Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI): St. Mary’s Province

The establishment of St. Mary’s Province on March 15, 1926, as a distinct religious Oblate community paralleled the immigration of the Russian-German, Polish and Ukrainian immigrants into western Canada. The Catholic bishops of western Canada had invited the Oblate Province in Germany to send priests to minister to the immigrant parishes and missions which had begun to be formed in the newly settled farm districts and among the railway and industrial workers of the cities. More than 80 brothers and priests were sent from the German Oblate Province to Canada up to 1939. Over the years, in addition to parish work in both rural and urban areas, St. Mary’s Province Oblates have taught in St. Charles Scholasticate and St. Thomas College; operated Marian Press, published Our Family magazine, and run Batschol Farm (all in the Battlefords); operated Queen’s House of Retreats in Saskatoon; participated in missions in Brazil and Africa; and continued their ministry to and with the Aboriginal people of Saskatchewan. In response to changes within the congregation and the desire for collaboration in new ways, in December 2003 St. Mary’s Province and four other English-speaking Oblate provinces regrouped to form “Lacombe Canada Province.”

Nestor Gregoire