Scholastics in the Philippine Province celebrate the feast day of the Founder

Along with Oblates throughout the world, the scholastics in the Philippine Province have just celebrated the feast day of Saint Eugene de Mazenod, May 21st . Today is also the feast day anniversary of many Oblates who had avowed their first profession on May 21st. Conventionally, Fr. Francis Zabala, OMI, the superior of Our Lady of Assumption Scholasticate (OLAS), and the scholastics celebrated the Eucharist on this feast day with senior Oblates at the Oblate retirement community in Manila. Beside Oblates, some lay people who are good friends with the Oblates attended as well. The presider was Father Phil Estrella, OMI, former provincial of the Philippine Province; now he is in charge of an Oblate retreat center in Manila. The liturgy of today used the Sunday readings since it is both Oblate Day and Sunday. In his homily, he expressed the presence of Jesus in each of us. Jesus shows us how to realize His presence and to love Him, which is to have and observe His commandments, the commandment of love.

On this very occasion, Father General Superior Louis Lougen, OMI, sent a greeting letter to all Oblates as well. In his letter, he particularly expressed the gratitude of the whole congregation toward senior Oblates: “Dear brother Oblates, our elders, you are very much an important part of the Congregation and the wider Oblate Family. We cherish you and have great esteem for your lives and missionary commitment.” He also had young Oblates concretize their gratitude toward previous Oblate generations by physically visiting them: “Our quality presence is a sign of our family bond and an expression of the legacy of charity left to us by Saint Eugene de Mazenod.” As young members of the congregation, the scholastics in the Philippines always conserve and live out this Oblate spirit of gratitude. We often visit senior Oblates, especially on the occasions of their birthdays or anniversaries. We frequently join them in special days of the congregation. Senior Oblates love scholastics as well. Some of them are also our spiritual directors.

Saint Eugene de Mazenod was known as a bishop whose heart was so close to people, always having a strong interest in the poor and the abandoned. He is also a fervent missionary who has “A Heart as Big as the World.” During his time, our Founder was just willing to send Oblates to the farthest regions of Europe, America, Africa, and Ocean-Asia. He passed away on May 21st, 1861 while listening to Salve Regina hymn sung by Oblates gathering around his bed. Rightly before going home to heaven, he left his Oblates “the rule” which every Oblate remembers by heart: “Practice well among yourselves charity, charity, charity, and outside, zeal for the salvation of souls.” The Church has chosen the date May 21st as his feast day.

Sent from Manila,

Sc. Dao Duc Minh, OMI.

© 2016 by Donghiensi.Net. All rights reserved.