ASSOCIATION OF MARY IMMACULATE
|See Fr. Ken
Forester OMI report from Kenya: click
Canadian Geographic cites Fr.
Henri Tardy O.M.I.: click
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
The Missionary Association of Mary
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
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.
Friends of the Missionary Oblates of Mary
Immaculate who want to associate themselves with the
Oblates through the Missionary Association of
(MAMI) do so by enrolling as a member.
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
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.
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.
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
Father, in his Encyclical letter on Love:
"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”.
AMMI Lacombe Canada MAMI
Taylor Street West
SK S7M 0C9
Phone: (306) 653-6453
Fax: (306) 652-1133
Zimmer OMI & Vaughan Quinn OMI
Fr. Ken Forster O.M.I. writes from Kenya:
Million Dollars Can Do!
Submitted by Fr. Ken Forster omi, Kenya
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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.
Oblates first arrived in Japan in 1948 and in Korea in 1990.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Rome , February 11, 2005
Fr. Wilhelm Steckling, OMI
Oblates in Australia
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.
by Bro. Sueho Tsuda, OMI
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."
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)