Young Oblates of Mary Immaculate
The young Oblates of Mary Immaculate (YOMI) are those youth (men and women) who, motivated by the Oblate Charism and inspired by the life of St. Eugene, want and have the fervent desire to share our missionary charism in a deeper way. Everything begins in the pastoral closeness of our missions, open to receive a program of formation in the Charism and feel called to announce the good news to the poor in daily life.
“If we dedicate ourselves to the mission with young people, we continue and develop something that began with Saint Eugene. Its 300 members of the “Mary Immaculate Youth Congregation” (founded April 25, 1813 in Aix) were personally inspired by it and can be seen as a first expression of what today is called Oblate Youth. He also received young residents in our house of foundation: “17 of the youth came to live in the house of the mission of 1816 onwards as postulants (” apostoliques “) or as students of the universities of Aix. Saint Eugene not only worked with young people, he and his community even lived with them. Today, if we remain faithful to the apostolic zeal of St. Eugene, we will discover with gratitude that his charism continues to attract many people who are not Oblates with vows, but they are eager to work together with us, among them a large number of young people: The Oblate Youth of Mary Immaculate” (Excerpt from Selection of Oblate Studies No. 95 – Guillermo Steckling, omi Pg. 13)
Today the YOMI are called to assume the mission: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” So many people still do not know Jesus or his Good News or know it very badly. So many young people are living in a situation of exclusion and marginalization. That is why the YOMI feels sent to evangelize the youth of all nations. This is your moment, do not be afraid! Move toward deeper waters, go the ways of all nations and all societies.
Oblate World Youth Encounter
The Oblate World Youth Encounter is the biggest youth event in the Congregation. It provides a stage for our young people from different cultures and backgrounds to come together and share their common spirit as “Oblate Youth”.
It is a great opportunity to exchange ideas, listen to the projects and activities of other Oblate youth groups, and be challenged by the call of St. Eugene de Mazenod to serve those in need. The smiles and joy, singing and dancing, culture upon culture, and nation upon nation, greeting one another, trading tokens, humbly realizing how wonderful it is to share in the unique charism of the Oblates– all this is part of an unforgettable experience.
The encounter is generally scheduled to coincide with the World Youth Day and in a nearby Oblate ministry, to facilitate the youth participating in both events.
Previous Oblate Youth Encounters:
- Rome, Italy (2000)
- Toronto, Canada (2002)
- Hünfeld, Germany (2005)
- Melbourne, Australia (2008)
- Malaga, Spain (2011)
- Aparecida, Brazil (2013)
- Wrocław, Poland (2016)
The previous World Youth Days were all celebrated in countries where the Oblates live and work. For the first time, the 2019 WYD will be take place in a country where the Oblates are not (yet) present: Panama. Therefore, at the general level of the Congregation we will not be able to organize our own Oblate Youth Encounter in Panama in January, 2019. Of course, this can be a good opportunity for local celebrations, at the Unit and the Regional level, prior to eventually participating to the WYD in Panama with the Pope. The can be organized through the local diocesan offices that plan the WYD pilgrimages.
Oblate Youth Congress
The Oblate Youth Congress is a forum where youth representatives from each region of the world gather to begin a process of developing a missionary vision and a strategy for the following years, concerning the mission with the youth in our congregation. In addition, it provides an opportunity to share the experiences of each unit, identify the key needs of the young people of our time, and evaluate our mission with youth.
The first ever Congress took place in Sydney, Australia, from July 21-25, 2008. About 50 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Lay Partners and Youth Representatives, along with members of the General Administration, gathered there to re-emphasize the importance of ministry with young people.
The second ‘International Oblate Congress on the Mission with Youth’ (or simply the ‘OMI Youth Congress’) took place in Aix-en-Provence, France, from the 7th to the 12th of March, 2016.
Outcomes of the 2016 Congress:
- Reaffirmation of the Mission with Youth as a priority and an authentic Oblate mission.
- In-depth reflection on what it means by MISSION WITH youth.
- Stress on the community and team dimensions for those working with youth.
- Elaboration of a common Missionary Vision and a Strategy for Mission with Youth.
- Recognition of our diversity and the need for some flexibility in order to inculturate/incarnate this vision in each particular context.