History of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate 1

Marek A. Rostkowski, O.M.I.

  1. The origins (1879-1920)

The history of religious Orders shows that the founders often tried to set up a kind of association of auxiliaries to promote the charism of their religious family. They wrote rules of life adapted to the particular living conditions of the laity, but which took as a starting point the spirit of the Order itself. The lay persons remained in the world, but they had particular bonds with the religious family. Thus they could share in the spiritual life and good works of the Order as rewards for the assistance which they brought by their prayers and their offerings.2

At the beginning of the great missionary movement of the nineteenth century, several new religious congregations were strengthened thanks to groups of laity ready to help them in their apostolic and missionary activity. This help took especially the form of prayer, sacrifices and offerings. Some congregations founded associations of friends of the missions.3 When the Spanish patronato and the Portuguese patroadowere just about over, more than two hundred and fifty associations of laity started to rally the missionary spirit and generosity of the people of God for the support of missionary activity.4

The origins and inspiration of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate (M.A.M.I.) are found even before the foundation of the Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, i.e. before 1816. The first call for material aid, with the promise of prayers and spiritual advantages in return, precedes even the foundation of the Congregation. When Eugene de Mazenod was preparing to open the first house of missionaries at Aix-en-Provence, in 1815, he wrote a “Prospectus for the missions”5 in which he exposes the material difficulties and limits he faced. It presents the needs of this work and a project for the cooperation of the laity in the form of a registration and annual subscription, according to each one’s ability.6 Then, as the new religious Congregation of which he was the first Superior General extended its missionary activity outside of France, he saw the need for an association of auxiliary members to promote the work of his missionaries in the world;7 but the Founder never instituted an association, a third order or a movement of lay people to support the missionary activity of the Oblates and their vocations, nor to share their spirituality.8 As Vicar General and later as Bishop of Marseilles, he was deeply attached to the Society for the Propagation of Faith, founded in Lyon in 1822 by Pauline Jaricot.9 Even before sending his Missionary Oblates abroad, Bishop de Mazenod favored this Society; the Diocese of Marseilles ranked first in the whole of France for its percentage of subscribers.10

The General Chapters of 1850 and 1856 had proposed the creation of a lay Third Order associated with the Oblates, but Eugene de Mazenod was opposed to this since the Society founded by Pauline Jaricot offered the same advantages.11 There is no doubt that the Founder of the Missionary Oblates encouraged the participation of the laity and other religious in the spiritual life of the Congregation and the fruits of its good works. In his pastoral letter for Lent of 1848,12 he recalls that the laity are also invited to be evangelizers and should proclaim the truth with Christian charity to bring others to conversion. Eugene de Mazenod gives a principle which constitutes one of the fundamental elements of the association of lay people: cooperation in the work of the propagation of the faith.13

After the death of the Founder in 1861, the attempts to organize auxiliaries became more frequent. At the level of the General Administration, they are found in the reports and the resolutions of the General Chapters. The Chapter of 1879 said:

The General Chapter desires that, with the approbation of the Holy See and enriched with indulgences, a kind of confraternity or Third Order be instituted by us in view of enrolling the faithful, both men and women, so that they may follow a more perfect way of life and willingly and wholeheartedly undertake every kind of good work.14

The main reasons for this proposal were to follow the example of other congregations, to get out of isolation, to facilitate recruitment and to obtain needed financial assistance.15 However, this proposal remained a “pious wish”, with no other consequence than the creation of some magazines like Les Petites Annales in France, the Oblate Missionary Record in Ireland (1891) and La Bannière in Canada (1893).16

Twelve years later, the Chapter of 1893, following the example of the Oblate Provinces of France and England, approved two resolutions, the first being the foundation of an association or third order, the other, the creation of an association for the collection of funds in favour of the apostolic schools (juniorates).17 To see the first signs of their practical application, it will be necessary to wait until 1906, when the Chapter allowed the “Marianischer Missionsverein” (MMV) (Marian Missionary Union) of the German Province to share in all the prayers and good works of the Congregation.18

During the period between 1879 and 1920, the General Administration presented seven petitions to the Holy See to obtain indulgences in favour of the benefactors of the Oblate juniorates,19 the members of “Marianischer Missionsverein,”20 the “Consociatio Mariæ Immaculatæ ad fovendas religiosas et apostolicas vocationes,”21and the benefactors of formation houses and the missions.22 These requests illustrate the initiatives taken at the provincial level, i.e. the creation at the local level of very concrete forms of various kinds of associations. In each province of the Congregation, the structure and the organization of the movement was adapted to the local situation. The differences were due to the diverse aims of these associations, i.e., on the one hand, to find help for the juniorates and, on the other hand, to create a confraternity or a kind of third order.23

Up to 1906, all the scholasticates and their personnel depended directly on the Superior General who had to support them financially. But the juniorates were the responsibility of the provinces; it is they who took the initiative to found associations to support them.

In 1840, the Province of France-South created “The Society for Juniorates or Religious and Apostolic Vocations” to recruit and prepare vocations. Benefactors could help by setting up a scholarship or by “adopting” a young missionary, or by making a cash donation.24 In 1864, the “Scholarship Fund” was begun with the aim of covering the expenses for the training of novices and the pupils of the juniorates. This would later take the name “Vocations Society”. In 1907, the Les Petites Annalesmagazine referred to them for the first time as the “Association of Mary Immaculate, Vocations Society”. Five years later, it published a plea for the Oblate missions which explained that this association is placed under the patronage of Mary Immaculate and that it would be called the “Association of Mary Immaculate to Support Religious and Apostolic Vocations”.25

In Canada, the situation was very similar. In 1891, the Oblates opened the Sacred Heart Juniorate in Ottawa. To raise the money to maintain this house, they found some benefactors whom they called “associates.” Lists of these benefactors appeared in the review La Bannière de Marie Immaculée, the official organ of the juniorate. Another foundation, the “The Sacred Heart Fund”, also provided some assistance.26

In the Anglo-Irish Province, the situation at the beginning was similar to that of France and Canada. The Oblates gathered a group of benefactors who helped by giving grants for the pupils and the novices, but it was not set up as an association in the strict sense. From 1876 there was a group in Inchicore, Ireland, for men and women; it was under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception. In 1879, it had approximately 10,000 members.27

In 1883, Fr. William Ring, O.M.I. organized the first pilgrimage from England and Ireland to Lourdes. To promote this work, he founded the “Association of the Month of May”. The great success of the pilgrimages28 assured a certain flow of funds. In 1888, the first financial surplus is offered to support the Oblate novitiate. This help for the formation work of the Anglo-Irish Province grew year by year. Fr. Ring drafted the statutes of the association which was given a new name: the “Association of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate”. The principal goals were: to promote pilgrimages to Lourdes and the other principal shrines in the world; to unite the faithful in prayer for the Church, in particular for the Oblate missions and, finally, to share in the spiritual treasury of the Congregation.29

At the same time, in England, Fr. Matthew Gaughren founded “Apostolic Circles”,30whose goal was to support the novitiate and the Oblate college. These circles had twelve members who held regular meetings to pray and to make donations for this purpose.31 The Missionary Record, founded in 1891 in London, coordinated the activities and missionary propaganda.32

In 1894, the deacon Max Kassiepe, encouraged by his superior, Fr. Leon Legrand, founded the “Marianischer Missionsverein” (MMV) (Marian Missionary Union) which spread quickly thanks to the Maria Immaculata magazine,33 published in Valkenburg, Holland. The statutes of this association appear in the May 1894 issue. The young Kassiepe points out that there is no greater help to the missionary and his mission than to continuously support it by prayer: it is the soul of missionary work.34The goal of the association was to promote the spread of the Kingdom of God in the Oblate missions and to support the German Province’s Saint-Charles Juniorate. Along with the spiritual side, which comprised the obligation to recite three Ave Maria each day, there was alms, i.e. the offering of Christian charity for the missions.

Max Kassiepe also explained the structure of the organization. Each member offered ten pfennigs per quarter. The collection of this sum was entrusted to the promoters, who were each responsible for a group of twenty-five members. In exchange for this service, each leader had the right to receive the Maria Immaculata magazine free. Each donor received once a year a report on the activity of the missions and of the Saint Charles Juniorate.35 Among the association’s privileges, there was the sharing, during life and after death, in the merits of the sacrifices, the prayers and the works of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, especially the prayers of the novices and the seminarians; each day, a mass was celebrated for the members, in addition to the special mass offered each first Friday of the month in the formation houses.

The organization founded by this young Oblate had 16,000 registered members in 1900, after only six years. In 1897, the central office was transferred to Hünfeld. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the “Marianischer Missionsverein”, May 5, 1919, Pope Benedict XV congratulated and blessed the founder-director and his associates for their organization and their work.37

It is necessary to add, in connection with these beginnings, that in 1896 the Superior General, Fr. Louis Soullier38 made a request for indulgences to the Holy See in which, for the first time, he used the name of “Association of Mary Immaculate to Promote Religious and Apostolic Vocations”. Following the example of the provinces of Germany, Ireland and England, the Superior General indicated three activities: to promote and support vocations, prayers and almsgiving, and to organize pilgrimages to the famous Catholic shrines.39 This association obviously aimed at bring together the three organizations founded in the various provinces of the Congregation: the “Marianischer Missionsverein” in Germany, the “Vocations Society” in France and the “Association of Mary Immaculate” in Ireland. While each stressed one activity or the other, none had the three. The next stage would be that of unification and collaboration.40

  1. The coordination of the activities (1920-1946)

The First World War slowed down the development of the missionary works and the forms of cooperation by the laity. The first General Chapter after the war, which took place in 1920, sought to unify and better organize under the name of Consociatio Mariæ Immaculatæ the different works which had developed in the provinces.41 In his report,42 the Superior General, Archbishop Augustin Dontenwill,43 said that the goal of the “Association of Mary Immaculate” was until now to help the vocations of the juniorists, but that circumstances led the Oblates to broaden the scope of its activities to include all the apostolic works of the Congregation. This new element was introduced, July 20, 1920, by a decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, which approved the changes in the definition of the activities of the AMI and confirmed the granting of indulgences as approved before. The document specifies that the sole name of the association will be Consociatio Mariæ Immaculatæ and that its goal is not limited to helping religious vocations by prayer and offerings, but extends to cooperation with all the missionaries in their fields of apostolate.44

The General Chapter approved the creation of a center for the Association located at the General House in Rome; however, each province and each vicariate of the missions had the right to establish, with the permission of the Superior General, their own center. This permission included founding magazines, bulletins, etc. as a means of communication between the directors and the members of Association. All the provinces were invited to promote this work in their territory.45

The next General Chapter, in 1926, submitted the question of the AMI to the Commission for propaganda and the press. This Commission concluded that there was a need for coordinating the activities of the AMI, propaganda and recruitment, all of which have the same goal, and proposed the appointment of a General Secretary who would live in Rome and of provincial and local directors. Each community was to have a priest responsible for the work of the AMI. The General Secretary’s role was to centralize the flow of information, the statistical data and to coordinate the development of the various publications. The commission recommended adding to the title of the Association a word that stressed the idea of missions, i.e. Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate (MAMI).46

In 1929, Archbishop Dontenwill sent a circular letter to the Congregation entitled The Association of Mary Immaculate.47 It states that the Association is like an extension of the Congregation among the faithful. It brings together the friends and benefactors around the missionaries. Its members offer to work, according to their ability, to support the missionary work. Under the protection of Mary Immaculate, they become the “auxiliary apostles” of the Oblate missionaries. In a certain sense, they form part of this religious family, sharing its joys, its successes and its failures. They work to make the Congregation better known, to diffuse its publications, promote vocations and support its apostolate with their alms. The Oblates offer them, in exchange, a sharing in the prayers, sacrifices, good works and merits of the missionaries.48

Archbishop Dontenwill called attention to the increase in vocations and the development of the structures for formation in the various provinces. The search for material means always created problems for the young Congregation. It was particularly difficult to find funds for the students who depended directly on the provinces, but the assistance of the M.A.M.I. made it possible to overcome this difficulty. It was now necessary to find assistance for the missionaries “who work in the vineyard of the Lord.”49 Besides providing assistance through material contributions, offerings and works of Christian charity, the members of the Association would now support by continuous prayer the Oblate missionary activities, that is, the work of the propagation of the faith itself.

The other goal of the Association is the spread of Oblate publications. The majority of the provinces of the Congregation created their own reviews or periodicals. Thanks to the help of the members of the M.A.M.I., the missionary spirit could enter the homes and develop a missionary awareness.50

Let us note that in this Circular, the Superior General does not seek uniformity of activities nor to impose a single model of organization. On the contrary, he asks that the structures be adapted to the situation and the mind of each country or area. The experience of each province should help to improve the service to the Congregation and its missionary activities.51

In accordance with the proposal of the 1926 General Chapter, Archbishop Dontenwill presented a plan for the organization of the Association. Fr. Johannes Pietsch, Assistant General, was appointed Secretary General of the M.A.M.I. He was to be responsible, with the provincial directors, for the coordination of the activity, propaganda and information. Each province was to appoint, in each house, an Oblate charged with finding zealous people and to encourage and coordinate their efforts, to distribute the magazines, the newsletters and the books, to organize the conferences in their area.53

Each provincial director was free to organize the activity of the M.A.M.I. in his territory according to the needs of the province. This is why one can not speak of one sole association for the Oblate world, but about a federation of associations having the same goal and using the means best adapted to their particular situation.54

At the end of his letter, the Superior General explains the relationship with the Society for the Propagation of the Faith; he quotes a note from the general council of this Society, addressed to the religious institutes, with the aim of supporting its work and not of creating similar works which would stop its progress; the council, however, specifies that it cannot meet all the needs of the missions. That is why it approved the cooperation of missionary institutes with groups of friends and benefactors that supported the missionary activity. It hoped that the religious would also recommend the Pontifical Society to the people with whom they work. The Superior General finished by saying that the M.A.M.I. was not there to compete, but to find the resources for the Congregation’s missions which the Propagation of the Faith could not provide.56

Following the publication of Circular Letter #141, there was a real expansion of the Association throughout the Congregation. The next General Chapter in 1932 recognized its great activity in the fields of publications, propaganda and the recruitment of new members. Several missionaries received directly from local centers of the M.A.M.I. liturgical vestments, books and other liturgical objects for their churches. The provincials’ reports to the Chapter57 indicate that, without the help of the members of the Association, they could not have maintained their formation houses. It was with a great joy that they noted the increase in the number of associates: for example, in Germany, there were 110,000 registered; in Czechoslovakia 20,000, and in Canada 8,000.

In 1934, the General Director of the M.A.M.I. initiated a program of a daily mass offered for all the members of the Association. This idea had been put forth from the start by the Province of Germany for the members of the “Marianischer Missionsverein.” Thus, with the cooperation of all the provinces of the Congregation, Fr. Pietsch made a list of fixed dates so that at least one mass would be said each day for the members of the M.A.M.I. This practice has two sides: on the one hand, all the provinces assume the responsibility for saying the mass in turn and, on the other hand, all the members benefit.60

  1. Regrouping the Associations

The 1948 General Chapter asked the new Superior General, Fr. Léo Deschâtelets,61to send a circular letter about the M.A.M.I., which would specify the rules of its activity and the new calendar for the daily masses. Fr. Deschâtelets appointed the fifth Assistant General, Fr. Gaetano Drago, General Director of the Association and the following year published Circular Letter No. 182, entitled Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate. Origins – Statutes – Organization. After a short summary of the history of the M.A.M.I. and an explanation aimed at correcting a false interpretation about Eugene de Mazenod’s role in the creation of the movement,63 the Superior General sets the orientation for the future. The Association should be “a true army of the faithful gathered around us [Oblates…]. They will be relatives and young people […] who are interested in our juniorists, our novices, our scholastics.”64 In the official title, Consociatio Missionaria Mariæ Immaculatæ, the word missionary was to be obligatory and present in all the translations because it was approved by the Holy See.

The goal of the Association is threefold: first of all, to form the Associates with a solid piety and a strong devotion to Mary Immaculate, patroness of the Congregation and the Association; in the second place, to encourage them to help the missionary vocations and the formation houses and, finally, to interest them in the conversion of sinners and infidels.66 Among the means, there are prayer, (three Ave Maria each day for the formation of missionaries and the conversion of sinners), action (the publications and propaganda), and alms. In return, the Associates will share in all the spiritual benefits offered by the Congregation, i.e. the prayers, good works of all the Oblates, the special prayers in the houses of formation and indulgences. Each day, a mass is celebrated for all the living and deceased Associates. The enrollment in the Association makes it possible to become an auxiliary apostle and to belong to a movement which is the extension of a missionary congregation.67

Regarding the organization of the Association, the document underlines the principal role of the promoters who are the true co-operators and coordinators of the interior life. Under their guidance, the members will carry out their activities and their service for the missions. The letter specifies the conditions of enrollment68 and the case of deceased Associates, who remain in the Association and profit from the perpetual masses, but it is impossible to register the deceased as members of the M.A.M.I., since it is a community of the living. Their enrollment is possible, but only on the list of the deceased benefactors.69

One of the new features was a 15% tax on all income of the Association, which was to be sent twice a year to Rome and put at the disposal of the Superior General. He would distribute this money to the neediest missions, the more recent missions or those in difficulty.70 This provision changed at the 1953 Chapter to a voluntary contribution, and was soon forgotten.71

The most positive aspect of this document was to stress the spiritual training of the members. The Superior General affirmed that this Christian formation was the first and most important goal of the M.A.M.I. The Oblate missionaries must work very seriously for the personal sanctification of the Associates and inspire them with a true missionary spirit. The members of Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate belong to the religious family of the Oblates; they are their collaborators. That is why they must be formed with an Oblate spirituality, especially a devotion to Mary Immaculate and a concern for the salvation of souls. Material aid is not the principal goal, but the creation of an elite of faithful for cooperation in all the fields of Oblate apostolate. All the formation must be well planned, from the local level up to the central level. Not only the laity, but also contemplative women religious are invited to belong to the Association and to cooperate spiritually in the development of the missions. The provinces have the autonomy to organize meetings, retreats and spiritual exercises not only for the promoters, but also for all the members of the M.A.M.I.72.

Circular Letter No. 182 announced the decision to make the AROMI,73 the monthly bulletin of the General Administration, the official organ of the General Director of the Association. However, in the beginning, collaboration between the printing service and the M.A.M.I. did not function well and the Association decided to promote the development of the publications in the provinces.74 Some of them establish their own printing facilities, like Der Weinberg in Germany, Pôle et Tropiques in France and Belgium, the Lourdes Messenger in England and Ireland, L’Apostolat in Canada and Missioni OMI in Italy.75 The province of Germany set up a vast distribution network for the review Der Weinberg, especially through the promoters, and exceeded a circulation of 125,000 in 1961.76

The following General Chapters in 1953, 1959 and 1965 underlined the great progress of the activities of the M.A.M.I. The Association was helping in almost all the provinces and vicariates of the Congregation, adapting itself to the various circumstances.77 New forms of the movement which corresponded to the times and the countries began to emerge.78 There was an evident shift of the center of coordination from Rome to the provinces. The Association appears as a federation of associations which function each in its own way and according to needs of the province, but which are linked by the same charism and the same program of daily masses for all the members without exception.79

Following the example of aggiornamento given by the Second Vatican Council, during the 1966 General Chapter the Oblates try to interpret the thought of the Founder according to the terminology of the times. The revision of the Constitutions and Rules stressed the values to which the contemporary world was particularly sensitive and to which the Council had made reference. It presented, moreover, a new theological reflection on the Church, missionary activity and the laity. In the provisional text, promulgated on August 2, 1966 by Fr. Deschâtelets, Superior General, we find for the first time texts concerning the laity.80

Constitution 2 affirms that “In a spirit of fraternal charity they [Oblates] collaborate with all other Institutes, with the clergy, and with the laity in the work of evangelization.” As servants of the Church, they are called to cooperate with the other Gospel workers and, among them, the laity. Rule 4 specifies this cooperation well:

Knowing that conditions in a given society can sometimes be such as to hinder the work of evangelization, they will be able to cooperate with all the organizations interested in the improvement of human conditions. They will not be unfamiliar with the efficacious means used by such organizations. Let them be careful however not to become involved in temporal affairs, but rather to help lay people, who will be directly in charge, to assume their full responsibilities as persons and as Christians.

It is also necessary to point out the text of Rules 25 and 40 which speak about a close “collaboration with a well-trained laity, whom they will develop and inspire”;81 the Oblate communities “will welcome… lay persons who cooperate with us in the apostolate.”82 At the service of the community of the baptized, the Oblates “will gladly acknowledge the charisms of lay people and ardently foster their development” as Constitution 47 stresses. They will respect their freedom in the secular sphere, and support them in their proper role in the mission of the Church.83

The 1972 General Chapter should have re-examined the provisional text of 1966 for a final approval, but the capitulars felt that this trial period had not been long enough and decided to prolong it until the following Chapter.84 They only modified some Rules, and added a second part to Rule 89:

The Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate is strongly recommended as a most important association and a valid help from the laity in favor of our missionary thrust and outlook.85

Among the reasons for this addition, we must underline the fact that the members of the M.A.M.I., by their prayer, their sacrifices and their material contributions had made a considerable contribution to the missionary work and that, in fact, this association could become a means of beginning a kind of affiliation to the Congregation of Missionary Oblates.86 The M.A.M.I. appears for the first time in the Constitutions and Rules of the Oblates. This movement, which in 1971, numbered some 900,000 members in fourteen provinces of the Congregation and provided some US$700,000 to the missionary activity,87 set down the path of a new and closer cooperation with the Oblates.

It is necessary to note some new elements that appear in the activity of the M.A.M.I. after the Second Vatican Council. Among the recommended goals, there is action for justice in the world, ecumenism, help for development in the Third World, and the formation of the laity for the apostolate. For the cultivation of a missionary spirit in the associates, the need for the meetings with missionaries on holiday in their country of origin is stressed. Meetings, audio-visual conferences, the magazines, the annual or occasional pilgrimages also certainly contributed to the recruitment of new members. The provinces insisted on the role of annual retreats for the promoters, in Oblate houses or in the parishes.88

During the meeting of provincial directors of the M.A.M.I. which took place in Rome, February 12, 1978, the then Superior General, Fr. Fernand Jetté, insisted on the fact that the members of the Association are lay people and must remain so, but that they have an Oblate heart and are in a certain sense, part of the Oblate family. They not only provide material aid for Oblate works and missionary activity, they do not only promote vocations, but they offer something more significant: their faith in the Congregation and their esteem for it. The Oblates have needed and will continue to need the laity in order to live in holiness.89 The members of the Association are entitled to their special prayers and their spiritual assistance, but that is not enough: Oblates must be committed to helping them develop their interior life and Oblate spirituality.90

In 1980, the General Director, Fr. Anthony Hall, prepared the Directory of theMissionary Association of Mary Immaculate.91 This document gives a short historical synthesis of the movement, its definition, its goal, its advantages, its privileges, its organization, its program and its projects. The M.A.M.I. is an association of volunteers, friends of the Oblates, whose purpose is to support the missionary effort of the Congregation. Among the privileges which are reserved to them, are the indulgences approved by the Apostolic Penitentiary on November 21, 1967.92

The document specifies that the provincial directors, who are responsible for the animation and the organization of the Association in their provinces, are named by the provincial superior. The confirmation of this nomination by the Superior General is not necessary. The members meet at general meetings, on the occasion of patron feasts,93 or at ordinary meetings to plan, evaluate and make decisions. The celebration of a monthly mass for the missions is also recommended. Among the new elements to be noted are the recommendation to create prayer groups, and groups of volunteers for the missions and the assistance of the sick and the handicapped.94

Notes

1 Second chapter of the licentiate thesis: La cooperazione dei laici all’attività missionaria. L’esempio dell’Associazione Missionaria di Maria Immacolata (The cooperation of Lay People in Missionary activity. The Example of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate), presented to the faculty of missiology of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1998.

2 See SCHMITZ, D., “L’AMMI: ce qu’elle est, ce qu’elle veut”,  in Missions, No. 332 (1970), p. 167.

3 See LÒPEZ-GAY, J., Storia delle missioni. Outlines for a three year course, Rome, Pontifical Gregorian University, 1996, p. 89-90.

4 See GUTHANS, J.-P., Rapport sur l’Association Missionnaire de Mary Immaculée, (1966), Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, AMMI file, f. 2.

5 OMI General Archives, DM-IX-1.

6 See PIELORZ, J., “Nouvelles recherches sur la fondation de notre Congrégation,” in Missions, 83 (1956), p. 234-235; WOESTMAN, W.H., art. Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate, in ASSOCIATION FOR OBLATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH, Dictionary of Oblate Values. Rome, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 2000, p. 597.

7 See LEFLON, J., Eugene de Mazenod, Bishop of Marseilles, Founder of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 1782-1861, II, New York, Fordham University Press, 1966, p. 90-102.

8 See ZAGO, M., “Un charisme pour l’Église. Charisme oblat et laïcs”, in Vie Oblate Life, 48 (1989), p. 39-40.

9 See LEFLON, Eugene de Mazenod, III, 120-122.

10 See KOWALSKI, N., “Mgr de Mazenod et l’Oeuvre de la Propagation de la Foi”, in Études oblates, 11(1952), p. 240-241; GUTHANS, J.-B., L’Association Missionnaire de Marie Immaculée. Un peu d’histoire, (1966), Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, AMMI file, ff. 2-5.

11 See WOESTMAN, Missionary Association, 597, HALL, A.W., “Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate, MAMI”, in OMI Documentation, no 78/77 (1977), p. 2. See also PIELORZ, J., Les Chapitres généraux au temps du Fondateur, (Archives of Oblate History, 23), Ottawa, Editions. Études oblates, 1968, p. 84.

12 De MAZENOD, E., Mandement de carême, le 28 février 1848, Rome, OMI General Archives, De Mazenod collection, Mandement. Lettres pastorales 1837-1861, p. 4-5.

13 See WOESTMAN, Missionary Association, p. 598.

14 The text of the resolution: “Exoptat Capitulum Generale ut S. Sede approbante ac de thesauris cælestibus largiente, Confraternitas quædam seu Tertius Ordo has nostris instituatur, eo fine ut fideles utriusque sexus Congregationi nostræ spiritualiter, conjuncti, perfectioris vitæ insistant viam atque cuncta pietatis opera corde puro et animo volenti suscipiant,” in Actes du Chapitre 1879, Session 9, proposition 6, in Actes des Chapitres 1861-1887, Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, 228-229. See also PIETSCH, J., Quelques notes sur l’histoire de l’Association de Marie Immaculée, in Études oblates, 8 (1949), p. 373-374; WOESTMAN, op.cit., p. 598; HALL, The Missionary association, p. 3; GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, ff. 11-12.

15 See GUTHANS, Rapport sur l’Association, f.3.

16 See HALL, op. cit., 3.

17 See Actes du Chapître 1893 in Actes du Chapîtres 1893-1898, Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, 81-82. See also PIETSCH, Quelques notes, p. 374; LEVASSEUR, D., A History of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Toward a synthesis, Montreal, Provincial House, 1989, II, p. 21-22.

18 See Actes du Chapître 1893, 89-90,; PIETSCH, op. cit., 374-375; HALL, The Missionary Association, 6.

19 In 1880, 1883, 1884, 1896. See GUTHANS, Rapport sur l’Association, f. 3.

20 In 1904.

21 In 1910.

22 In 1920. J.-B. GUTHANS, presents the text of all the requests in his manuscript.

23 See WOESTMAN, Missionary Association, 599.

24 See GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, f. 6-7.

25 See WOESTMAN, ibid.

26 See GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, f. 10. See AUGIER, C., Circulaire No. 70, Paris, March 19, 1899, in Circulaires Administratives des Supériors Généraux aux Membres de la Congrégation des Missionnaires Oblats de Marie Immaculée (=CA), II (1886-1900), p. 10.

27 See “Report of the British Province”, in Missions, 17 (1879), p. 351.

28 In 1886, the second pilgrimage had 200 participants, but five thousand associates united in prayer stayed at home. See GUTHANS, op. cit., f. 26.

29 See GUTHANS, op. cit., f. 27-29.

30 In 1884.

31 See WOESTMAN, Missionary Association, 600.

32 See GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, f. 29-30.

33 The Maria Immaculata magazine founded in 1893; from 1919 it becomes the Monatsblaetter der Oblaten and from 1953 the Der Weinberg. See LEVASSEUR, History of the Missionary, II, p. 60.

34 See KASSIEPE, M., Der Marianischer Missionsverein, in Maria Immaculata 1 (1894), p. 225.

35 See KASSIEPE, M., Der Marianischer, p. 226-227.

36 Ibid.

37 See Missions de la Congrégation des Missionnaires Oblats de Marie Immaculée, 53 (1919), p. 54.

38 Louis Soullier (1826-1897), elected third Superior General in 1893, after having been Assistant General for twenty-five years.

39 “Opera […]cuius primarius finis est subsidia erogare egenis iuvenibus qui indubia sacerdotalis et religiosæ vocationis præ se ferunt indicia, ut scientias ecclesiasticas addiscere queant, ut aliquando sacerdotio aucti sacris missionibus operam sint navaturi. Quem ut attingat finem, dicta Consociatio duo præcipue adhibet media, orationem scilicet et elemosynam.” (Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, AMMI file, 1B). See GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, f. 14-19; HALL, Missionary Association, p. 5-6; PIETSCH, Quelques notes, p. 380-382.

40 See HALL, op. cit., p. 5.

41 See GUTHANS, Rapport sur l’Association, f. 4.

42 Published as Circular Letter No. 128, April 13, 1921.

43 Augustin Dontenwill (1857-1931), professor at the University of Ottawa (1885-1890), Bishop of New Westminster (1897-1908), then Archbishop of Vancouver; elected sixth Superior General September 20, 1908.

44 See Actes des Chapitres 1904-1932, Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, p. 349-350.

45 See GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, f. 35.

46 « In titulis Associationum Mariæ Immaculatæ, quæ in variis Provinciis egriguntur, notio missionaria in memoriam revocetur, ut puta “Association Missionnaire de Marie Immaculée” vel “Marianischer Missionsverein”, in Actes des Chapitres 1904-1932, p. 438-439. See PIETSCH, Quelques notes, p. 375-376.

47 Circular Letter No. 141, June 2, 1929, in Circ. Adm., IV (1922-1946) Paris, 1947, p. 149-167.

48 See DONTENWILL, Circular Letter n°141, p. 151.

49 See DONTENWILL, Circular Letter n°141, p. 153-154; WOESTMAN, Missionary Association, p. 600.

50 See DONTENWILL, op. cit., p. 156.

51 See DONTENWILL, op. cit., p. 157.

52 See DONTENWILL, op. cit., p. 162; LEVASSEUR, History of the Missionary, II, p. 20.

53 See DONTENWILL, op. cit., p. 160-161.

54 See WOESTMAN, Missionary Association, p. 601.

55 Pontificium Opus a Propagatione Fidei, August 1st, 1928, in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 20(1928), 266-267.

56 See DONTENWILL, op. cit., 162-163. See SCHMITZ, L’AMMI, p. 170-171.

57 Rapports sur les Provinces et Vicariats de la Congrégation des Oblats de Marie Immaculée présentés au Chapitre Général de 1932, in Missions, No. 247-A, 47 (1933), p. 1-280.

58 See op. cit., 47.86.104.

59 Following the General Chapter of 1932, the title Secretary General was changed to General Director.

60 See HALL, Missionary association, p. 6-7; SCHMITZ, L’AMMI, p. 171-172.

61 Leo Deschâtelets (1899-1974), professor at the University Of Ottawa; Undersecretary of the International Secretariat of the Missionary Union of the Clergy, provincial of the Province of Canada Est from 1944 to 1947; elected Superior General in 1947; resigned in 1972; deceased in Ottawa in 1974.

62 Dated January 25, 1948, it appeared the following June.

63 See DESCHÂTELETS, Leo., Circular Letter No. 182, January 25, 1948, in Circ. Adm., 5 (1947-1952), p.204-207.

64 See DESCHÂTELETS, op. cit., p. 208.

66 See DESCHÂTELETS, op. cit., 210. Irénée TOURIGNY recalled the ideal of the Congregation and the Association: “Au Christ-Rédempteur par l’Immaculée Co-Rédemptrice”, (TOURIGNY, I., Étude sur la spiritualité oblate e celle de l’AMMI, in Études oblates, 10 [1951], p. 51).

67 See DESCHÂTELETS, Circular No. 182, 210-211; HALL, Missionary association, 10; GUTHANS, Rapport sur l’Association, ff. 10-11.

68 Regular members, from age seventeen; aspirants, from age ten, with the sole obligation of saying the three Ave Maria.

69 See DESCHÂTELETS, op. cit., p. 212.

70 See DESCHÂTELETS, Circular No. 182, p. 212-213; GUTHANS, Rapport sur l’Association, ff. 12-13.

71 See WOESTMAN, Missionary Association, p. 602.

72 See DESCHÂTELETS, op. cit., 214-215; GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, ff. 53-54.

73 The AROMI is the Roman News Service of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Rome, 1928-1966, which in 1967 takes the name of Information Service of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

74 See GUTHANS, L’Association Missionnaire, 73-74.

75 See HALL, Missionary association, p. 7; GUTHANS, op. cit., f. 74.

76 See Comment la Province Allemand comprend la propagande, in Missions, 90 (1963), p. 344-345.

77 See DESCHÂTELETS, Circular No. 201, Rapport du XXVe Chapitre Général de la 

Congregation des Missionnaires Oblats de Marie Immaculée (May 1-27 1953), in Circ. Adm., VI (1953-1960), p. 53; IDEM, Circular No. 208, Rapport du XXVIe Chapitre general de la Congrégation des Missionnaires Oblats de la Très Sainte et Immaculée Vierge Marie, in Circ. Adm., VI (1953-1960), p. 311; IDEM, Circular No. 221, Aperçu general de la Congrégation en vue du XXVIIe Chapitre général (1953-1965), in Circ. Adm., VII (1965-1966), p. 203.

78 In his report J. GUTHANS mentions, among others, “Équipes Missionnaires” in France-South, “Mary Immaculate League” and “The Oblate Crusaders” in the United States, “S.O.S.” in the Netherlands, (f. 7).

79 See WOESTMAN, Missionary association, 602; GUTHANS, Rapport sur l’Association, f. 12-13.15.

80 See SION, P., Historical Evolution of our Constitutions and Rules, in OMI Documentation, No. 93 (1980), p. 7.

81 R 25.

82 R 40.

83 C 47. See The Congregation Renewed. A reading guide for the Constitutions and Rules, Rome, General House, 1968, p. 158.

84 See SION, Historical Evolution, p. 7-8.

85 GENERAL CHAPTER OF 1972, Administrative Structures, Rome, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, (1972), No. 42, p. 41.

86 See Acts of the General Chapter of 1974, Rome, No. 42.

87 See SCHULTE, J., Association Missionnaire de Marie Immaculée (A.M.M.I.), (1972), Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, the AMMI file, ff. 1.3.

88 See SCHULTE, op. cit. , ff. 2-3.

89 JETTÉ, F., The Missionary Oblate of Mary ImmaculateAddresses and Written Texts, 1975-1985, Rome, General House, 1985, p. 130-132.

90 JETTÉ, ibid.

91 Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, the AMMI file, f 4.

92 The indulgences under the normal conditions: confession, communion, prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father, the day of the enrollment and the feast day of:

– Saint Joseph (March 19);

– Annunciation of the Lord (March 25);

– Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy (June 27);

– Saint Peter and Saint Paul (June 29);

– Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15);

– Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8);

– Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8). HALL, A., Directoire. L’Association Missionnaire de Marie Immaculée, (1980), Rome, OMI General Archives, General Administration Collection, the AMMI file, f. 2.

93 That means December 8 (Immaculate Conception), May 21 (Saint Eugene de Mazenod) February 17 (anniversary of the approval of the Congregation and its Constitutions).

65 Here are its official translations. In French: Association Missionnaire de Marie Immaculée; in English: Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate; in German: Marianischer Missionsverein; in Dutch: Missiegenootschap van de Onbevlekte Maagd Maria; in Polish: Związek Misyjny Maryi Niepokalanej; in Italian: Associazione Missionaria di Maria Immacolata and in Spanish: Asociación Misionera de María Inmaculada.

94 HALL, Directoire, f. 2-3.

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