed to the defence of minors and the most vulnerable constitutes an indispensable part of their God-given charism and mission.
That is why the OMI General Administration, especially through the General Service of Procuration to the Holy See, has been working tirelessly over the past few years, organizing many programmes of ongoing formation, encouraging every Oblate Unit to set up guidelines in order to define our ministerial praxis and lifestyle in accordance with the mission and doctrine of the Church.
Complying by those measures, on 3rd of February 2023, the members of the Central Government of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate signed and acknowledged the document “Guidelines on the protection of minors and vulnerable adults”, which elaborates the safeguarding procedures, which the Oblate General House will follow.
In preparation for the acknowledgment of the aforementioned document, a two-day session was conducted by the following three experts:
- Msgr. John Joseph Kennedy, the head of the office of the Disciplinary Section of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith
- Fr. Salvatore Franco, OMI, psychologist and psychotherapist.
- Fr. Thomas Bang, OMI, doctoral student in Canon Law at the Gregorian university, who is currently doing research on judicial penal procedure in cases of sexual offenses in the Cameroonian context.
The document “Guidelines on the protection of minors and vulnerable adults” is expected to be signed by all the members of the General House community, as well as by the formation staff of the International Roman Scholasticate (IRS), in the coming days.