“Mission Enrichment Day” with Fr. Frank Santucci
Fr. Frank Santucci, OMI, visited the Oblate Missions building for a very special presentation for all the employees. Fr. Santucci firmly spoke about the importance of the role we all play as part of Oblate Missions, regardless of age, time of employment, or position. He spoke at length about the tumultuous life of our founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod, his upbringing, the beginning of his ministry, and the origins of the Oblates -which were established 200 years ago in Aix-en-Provence, France.
It wasn’t until he was 25 years of age that Eugene de Mazenod opened his eyes to the love of Jesus and soon began to see the world through the eyes of our crucified Savior. St. Eugene then took it upon himself to share this enlightening experience with others, particularly the unfortunate people that were not being helped by the ministries of church because of language barriers and differences in social class. De Mazenod continued taking the message of Jesus Christ as Savior to condemned prisoners, servants, orphans, and paupers, all while embracing them the same way he felt embraced by the endless love of Jesus on the cross. In 1816, St. Eugene and five other priests united in love for Mary, founded the “Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate,” bearing in mind the meaning of Oblate -from the Latin word oblatus, which means “to give, to offer”- that they decided to offer themselves to the ministry to the poor and most abandoned. Today, that same vision of “wide open arms of Jesus our Savior” is what we continue to carry throughout the world, and is found at the heart of each and every one of the missions we have established across 67 countries. As part of the Oblate Missions, we are all dedicated to those who are in need, in the name of Jesus, Mary, and St. Eugene de Mazenod.
Is what you do a job or ministry? Whatever it is you may be doing here, working directly or indirectly…it is still very important because you’re part of our Oblate family. Your job here is more than just a job, it is part of our mission. – Fr. Santucci
Fr. Santucci reminded us of Pope Francis and his likeness to St. Eugene, with their unending devotion to those “not touched by the light.” He then proceeded to close his inspiring presentation by imparting a blessing on the attendees, with a final exhortation to “look to God to find love and happiness.”
Fr. Frank Santucci lives in San Antonio, Texas and is the editor of Eugene de Mazenod Speaks blog,
which you may visit at www.EugenedeMazenod.net.