IN THIS ISSUE
Why We ...
It’s early in the morning when Fr. Aubin Amado, O.M.I., begins his day. Traveling from his home to the prison where he ministers, Fr. Amado will use his bike, two buses, and his feet to get him there. He would drive, but the Oblates of Cochabamba, Bolivia, don’t happen to own a car.
Surprisingly, many of the inmates take part in the Mass – as commentators, readers, singers, and musicians. The Oblate priest lives his life helping criminals, so that they, in turn, will continue to help themselves and possibly find or deepen their relationship with God.
Father Amado’s daily routine tells us much about the vocation and scope of Oblate missionaries. We live to serve the poor and the abandoned of the world. Saint Eugene, our founder, once wrote, “Always welcome sinners with an inexhaustible charity, show them an understanding heart, treat them as you yourselves would wish to be treated if you were in their unfortunate condition.”
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate serve the poor for we believe the poor are worthy of the respect that “ordinary” people receive. The dignity of having food on their plates, clothes on their backs, and most important – spiritual nourishment. We Oblates hope we never turn our backs on a child of God in need of help, whether they be stricken by poverty or immersed in sin and shame.
The word “Oblate” comes from the Latin “oblatus,” meaning “offered.” The Oblates’ lives have been offered in service to the poor, so that the impoverished of the world may receive the mental and spiritual nourishment they so desperately need and crave.
Our ultimate goal is to build self-sustaining communities, so that they do not need our presence to survive. In our ministries with the poor, Oblate Fathers and Brothers want the laity to become as involved as possible. Once they do become involved, they will eventually be able to take over the mission, and help one another without our constant presence.
The missionaries of Mary Immaculate live among the poor, to serve the poor. Our lives are formed around the motto on our coat of arms, Evangelizare Pauperibus Misit Me. Pauperes Evangelizantur. “He has sent me to evangelize the poor; the poor are being evangelized.”
Oblate Coat of Arms
Cross of Calvary: Represents the glorious salvation won by Christ. Hanging from the top is the crown of thorns, and bisecting the front is both the lance that pierced Our Lord’s side and the sponge used to wet His lips with vinegar. These instruments of the passion symbolize that the road to freedom of mind and body is paved with hard work and suffering. Christ, through His life, has given us the perfect model on how to frame our own lives.
Light emblazes the cross, cloaking the earth in the grace and Divine Mercy of God. As stated by our founder, Oblates “strive to become other Christs, radiating everywhere the fragrance of His lovable virtues.”
A Little Garden: At the bottom of the cross, a patch of uncultivated ground represents the Church. We reach Christ through our cultivation of the “uncultivated,” preaching the word of God to those who have yet to be brought the Good News.