Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter to All Consecrated People invites us all who share the Charism of Saint Eugene to reflect on our origins and history, thanking God for the variety of gifts which we discover together as we collaborate in our common Oblate life and mission. (cfr. Pope Francis’ Epostolic Letter to All Consecrated People, I,1)
Pope Francis explains clearly that “around each religious family, every Society of Apostolic Life and every Secular Institute, there is a larger family, a “charismatic family”, which includes a number of Institutes which identify with the same charism, and especially lay faithful who feel called, precisely as lay persons, to share in the same charismatic reality.” (cfr. Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter to All Consecrated People, III,1)
The situation of the organization of the Lay Associations in the Oblate Congregation is complex, because in some Units there are different groups of lay collaborators, such as, Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate, Oblate Associates, Oblate Collaborators, Oblate Partners, Lay Associates, Friends of St. Eugene, Mazenodian Family, etc. and in some places they include sections of Youth Groups. In some units these Associations overlap with each other and they do not share the same objectives.
We, Oblates and Oblate Lay Associates, are in many ways still on the Emmaus walk like the Disciples of Jesus “with our hearts burning with new vision, new hope, and new energy.” (Letter from the 35th General Chapter of 2010, p. 13)