Father Eugene de Mazenod founded the Missionaries of Provence in 1816. Ten years later, they became known as the Missionary of Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The first Oblates came to Natal as missionaries in 1852. In South Africa, there are approximately 2 220 Oblates in nine dioceses.
The Oblates, like their founder, believe that all people need to know the grace and glory of Jesus Christ.
“Our mission puts us on constant call to respond to the most urgent needs of the Church through various forms of witness and ministry, but especially through proclaiming the Word of God which finds its fulfilment in the celebration of the sacraments and in service to others.”
In 1966, the Oblates arrived in Malvern when the Paulist Fathers moved to Braamfontein. Over the past 40 years, eleven Oblate priests have served at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament for tenures ranging from two to 18 years. These devoted priests include:
- Fathers Kelly and van den Eynde: 1966
- Fathers Peron and O’ Dea: 1967
- Father Bugler: 1973
- Father Almeida: 1976 ( The Portuguese parish priest)
- Father Nolan: 1980
- Father Bailey: 1982
- Father Hogan: 1985
- Fathers Tony Daniels and Brian Connolly: 2004