Our founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, looked upon the world of his day and saw people whose lives had hardly been touched by the message of Christ. Today, we continue to see people who have not experienced fully the love of the risen Lord. We share our Founder’s faith vision and his confidence, and we accept again his mission as our own. WE ARE MISSIONARIES. Our motto is: He sent me to evangelize the poor; the poor are being evangelized.
The term missionary, in the traditional sense, means someone sent to distant places to proclaim the Gospel and build the Church. Oblate missionaries can be found working in sixty-seven countries around the world. Oblates from Canada and more specifically from OMI Lacombe Canada have the option of working anywhere the Oblate mission is being lived. Presently, we have members of OMI Lacombe Canada ministering in the United States, Latin America and Africa with a special emphasis on Kenya. Our work in these places is challenging and exciting. We are proud of the good work of our Oblates – both canonical and lay – in developing and encouraging the growth of lively, local churches.
However, the literal meaning of the term missionary is one who is sent. In this sense, we believe that anywhere an Oblate finds himself sent to the poor, he is doing missionary work. An Oblate working in the heart of downtown Vancouver or Toronto is as much a missionary as one in Igloolik, Nunavut, Happy Valley, Labrador, Flin Flon, Manitoba or Meru, Kenya.
So, we strive to seek out, befriend and respect as sisters and brothers, the abandoned poor with their many faces: weak, unemployed, illiterate, victims of addictions, sick, marginalized, immigrants, minorities – not only the materially poor, but also those who are poor in spirit, those who do not know the name of Jesus Christ.
Our mission invites us to a team approach, to collaboration with laity and other religious communities, to formation of lay leaders who will serve the needs of others, to become a part of the lives of those to whom we minister.
But first, our mission asks us to be men who have experienced in our own lives the loving kindness of God. To be men who are driven on by this love to risk our lives for the sake of his Gospel.
Br Don Claerhout at work in KenyaFr Greg Oszust OMI in Whale Cove, Nunavut