IN THIS ISSUE
Supporting the Missions
|Supporting the Missions:
The Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate
The magazine you are holding in your hands right now is not just a magazine; it’s food for a starving child in Brazil, it’s medicine for a sick girl in Madagascar, it’s education for a boy in the Philippines. In one word, the magazine you are holding in your hands is HOPE.
Together with our benefactors, the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate (MAMI) provides a foundation of prayer and support for the 4,500 Missionary Oblates around the world. Through letters and publications like the one you’re reading, MAMI promotes awareness, prayer, and support for the Oblates in the field.
In the words of the Director of MAMI U.S., “Together with the laity, we are an important support system for the missions. We can support the missions in many ways: spiritually, psychologically, and financially.”
MAMI is a realization of one of St. Eugene’s earliest goals: cooperation with the laity for the propagation of the faith. Thanks to this cooperation, MAMI provides fundamental support for the Oblates. This support allows the Oblates to respond swiftly and charitably to disasters like the recent tsunami in Southern Asia.
In the early days of the congregation, associations with the lay people were created to support seminarians in the juniorates. However, in 1920 Superior General Archbishop Augustin Dontenwill saw a need for the expansion of support to all Oblate apostolic works. He sought to organize the lay associations of the provinces of Ireland, France, and Germany. The name he chose for this unification was the Association of Mary Immaculate (AMI).
In 1926, a commission re-analyzed AMI and wanted to stress its connection to the missions. The name Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate was coined, and the path was set.
MAMI, together with its benefactors, is a cornerstone of the Oblate community. In 1978, Superior General Fr. Fernand Jette said that members of the Missionary Association have an Oblate heart and are, in a way, a part of the Oblate family. They not only provide material aid for the Oblates, but something more significant: their faith in the congregation and their esteem for it. Father Jette also stated that the Oblates have needed and will continue to need the laity in order to live in holiness.
Each Oblate province in the world creates and maintains its own Missionary Association. These different associations work together in a community of prayer, but work independently for developing prayerful and financial support as needed. This way, each Missionary Association can work to meet the particular needs of the respective province.
Together with readers like you, the Missionary Association in the U.S. continues to thrive. This success helps to build hospitals, soup kitchens, schools, orphanages, churches, and so much more. It is a blessing from God that the congregation has such a strong tie to the laity. This relationship ensures the survival of the Oblates and their important ministries throughout the world.