Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI): Assumption Province

Father George Salamon, OMI, in Lebret, 1922. When Father Salamon died in 2000 at the age of 103, he was the world’s oldest Oblate.
Brian Mlazgar

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) are a Roman Catholic religious congregation of priests and brothers founded by Eugene de Mazenod in France in 1826. The first Oblates to come to Canada arrived from France in 1841. Non-French Oblates came to Canada during the settlement period in the West to tend to the needs of immigrants from Eastern Europe. In 1898, the first Polish Oblate, Fr. Albert (Wojciech) Kulawy came to Canada. Fr. Anthony Sylla, arrived in 1909, was appointed pastor of Rama, Saskatchewan in 1933; in 1939, he established a shrine and pilgrimage site there in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Polish Oblates all belonged to Manitoba Province until 1926, when St. Mary’s Province was formed for the German and Polish Oblates. In 1956, the Oblate Council established a separate Polish Oblate province in Canada: all the parishes served by Polish Oblates, as well as most of the Oblate priests, brothers and seminarians of Polish descent, became part of Assumption Province. In Saskatchewan, Assumption Province Oblates currently serve in the parishes of St. Henry’s, Melville; St. Patrick’s, Sturgis; and Mary Queen of All Hearts, Lestock—plus thirteen First Nations reserves.

Wojciech Wojtkowiak