Every religious congregation has specific areas to which their ministries and apostolic works are directed. For us Oblates, we were charged by our founder, St. Joseph Marello, to focus on three primary areas in our ministry: 1) the education and formation of youth; 2) care for the poor and needy; and 3) assisting the local bishop in the needs of the diocese.
In practice this means that our apostolate depends somewhat on the local circumstances in which we find ourselves. For example, in one of the dioceses we work in Brazil, the bishop saw the need for a Catholic university, so the Oblates attend to the education and formation of youth, while at the same time responding to the needs of the local bishop. In India, the Oblates staff and operate orphanages for abandoned child, thus caring for youth, the needy, and working with the diocese to help its people.
In the United States, the Christian education and formation of youth is done primarily though a parish model, so we find ourselves helping local bishops often by staffing and serving parishes. It is within the parish context that we are able to attend to the needs of youth in our time, help the poor and needy in the community, and also assist bishops where the lack of clergy makes staffing parishes difficult.
As a congregation founded upon the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth, we also see the great need in the United States to work for the sanctity of family life and support those striving to live their vocation as husband and wife in a society so troubled by the breakdown of the family.
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