Nine General Chapters were celebrated from 1818 to 1856; all were presided by the Founder. They began drawing up a report of these sessions in 1824. The deliberations of the 1818 and 1821 Chapters were drawn up by Fathers Suzanne and Jeancard only at the 1826 Chapter.
In the third part of the Rule of 1818, it is stated that the Chapter “will meet every three years” and that it is “made up of all the missionaries who have ten years of oblation and of the local superiors in office…” According to the text of the 1826 Rule approved by Rome, the Chapter meets every three years, but only the local superiors, the delegates of the houses and those who are personally invited by the Superior General take part. A variety of reasons prevented the Superior General from holding the Chapter every three years. That is why at the Chapter of 1843, by unanimous decision, it was decided that from now on the Chapters would meet only every six years. The year 1849 was an exception. The revolution of 1848 compelled Bishop de Mazenod to postpone the calling of the Chapter which was held in 1850. According to the 1853 edition of the Rules, the following take part in the General Chapters: the Superior General, the assistants general, the procurator general, the provincials or vice-provincials, the vicars of missions, the delegates of provinces and vicariates and those who are personally invited.
In his work on the General Chapters from 1818 to 1861, which appeared in 1968, Father Jósef Peilorz published the text of the reports, established the number of Oblate houses and the list of personnel at the time of each Chapter, highlighted the main events which defined history from one Chapter to the next.
Here is the list (place and dates) of the Chapters from 1818 to 1856.
|First Chapter||Aix||October 24, 1818|
|Second Chapter||Aix||October 21, 1821|
|Third Chapter||Aix||September 30 to October 2, 1824|
|Fourth Chapter||Le Calvaire in Marseilles||July 10-13, 1826|
|Fifth Chapter||Major Seminary of Marseilles||28 to 30 September, 1831|
|Sixth Chapter||Major Seminary of Marseilles||August 4 to 8, 1837|
|Seventh Chapter||Major Seminary of Marseilles||July 10 to 13, 1843|
|Eighth Chapter||Major Seminary of Marseilles||August 26 to 31, 1850|
|Ninth Chapter||Scholasticate of Montolivet||August 4 to 12, 1856|
Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.