The Oblates of the Virgin Mary: For Our Lord and Our Lady | Jim Graves | CWR
Fr. Jeremy Paulin, OMV, discusses the history of the Oblates, his journey into the order, and the challenges and blessing of religious life
The Oblates of the Virgin Mary (www.omvusa.org) are a small, but growing community. The order was founded by Venerable Bruno Lanteri (1759-1830) in Northern Italy in 1826, and today has 200 members in nine countries, including the United States. The Oblates today are engaged in a variety of apostolates, including teaching, offering parish missions and retreats, and spiritual support of diocesan clergy. The Oblates are also known for their orthodoxy and fidelity to the Holy Father and teaching authority of the Church.
The Oblates also have a community for women, the Oblate Sisters of the Virgin Mary of Fatima, which is located outside the United States.
Fr. Jeremy Paulin joined Oblates in 1998, and was ordained a priest in 2006. Today, he serves as vocations director. He recently spoke to CWR.
CWR: Please tell us about your founder, Father Lanteri.
Fr. Jeremy Paulin: From his youth, Father Lanteri had a great love for Our Lord and Our Lady. He also had a great love for the Church, the papacy and the Magisterium.
He entered the Carthusians, but found it wasn’t for him. So, he became a diocesan priest. He met a Jesuit priest [Fr. Nicolas Joseph Albert von Diessbach], who taught him the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He discovered that doing the Spiritual Exercises is a way for a person to quickly become a great saint.
Father Lanteri was placed under house-arrest by Napoleon for three years—he was charged with smuggling documents to the Pope—and it gave him the opportunity to advance in prayer.
Father Lanteri led retreats and parish missions, and provided spiritual direction. He had a great love for the mercy of God, and had a desire to make it available to all through the Sacrament of Confession. This was during a period of the late 1700s and early 1800s, when the sacrament was not being celebrated as often as it should.
Other priests who shared his interest in the Spiritual Exercises and providing regular access to the sacrament of confession joined him. He founded the Oblates of the Virgin Mary.
CWR: What is an Oblate?