Who are the Lay Associates?
Our Oblate Lay Associates are women and men who wish to live the charism of St. Eugene in their lives as laity. They live the Oblate charism as married or single people, deepening their Spiritual Lives through prayer and study of the Oblate Charism and life of St Eugene de Mazenod.
This deepening of Spiritual Life incorporates concrete works of charity in our missions, as well as forming a strong sense of community amongst themselves and the Oblate priests and brothers where they live.
In the beginning
It is important, to recognise our Lay Associates in the Mission, especially those who came from Canada to visit and work:
There have also been many other supporters and faithful Christians in Kionyo parish, who assisted the Oblates in their Mission for the Church, and these are gratefully acknowledged and not forgotten.
Establishing the First Lay Associates
Sunday, January 15th, 2017, was the historic occasion of the first Oblate Lay Associates from Kenya committing themselves to the ideals of Oblate life. We are grateful to the hard work of Fr. Praveen Mahesan, OMI and Mrs Rita Balachandran (Lay Associate from Canada), for the 18 month preparation program they conducted. We also recognise the work of Fr. Alfred Groleau, OMI and Fr. Gerard Conlan, OMI for the initial stages of establishing the Lay Associate training program and calling together the first few meetings of interested persons in Kionyo Parish.
The First Group of Lay Associates consisted of 16 men and women, and another four joined in 2018:
MAMI exists in most OMI Provinces around the world. The aim of MAMI is to be a gathering point for friends and family members of the Oblates who wish to support the Oblates in their missionary work through prayer and material support.
MAMI is not the same as the Lay Associates movement, but many Associates are also members of MAMI. (The Lay Associates are men and women who wish to dedicate themselves more deeply to the charism of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.)
OMI Kenya Mission depends very much on the support from our mother Province, OMI Lacombe Canada, and they in turn depend largely on their MAMI association based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
From MAMI in Canada, we receive funding for development projects that help the people, funding to assist the Oblates of the Mission, and funding for the administration/operating costs of the Mission.
There are plans to slowly develop a local MAMI organisation in Kenya to help sustain our Mission works as the Mission grows more extensive and more mature in Kenya (and perhaps in other parts of Eastern Africa).
Friends and supporters of the Mission come from all over Canada and around the world. Between 1997 to 2018 MAMI members and other supporters, have come to visit OMI Kenya, to encourage the Oblates, and show their care for the children and people of our missions.
We very much look forward to their visits and appreciate greatly their love, prayers and practical support for our Oblates and our people.
Please, continue in your endeavours to help and in your love for us! Each evening at prayer with our Pre-Novices, we pray the following for you:
Prayer for Our Benefactors
God Our Father, pour out your blessings
on the friends and benefactors
of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Their goodness has encouraged us and fed us;
their gifts are enabling us to recreate
your merciful presence in our world.
In gratitude, we ask You to reward them in this world,
with signs of Your generous love and,
when their lives on earth are complete, that
You welcome them to Your Heavenly banquet.
We ask our blessed Mother, Mary,
to encourage us, as signs of our gratitude,
to use wisely what we receive,
and work hard in our own situations,
to mirror the sacrifices our benefactors make.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.