Two Oblates show their excitement at their fellow sisters’ ceremony of vows.
Two Oblates show their excitement at their fellow sisters’ ceremony of vows.

The Oblates of Jesus the Priest is a Roman Catholic religious congregation of sisters. Founded in Mexico in 1924, this congregation is now represented in Mexico, the United States, Italy, and Ecuador. Their charism is “to love the priesthood and to make it loved,” so the apostolates of the sisters predominantly center on assisting priests and promoting the priesthood. These include, but are not limited to, ministering in seminaries, aiding retired priests, sewing vestments, assisting in rectories, working as secretaries for bishops, and conducting religious education in some parishes. The Oblate sisters are also very musical, emphasizing singing and playing instruments during their liturgies and sometimes writing their own music.[1]

The prayer life of the order is especially Eucharistic with at least a half hour of Eucharistic adoration every day for each sister, as well as daily Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and Rosary. As this congregation is part of the Family of the Cross, their spirituality is centered on the Spirituality of the Cross. Essentially, this spirituality emphasizes that Jesus was both priest and victim when he died on the cross, and so by uniting oneself with him, even in the mundane events of daily life, it is possible to also be mediators and offerings to God. The motto of the order is “In Oblation to the Lord”. Currently, the number of sisters worldwide is close to 120, with thirteen of their twenty convents located in Mexico. In the United States, the sisters, numbering around 22, can be found in the archdioceses of Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.[1][2]

History

Every July the Oblate sisters worldwide reunite at their motherhouse in Mexico City (2007).
Every July the Oblate sisters worldwide reunite at their motherhouse in Mexico City (2007).

The Oblates of Jesus the Priest was founded in Mexico City on February 9, 1924, by Venerable Fr. Félix de Jesús Rougier, MSpS, a French priest who first came to Mexico as a missionary in 1902. Fr. Félix founded four congregations during his lifetime, all of which live under the same Spirituality of the Cross. These congregations are the men’s community known as the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (1914) and three women’s congregations: the Daughters of the Holy Spirit (1924), the Guadalupan Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (1930) and the Oblates of Jesus the Priest. The Oblates were founded in Tlalpan, Mexico City, on February 9, 1924. They first became an association of the faithful on January 31, 1935, and on December 12, 1937, was approved as a congregation of diocesan right. On February 12, 1975, the Holy See elevated the congregation to the rank of institute of pontifical right.[2][3]

Originally a priest of the Society of Mary, Fr. Félix’s superiors eventually gave him permission to join the community that he founded for men. Throughout his many trials in founding these orders during the turmoil of the revolution, he was aided by a widow and mystic named Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, or "Conchita". Her many spiritual writings, numbering around 200 volumes, still encourage people today in every vocation to pursue holiness. Very shortly after becoming an official congregation, their founder Fr. Félix died on January 10, 1938. Fr. Félix and Conchita were both made venerable by Pope John Paul II – Conchita on December 20, 1999 and Fr. Félix on February 15, 2000. Today the Oblates of Jesus the Priest continues to grow, and the Family of the Cross now includes eighteen religious and lay institutes.[2][3][4]

Fidelity to the Teachings of the Catholic Church

The sisters are particularly devoted to the teachings of the Catholic Church: the magisterium and the Pope. Their annual participation in various events such as the March for Life and Walk for Life gives public testimony to the inspiration they have drawn from Pope John Paul II. In the United States, they have chosen not to participate in either the Leadership Conference of Women Religious or the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b "Oblatas de Jesús Sacerdote". Oblatas de Jesús Sacerdote. Oblatas de Jesús Sacerdote. Archived from the original on 16 May 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Oblatas de Jesús Sacerdote". La Familia de la Cruz. Paginas Web Mexicali Gurúc Webmasters. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Our Founders". Missionaries of the Holy Spirit: Christ the Priest Province. Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Oblate Sisters". St. Patrick's Seminary and University. St. Patrick's Seminary and University. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  5. ^ Bethell, Donna F. "What's Going on With the LCWR?". National Catholic Register. EWTN. Retrieved 14 February 2014.