VATICAN CITY, JUNE 19, 2006 (ZENIT.org).- Here is the description of the Oasis Movement which appears in the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
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Official name: Oasis Movement
History: The Oasis Movement was founded in Rome on Nov. 1, 1950, the day of the promulgation of the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady, by a group of students who took up the proposal made by Jesuit Father Virginio Rotondi to commit their youth to the pursuit of the ideal of holiness.
Subjected to discernment by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (in those days the Holy Office) it was officially recognized in 1952. That same year, Pope Pius XII received its members in a special audience at Castel Gandolfo, and delivered a policy address to them which still remains to this day the Magna Carta of the movement.
Since Pius XII, subsequent Popes have also expressed their gratitude and given encouragement to the pastoral work of the movement.
The movement is incorporated into the life of the Church at the universal, national, diocesan and parish levels. In June 1992, it was also welcomed into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Identity: The specific spirituality of the Oasis Movement is to view one’s own life as a service of love.
This service is summarized under five points or commitments that help young people in particular to grow humanly and to mature spiritually: “knowing how to serve”; “being interested in the world”; “taking on the attitude of a servant”; “delivering oneself to Christ”; and “delivering oneself to our brothers and sisters.”
Its specific charism is vocational in the modern and ecclesial sense of that term: to lead people to see themselves as an affirmative response to the universal vocation to holiness; to any call of God, the Church and our brothers and sisters; to the quest for God’s will, to be done at all times in one’s own social, professional, political or ecclesial state of life.
The movement emphasizes the pastoral ministry of vocations for young people and families, and sets out to bear witness to a spirit of total devotion, generosity and total fidelity to the Pope, the Church and its magisterium.
The formation pathway of the members, which is performed through a series of courses — the outline of which is based on the words of Father Rotondi that “our life is perfected to the extent that it is geared to and harmonized with the will of God” — has four levels, each of which has a particular form of commitment: service, promise, consecration, animation.
Organization: Because of the spread of the movement to different countries, it became necessary to establish an international secretariat to support the work of the animators throughout the world.
After the death of the founder on April 13, 1990, an international team was put in place, made up of the national Oasis animators and the international secretariat, which is responsible for preserving and developing the Oasis concept, faithful to the teachings of Father Rotondi.
Membership: Since it is not a structured association, it is difficult to put a figure on the number of members of the movement.
Over 50 years it has helped to form hundreds of thousands of people in the spirituality of “serving for love,” actively committed in many different apostolic ecclesial movements, associations or organizations.
The Oasis movement is now present in eight countries, in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
Works: Villaggio Nuova Speranza at Sao Matesu in the state of Espirito Santo in Brazil: This is a social work which looks after about 500 children every day from the nearby “favelas” in the kindergarten and five elementary school classes.
The school syllabuses, which are also designed for the human development of the children, integrate farming activities, and notions of handicraft and hygiene. The children are given food every day. The aim is to influence families through the children.
Publications: Crescere, published monthly
Web site: www.movimento-oasi.it
Centro Internazionale Movimento Oasi
Via dei Laghi, km 8.500
00040 Castel Gandolfo RM — Italy
Tel. (39) 06.949.5831 — Fax 06.949.5842
E-mail: [email protected]
© Copyright 2006 — Libreria Editrice Vaticana [adapted]