Salesian Spirituality

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

DeSales1The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales have administered IHM parish since 1989. We are a religious congregation of priests and brothers founded in France in 1875. The primary mission of the Oblates is to share the spirit of St. Francis de Sales (Salesian Spirituality) with the people whom we serve. In the United States, we are divided into two Provinces: the Philadelphia-Wilmington (Delaware) Province, which includes the North Carolina region, and the Toledo-Detroit Province. We staff DeSales University (formerly Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales) near Allentown, Pa. We also staff five high schools and numerous parishes, as well as a retreat center. Many of the Oblates are involved in mission work, as chaplains, or engaged in other specific ministry. In North Carolina, the Oblates serve in five parishes in the Charlotte Diocese and in six parishes in the Raleigh Diocese. The word Oblate means "oblation" or "offering." We offer our lives to God in the spirit of St. Francis de Sales.


St. Francis de Sales is our patron, not our founder. He lived in France (1567 - 1622) and was a priest and then bishop in Annecy. He wrote numerous letters, articles, and books. His most famous book on spirituality is "An Introduction to the Devout Life." His feast day is celebrated on January 24. Some key concepts of Salesian Spirituality include:

Spirituality is for everyone, no matter what their station in life.
Salesian spirituality is based on the awareness of God in our life at all times.
It is a practical, down-to-earth spirituality.
To be holy means to put our whole heart into everything we do.
It is joyous, optimistic, flexible, gentle, and well-balanced.
It is based on living the present moment.
It includes attentiveness to doing the little things of daily life well.
It is based on the motto of St. Francis de Sales to LIVE JESUS! This means to let Jesus live in our hearts and to imitate the virtues of Jesus in our daily life.
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