We had a visit from Father Joe DiMauro, OSFS this week! It is always a joy to have our brother Oblates with us. For those of you who may wonder why I call them our brothers I should explain.
OSFS stands for Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. The order was founded by Blessed Louis Brisson and follows the spirit of St. Francis de Sales (our founder). But what makes them our brothers in a very special way is that these priests were actually founded through the inspiration of a Visitation sister! Yes, it was a holy Visitation Superior, Mother Chappuis, who received the inspiration from the Lord that this order needed to be founded. She also felt certain that Father Brisson was the man for the job. But, Father Brisson needed A LOT of persistent nagging and finally Our Lord appeared to him in the parlor one day with an angry expression. When Mother returned to the parlor she found his attitude changed, but it still took a few years before the "project" was underway. And so the oblates now know that when a Visitation Nun asks them to do something... they better do it! (Or we like to think that at least)
As a result, our dear Oblate brothers have been formed, in a sense, by our own charism. Hence we have a very special bond and feel a certain completeness when the whole family is together!
One of the most special bonds that we share is called the Directory. You may be thinking of a list of names and contact information. But, this Directory was written by St. Francis de Sales for the Visitation Nuns as a way to teach them how to pray. How to orient their day to God. He gave very practical and concrete advise on what and how to pray when you wake, sleep, eat, work, etc. Blessed Louis Brisson was taught this Directory by Mother Chappuis and found it essential to the life he was beginning with the oblates. He took the little book directed towards the sisters and re-worded it to be appropriate for men in an active life.
And they really follow it well! Our dear brothers know the directory by heart and it is quite edifying to us. Thank you Father Brisson for listening!