| When Eugene De Mazenod was named Bishop of Marseilles in 1837, he was destined to minister to the broader church. This allowed his enormous missionary zeal to affect the whole French Church, and gave greater stability to the order.
The passage of many Bishops from the new world, through the port city of Marseille, saw Mazenod hearing and responding to many requests for missionaries.
He sent the first overseas missionaries to Canada in 1841, then England 1843, Ceylon 1847, Texas 1849 and Natal (South Africa) in 1850.
The first request for a mission in Australia came from the Bishop of Perth in 1845, but the Founder was then not able to respond. The beginning of that chapter of the Oblate story was to wait 50 more years.
At the time of Eugene’s death in 1861 the congregation numbered 417 men. Today the Oblates number some 4000 men in 60 countries across the globe.