Saturday, April 6, we held a meeting of the Malaga Oblate family in the parish of Our Lady of Hope and St. Eugene de Mazenod. 

There were about fifty participants of all ages, including lay associates who currently live their faith in communities or in the MAMI group, lay people from our parish who feel close to the Oblate charism, and three Oblates from the Malaga community, Rafael, Jean Maurice, and Ismael.

The five pillars of the charism

The day began with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in which we meditated on “the Heavenly Bread and the Drink of Salvation” following the reading presented to us that day by the Church in the Office of Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours. After an hour of prayer, Father Rafael captivated us with a discourse on the Oblate charism.  In the first part, which was formative in nature, he explained how Jesus Christ the Savior is the center of the charism, and the Apostolate or Mission, Community, the Cross, the Poor and Mary Immaculate are the five pillars of the charism.  He also updated us on the evolution of the Congregation with the Acts of the last General Chapter.

Never to lose sight of the goal towards which we are journeying, which is holiness

In the second part of the talk, which was more of an exhortative nature, Rafael explained to us the lay realities that currently exist. First of all, he explained to us all that we have in common and then the features that differentiate us, inviting us to be closer to one another and to always bear in mind that we are walking together. But the most important thing, as Rafael told us, is never to lose sight of the goal towards which we are journeying, which is holiness. The talk ended with a standing ovation from the audience, thanking Father Rafael for his words and all the Oblates in general for guiding our way and for always being there to help us to be more holy every day.

A Pilgrimage of hope in communion

With all this, we then met in groups according to the lay realities of the parish to reflect on our community life, deepening the questions we worked on at the national Oblate family meeting in February of this year. After lunch, we went on to share our reflections, and it was there that we recognized the need to see each other more, to get to know each other better and to continue growing together in our apostolate, strengthening the bonds that unite us fraternally and living our charism more fully.

With a feeling of having invested our day in a meeting that we needed and encouraged by the impetus that it has given us, we said goodbye, envisioning the road ahead to become a true community on pilgrimage with hope in communion, whose goal is holiness.