Religious Life as an Oblate

BeatificationYesterday, I was spiritually united to the joy of the faithful gathered in the French diocese of Troyes, who were gathered together for the beatification of Father Louis Brisson, founder of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales… He used to say ‘I need God, it is a hunger that devours me.’ Learn to have that same hunger for God and appeal to Him constantly and trustingly.”  – Pope Benedict XVI, at the Angelus at Castel Gandolfo, September 24, 2012.

We Oblates of St. Francis de Sales share in the same hunger for God as our founder, Fr. Louis Brisson. Following his example, we have vowed ourselves to the religious life in order to dedicate ourselves to God and serve Him in the world.

A religious community embraces a distinctive way of life that embodies a set of common practices.

  • We pray together by celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours and the Eucharist daily.
  • We grow together spiritually by following and living the Gospel according to the Spiritual Directory of St. Francis de Sales as interpreted by our founder Father Louis Brisson.
  • We eat together and live a common life. We are stewards in our community and each one of us is responsible for an aspect of it.
  • We live the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
  • We work together, especially in education, parish ministry and the missions.

An Oblate is a man who, in all his actions, at every moment of his day, offers himself continually to God and lives with him.”  – Blessed Louis Brisson, OSFS

Vocation-Council2Oblates commit to both a personal and communal prayer life. At the heart of our religious life is the observance of the Spiritual Directory, a small book containing the writings of St. Francis de Sales on practical ways to remain in God’s presence all day. A rich personal prayer life flowing from meditation, the Liturgy of the Hours and Mass sustains our common life as Oblates and undergirds our ministry to the Church.

My friends, it is essential that we have an affection for the community and for the members of the community. We must cherish being Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.”  – Blessed Louis Brisson, OSFS

Oblates share in a community life that respects, celebrates and calls forth each man’s gifts. Our community life also challenges us to commit to something bigger than ourselves. Small and large communities in urban, suburban and rural settings provide Oblates a home in which we work, pray and live together. Through healthy, honest sharing and good humor, community life helps the Oblate to Live Jesus through the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

The Oblates are called to enter society such as it is, and this by every means possible. We have a responsibility that we must carry out passionately well. The teacher must conduct his class passionately well; the priest must apply himself passionately well to the functions of his ministry. Let us enter the world feet first and without reservations.”  – Blessed Louis Brisson, OSFS

GeoffOblates work in the Church in a variety of ministries. From our nation’s parishes and Catholic colleges, high schools and grade schools to the foreign missions, Oblate instill the Gospel and the Salesian spirit throughout the Church. Additionally, Oblates serve as chaplains in hospitals, prisons and the armed services and are also active in deaf and Hispanic ministry.