Oblates of Mary Immaculate Now Have a Feminine Branch

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MADRID, Spain, SEPT. 20, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Madrid has approved the constitutions and statutes of the congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the first feminine branch of the OMIs.



"A congregation is not born every day," the Conference of Spanish Religious observed when reporting the news. "At a time of crisis in vocations, the birth of a new form of religious life is good news."

The first eight religious, between 21 and 33 years of age, made their vows Sept. 9, during a ceremony presided over by the archbishop, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela.

The new congregation came into existence in the mid-1990s, fruit of the commitment of a group of young women in a Madrid parish, directed by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The young women´s petition to enter the consecrated life was accepted, thanks to the support they received from Father Marcello Zago, then OMI superior general, who eventually became secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Father Zago, a leading Catholic missionary in Asia, envisioned this first feminine branch of this congregation.

The new form of consecrated life began Sept. 14, 1997. Its statutes, defining it as a public association of faithful, were recognized in 1998, and now it has been fully recognized as a religious congregation.