About Oblates Of St Francis De Sales
The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (also known as DeSales Oblates) were founded in Troyes (France) in 1875 after Sr. Mary de Sales Chappuis VHM had been urging Fr. Brisson for over thirty years to do so. Their spiritual foundation is a small book, the SPIRITUAL DIRECTORY. This book had been given by St. Francis de Sales to the Visitation Sisters, which he founded together with St. Jane de Chantal in 1610. Later Fr. Brisson adapted this book for his Congregation of men, the OSFS.
Stepping into the parlor of the Visitation Monastery in Troyes, France, in 1843, a young priest named Fr. Louis Brisson would have never known what God was about to begin to accomplish in his lifetime. He was assigned the spiritual director of these cloistered nuns founded by St. Francis de Sales. He soon found himself being directed by Mother Mary de Sales Chappuis.
Mother Chappuis had served the Visitation Sisters as Mother Superior and Mistress of Novices. She was known for her gentleness, her compassion and her life of genuine devotion. The Good Mother Mary de Sales Chappuis told Fr. Brisson that he would be the one to fulfill a wish left unaccomplished by St. Francis de Sales. Brisson was to found a religious order of men whose lives would mirror the lives of the Visitation Sisters and carry out active ministries. Chappuis assured a hesitant Fr. Brisson that this was indeed God’s will. She knew it in her heart. Brisson was not as certain.
Thirty years later, in 1873, Fr. Brisson and five other priests began a journey that has now gone well beyond the city limits of Troyes. The beginning of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales has indeed, in the words of Pope Leo XIII, “gone out to all the earth.”
Indeed, today the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales continue their mission of spreading the spiritual tradition of St. Francis de Sales wherever they live and minister. Oblates currently serve the Church in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Each Oblate community adapts itself to the culture and needs of the local Church making the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales a diverse congregation. Yet, in the Salesian tradition, diversity is a path to unity if we strive to unite ourselves with God’s will. This is the ultimate desire – the purpose of Oblate religious life: union with the will of God.
The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales work as teachers, pastors, chaplains, missionaries, military personnel, artists, scholars and in so many other apostolic roles the Oblates strive to have Jesus seen walking the earth again as the Good Mother desired. They do this by offering all their actions to God and by seeking the will of God in all the experiences of their ministries and through the needs and voices of the People of God.
Oblates live a common life, supporting one another in a quest to live authentic lives of faith. They profess the vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience. They are men of prayer, centered on Jesus Christ and the imitation of his love of God and all humanity.
The OSFS live and spread Salesian Spirituality: gentleness, optimism, humility and above all the little virtues.