The Oblates of St. Joseph are blessed to work together with so many lay men and women who have also discovered a great love for the spiritual heritage given to the Church through St. Joseph and St. Joseph Marello. Members of our lay family:
- Are convinced Catholic Christians faithful to the teachings of the Church;
- Strive to serve God in imitation of St. Joseph;
- Adopt as their own the particular spirituality of Blessed Joseph Marello;
- Though not professed Oblates or aspirants, form part of the extended spiritual and apostolic family of the Oblates of St. Joseph;
- Participate in an official Rite of Enrollment and have received the medal of St. Joseph that has been designated as the official insignia for the members.
Persons become members for the following ends:
- The glory of God and their own personal sanctification through the living of Josephite-Marellian spirituality.
- Collaboration with and support of the apostolate of the Oblates of St. Joseph by direct involvement and/or by contribution of time and resources.
- Promotion of devotion to St. Joseph and to Saint Joseph Marello.
- Promotion of the Oblate vocations of priest and brother.
Within the above purposes, particular activities will vary according to the needs of the local chapter and of the individual members. Parish houses, for example, will have a multitude of general ministries and groups, while the other community houses will have a more specific focus. The following activities, however, are designated as common goals for the chapters of every Oblate house in the Holy Spouses Province:
- Share in Josephite prayer life (e.g. Litany of St. Joseph, Seven Sorrows and Joys, Wednesday Mass, Annual Novena, St. Joseph Rosary, Holy Spouses Rosary).
- Attend annual local day of recollection for lay members, and send some representatives to annual Province gathering of all the different chapters.
- Celebrate and help organize the feasts of the Oblate proper liturgical calendar (Jan. 23, Mar. 19, May 1, May 30, July 12, Sep. 15, Nov. 13, Nov. 26, Sun. between Christmas and New Years or Dec. 30).
- Invite Married and engaged couples to join the Holy Spouses Society, fulfilling the personal commitments listed for membership and coming together at least on the Feast of the Holy Spouses each year.
- Make available and help distribute the province prayer cards, especially on the pertinent days (Holy Family, Holy Spouses, St. Joseph – Patron of the Church, St. Joseph the Worker, Fathers’ Day, Bl. Marello Day).
- Stock and promote approved literature on St. Joseph, Blessed Marello, and official Church teaching.
- Contribute to and promote a province magazine on St. Joseph and Oblate spirit and activities.
- Strive to imbue every meeting and ministry with some Josephite-Marellian reflection or prayer.
- Consider the manner of including “Oblate Youth,” either as members of local lay chapters or as a group of their own pursuing the same goals.
- Pray for vocations, and help recruit and send qualified youth to Oblate vocation retreats.
Leadership and organizational structure will also vary greatly from chapter to chapter. The following minimum, however, is necessary for the functioning of each local chapter in harmony with a common vision in our province:
- The common elements included in this statement are a normative foundation for each chapter. Any local by-laws are to be in harmony with these norms and are to be approved by the Provincial with the consent of his Council.
- Each chapter is under the supervision and spiritual guidance of the local Oblate Rector or another confrere appointed for this task. One confrere in the province will be appointed “Director of Laity” to coordinate and support the functioning of each local chapter in unity.
- Each chapter is to have at least one member (with whatever title might be used locally) designated as coordinator to help promote the proper functioning of the local chapter and to serve as a contact person with the province. Analogously, one chapter member in the province will eventually be chosen to assist in coordinating the annual province gathering and general communication among the local chapters, all under the guidance of the Oblate Director of laity.