MISSIONARY ASSOCIATION OF MARY IMMACULATE
 (MAMI)


 

History News Contacts Africa South America Canada
See Fr. Ken Forester OMI report from Kenya: click Africa
Canadian Geographic cites Fr. Henri Tardy O.M.I.: click Canada
OBLATE FATHERS TRAIL. The Oblate Fathers Trail, designated by road markers in 1949 by the Brownsville Historical Association, Texas, was the route traveled in 1849 and through the 1850s by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in their parish and missionary work.


The Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate
(MAMI)...

is a voluntary organization of those who wish to collaborate and share in the spirit, life and mission of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. It is the ‘extended family’ of the Oblate Congregation, supporting the missionary efforts and work of the Oblates by prayer and financial donations. MAMI has also supported the formation of Oblate priests and brothers for this missionary work, as well as encouraging vocations in general.

...................                                         ......MEMBERSHIP

Friends of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate who want to associate themselves with the Oblates through the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate (MAMI) do so by enrolling as a member.

BENEFITS

Each day of the year the Eucharist is celebrated somewhere in the world for the members of the Missionary Association. The General Superior and Council, resident in Rome, assign the various Provinces and Delegations of the Congregation the days for which they are responsible to fulfill this responsibility. The deceased members of MAMI, as well as those enrolled in Perpetual Remembrance are included in these celebrations.

The members of the Missionary Association are encouraged to grow in their relationship to God through sharing in the ‘charism’ of St. Eugene de Mazenod OMI. This charism or spirit led St. Eugene, in openness to the Holy Spirit, to seek out and minister to those of God’s People most needy, those marginalized, rejected and poor.

 

MAMI

Thousands of people use their God given gifts in their individual lives as dedicated singles, spouses  or parents. Such dedication often prevents leaving house, home and family to work and pray with God's children in foreign lands. You, as a man or woman, boy or girl,  attached to your regular duties, recognize that you cannot be a missionary to the world. Sometimes, as you consider your own  peace and happiness, you may wish that you could share more fully with  those who are not as blessed.

The Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate is a grouping of  special people like you who  extend themselves into foreign countries as helpers of the poor. As Associates,   by prayer and material offerings, they help the  Oblate Fathers and Brothers who are sharing God's gifts in special areas. Oblates, in a special spiritual union with the Missionary Associates, work in their names among the poor of the world. As a Missionary Associate, you assist us  in these areas, at times thousands of miles beyond the borders of Canada.

As Associates, men, woman and children presently walk with  us spiritually in Latin America, Asia and Africa, bringing Christian teaching and charity to God's children

In Peru, for example, Oblates with the assistance of the Missionary Associates have taken the message of God's love to this dignified lady, photographed in Peru by Paul McGuire, of the Oblate Mission Magazine.

If you would like to know more, please contact  your local Missionary Association office.

 

NOVENAS of Thanksgiving

Our Holy Father, in his Encyclical letter on Love: 2006

"When we consider the immensity of others' needs, we can, on the one hand, be driven towards an ideology that would aim at doing what God's governance of the world apparently cannot: fully resolving every problem. Or we can be tempted to give in to inertia, since it would seem that in any event nothing can be accomplished. At such times, a living relationship with Christ is decisive if we are to keep on the right path, without falling into an arrogant contempt for man, something not only unconstructive but actually destructive, or surrendering to a resignation which would prevent us from being guided by love in the service of others. Prayer, as a means of drawing ever new strength from Christ, is concretely and urgently needed. People who pray are not wasting their time, even though the situation appears desperate and seems to call for action alone. Piety does not undermine the struggle against the poverty of our neighbours, however extreme. In the example of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta we have a clear illustration of the fact that time devoted to God in prayer not only does not detract from effective and loving service to our neighbour but is in fact the inexhaustible source of that service. In her letter for Lent 1996, Blessed Teresa wrote to her lay co-workers: “We need this deep connection with God in our daily life. How can we obtain it? By prayer”.

Art. 35

 

CONTACTS
 

AMMI Lacombe Canada MAMI

         601 Taylor Street West

    Saskatoon, SK   S7M 0C9

 

Phone:  (306) 653-6453

Fax:  (306) 652-1133

E-mail:  lacombemami@sasktel.net

Directors:  Glenn Zimmer OMI & Vaughan Quinn OMI

Administrator:  Diane Lepage

 

AFRICA

Fr. Ken Forster O.M.I. writes from Kenya:

What a Million Dollars Can Do!

Submitted by Fr. Ken Forster omi, Kenya Mission Superior

Last October we celebrated Mission Sunday. Certainly mission is the responsibility of the local church. We call our people to not only share their faith with their children and invite adult friends and spouses to begin the journey of faith in the RCIA, but also challenge them to give generously to the Mission Sunday collection. We also have invited them to be a church that is a church with a mission. We remind them that they have received and so also they must give. Twenty-five percent of the surplus from any Prayer House (area chapel) project is designated to assist outside the parish.

We, the Oblates serving in Kenya, with our people have benefited greatly from your prayers, sacrifices and financial contributions that you have made. Truly you are our friends in mission.

Some time back the cover story of MacLean’s magazine was, "The Myth of the Rich". Few of those who had a million dollars, in addition to their house, felt they were rich, although some conceded that they were comfortable. Certainly it demonstrates that we are living in different worlds.

In the past seven years, members of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate, have contributed just over the million dollar mark to assist with the ministry of the Kenyan mission. During that time we have responded with your help to 160 different requests to enable people and projects.

What can a million dollars do in Kenya?

  • It has provided education. You have assisted, through matching the donation of the local parents, in improving school conditions by replacing dirt floors with concrete, putting windows where once only wind blew, adding classrooms, installing school water tanks, etc. This in 17 projects.

  • It has provided faith enhancement. You have helped make possible the establishing of nine churches in the parish through 44 local fund-raising events and helping the growth of another 18 places of worship in neighbouring Diocesan parishes.

  • It has provided educational opportunities. You have been partners in making St. Eugene de Mazenod Secondary Day school a reality and providing education to 160 students who perhaps would not have been able to afford attending school. And already you have begun creating a second school, now with first year students, as well as a primary school.

  • It has provided spiritual growth. You have assisted in sending Catechists and Catholic Teachers for training on seven different occasions for a duration of a week, others of two years.

  • It has provided outreach. You have been instrumental in raising funds for a local Convent and religious congregation to further their ministry efforts.

  • It has provided self-sustainability. You have contributed in developing income generating projects including a youth shop, knitting and sewing class, timber shop, three posha mills (grinding maize) for women’s groups, several shops owned by the men’s groups, two tea shamba’s and a bakery owned by another women’s group. The bakery is now producing over a thousand loaves a day.

  • It has provided pastoral service. You have enabled our missionaries in carrying out their ministry through the rugged terrain by repairing our parish vehicle and purchasing a motor bike.

  • It has provided reaching out to the sick. You have helped in improving equipment and supplies at the health dispensary.

  • It has provided communication skills. You have joined us in sending two of our Oblate men to language school to learn Kiswahili, the language of the people.

  • It has provided the fostering of vocations. You have collaborated in improving living conditions and providing education at the Blessed Joseph Gerard Pre-Novitiate in Meru with a secure stone fence, solar water heaters, computers, breviaries (Divine Office) for prayer and our own source of water from a bore hole.

  • It has provided spiritual formation. You have covered travel costs of transporting our eight young men entering the Novitiate in South Africa.

  • It has provided basic necessities of life. You have been valued contributors in improving the quality of life for the Kenyan people in a joint project effort with CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). The Mount Kenya East Water Association Project is approximately half complete. It is a project that is costing $600,000 Canadian ($200,000 through donations that attracts $400,000 from CIDA). This project will provide water to the homes of over three thousand families in our rural area.

 

"When a man dies he clutches in his hands

only that which he has given away in his lifetime."

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Over a million dollars has been raised by some very generous donors who could give a lot and they did. Over a million dollars has been raised from some very generous donors who could give a little and they did. Over a million dollars has been raised by you who are friends and supporters of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Thank you for your trust in us. I hope we have used your gift in a way that pleases you.

I hope you will continue to pray for and support our initial steps here in Kenya. Our next great challenge will be to educate and prepare young Kenyans to continue the work that we "Ageni ba Canada, ba Australia, ba Poland na ba Congo" have begun. We are hoping to establish a House of Studies in Nairobi so that at least a segment of Formation may take place locally. We need to pay for University and Seminary tuitions for the young men wanting to join the project of St. Eugene in bringing the "Good News to the poor". These expenses will be high. It will involve expensive travel costs and higher living costs than in Kenya. We still have work to do at the Blessed Joseph Gerard Pre-Novitiate in Meru, as well as the second and third Secondary Schools.

Can you continue to assist us in our efforts in Kenya?

We strongly appeal to the parishes who are now being served by an Oblate or who have had the ministry of Oblates in the past to help set the Kenyan Mission on a good foundation. Is it possible for you or your parish to raise funds for the formation of young men who are called to be Missionary Oblates? Whether you are a parish group or an individual donor, each and every gift to the Mission in Kenya makes a real difference. We ask you to please consider sending a gift to continue the growth and harvest of vocations in Kenya!

 

Fr. Ken's letter is an indication of the good works that are assisted by MAMI members. If you do not already belong to the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate, please contact us.

Webmaster.


 

Oblates first arrived in Japan in 1948 and in Korea in 1990.
 


Brazil

Years ago, Archbishop Helder Camara had talked to. Fr. Ed Figueroa OMI when he was the Superior of the Oblate delegation to Recife. Dom Elder was disturbed because a street person had come knocking on his door and died in his arms. He asked the Oblates to take up a ministry to assist the people who live in the streets.
 

South America

"We are workers, not masters; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future that is not ours alone."

Lima, Peru: Dedicated to the vision and hopes of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez, assassinated on the 24 of March, 1980, the Oscar A. Romero Centre for Formation and Retreats  was founded in Lima in 1981. Though starting from modest beginnings, the centre has  become a major source of inspiration and spirituality for the people who enter its doors. Men and women  together are awakened and trained to grasp both the  dignity and the abilities of the Christian person in a modern society. The  poor especially are encouraged to become active in the search for a society of true dignity and peace.



Brother Leonard Rego omi, of St. Peter's Province in Canada, has been  the director of the centre. Suffering for years from a leg impairment, Bro. Leonard returned to Canada for complicated and painful surgery. Now well on the way to healing, Brother Leonard received the blessing and good wishes of the Springhurst community on Feb. 17, as we prepare to see him return to Peru. While we have enjoyed his presence, we  rejoice that he is now able to return to his duties in South America.

Bro. Leonard Rego omi, Lima, Peru

TOGETHER WE WILL FLOURISH

Pero, sin duda, otro ingrediente decisivo en esta experiencia es la permanente inspiración del ejemplo de Óscar Romero, hombre libre, valiente, profundo y creativo. Monseňor Romero asumió, en su corto tiempo de presencia episcopal, la exigencia radical de anunciar el evangelio, de hacerlo la verdad de su vida hasta la entrega total, de no ceder ante el discurso sin fundamento y rigor intelectual y preocuparse porque ese anuncio sea asequible a todos.

Some of the homes in the Oblate parish in Comas, Peru.

In  Chile, your webmaster visited a "boystown" for children who were abandoned in city streets by their parents. Unable to  provide for them,  the fathers and mothers  left their children  to the charitable care of church organizations. A little boy ended up the proud owner of the yellow cap  of the Hamilton Tigercats!

Oblates of Mary Immaculate working in Chile owe much of their support to Canadians who share through the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate.


From the letter to the Congregation for our Oblate Anniversary – February 17th 2005

"Yes, we do need generous affirmation to give us strength when challenges and contradictions arise. Let us recall the recent tsunami disaster that affected the life of our Oblate brothers and their beloved people in Sri Lanka and India . The response of the Congregation is an affirmation of brotherhood. For decades Oblates stand and work in solidarity with our confreres in the Congo , as they persevere as witnesses of hope in the face of war, social unrest, and growing poverty. Now is also the time to affirm our Oblate mission in Canada as day in and day out Oblates share in the search for healing for all who are caught up in the history of native peoples "

Rome , February 11, 2005

Fr. Wilhelm Steckling, OMI
Superior General



Note from Oblates in Australia

From its earliest days the Founder, Eugene de Mazenod, saw his Missionary Oblates as men who would be available to go to the farthest reaches to bring the Gospel to those who had never had the opportunity to learn of the salvation brought by Jesus Christ. Even when the members were few in number Bishop de Mazenod sent his followers to such far off places as Northern Canada and Sri Lanka in the 1840s. Today the Oblates are to be found all over the world endeavoring to fulfill their mission to Proclaim the Gospel to the Poor. For those who join the Oblates it is an accepted and necessary part of their vocation that they be available to be missioned to any part of the Oblate mission field that the Congregation, through the Superior General in Rome, might deem to be most appropriate for their ministry. Consequently, one can find Oblates from many and varied nationalities working in different parts of the world. At the present time there are Australian Oblates working in different ministries all over Australia and overseas: in New Zealand, Hong Kong / China, Indonesia, Tahiti, Rome and in the very near future they will also be working in Kenya, Africa. 


Painting by Sueho Tsuda
:Painting by Bro. Sueho Tsuda, OMI
 

Canada

ARTIC OBLATE CLICK HERE

 

Fr. Henri Tardy O.M.I.

In its 2005 March/April issue, Canadian Geographic describes the great influence of printmaking on the native people of Holman, N.W.T., Canada, adding that printmaking was introduced to Holman by the "late Rev. Henri Tardy, an Oblate priest who settled there in 1949"

Fr. Henri echoed his love for nature and for the North in the words he prepared for his funeral oration:

"I always loved wide open spaces, the ocean, high mountains, the infinite of the Arctic silence, but like the cocoon, I always felt somewhat closed in, limited. I needed, during these last years, to fly away towards the one who slowly but deliberately was revealing himself to me, while at the same time, remaining hidden. Finally the day of the encounter has come. Let us celebrate together."
 

Canadian Geographic on line, Cited  article

Fr. Henri Tardy O.M.I. 1917-2004

“I am the Catholic priest of a little Eskimo community at Holman Island, the farthest north of the Central Arctic. We are 40 Catholics.” This was how Father Tardy introduced himself when he first wrote to Church Extension. The Holman mission, where he worked, was established by the late Father Roger Buliard, OMI in 1939 and dedicated to Christ the King to recall Jesus’ command to His disciples to establish the kingdom of God throughout the whole world and “to be my witness ... to the ends of the earth.” Quite literally, at Holman, Father Tardy and his little community of believers were “witnesses” at the end of the earth.
 

 

Little things in the Far North (07/02/2005 - The Arctic)excerpt from www.omiworld.org/

 

Fr. Martin Moran has been a missionary in the Arctic for two years. Before coming to the Arctic last year he was told that he would really enjoy his first year, as everything would be new, an adventure almost. They kindly warned him that it might not be the same on his return the second year. However that was not the case at all. When he returned it was even better than the first year as he knew what lay in store, at least in general terms.

“I feel I have settled back in again – he says – and I am getting on with the work at hand. Although the weather is still a major feature, here it does not dominate the normal everyday work barring blizzards of course during which everything closes down. I now have a different attitude towards the weather. Last year I would get annoyed if travel plans or meetings were disrupted by the weather. Now I shrug my shoulders and say: it will happen when it happens…. This stoicism however takes a little practice.

“It is the small things that one notices because, after a while, you “stop” seeing the snow and the carcasses outside people's homes. Let me give you an example. It happened when visiting people at home. Coming from Ireland I take certain expressions of hospitality for granted. In Ireland you are asked several times if you would like a cup of tea, you refuse once, twice and accept. In England you refuse once and you are not asked again…. So, on one of my first visits to a house to visit a couple of elders, I noticed that they were drinking tea and that there was a large glass jug of tea on the stove top. So there I am chatting away and watching them drinking their tea and at the same time wondering when I would be offered some tea. After a while my healthy Irish paranoia kicks in. Why am I not being offered a cup of tea? Don't they like me? Have I said something offensive? What's going on here? But they seemed to be ok and after a time I left them and they smiled kindly as I was putting on my outerwear. I said my farewells, smiled and departed but still wondered about the tea, or lack of, as the case may be.

“It was only after visiting a younger couple and the same thing was about to happen, full teapot, etc.; however on this occasion my host realized something was afoot and told me that if you enter an Inuk house and there is tea on the stove, you help yourself. It has nothing to do with inhospitality but it is just the way things are done here. I have discovered that it is in these small experiences that I learn much about my Inuk neighbours and their ways. I was, naturally enough, visiting with my own history and expectations and had to learn another way of showing hospitality.” (Extract from My Brother and I, December 2004)