Monday, 27 February 2023 15:39

WHO IS HE? - Ch.1 - Father Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I.

Let's take the time to get to know and follow the journey of Father Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I.,
founder of the Secular Institute The Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. Who is he?

Secular Institute
The Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate

louis marie parent


Our founder
Father Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I.




The Founder, Father Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I.

The person

  • In people and in all things he sought out the positive features
  • His ability to relate to people
  • Invincible hope
  • His availability
  • His humility
  • His prayer life
  • His zeal for the salvation of souls
His story
  • His feistiness
  • His passion
  • His tenacity
  • His zeal


Father Parent, a man of faith, reached out to others. He was gifted with remarkable apostolic zeal and eloquence. The Lord gave him the charism of recruiter; he had as well remarkable talent as an initiator.


He saw and pointed out the good he discovered in the people he met and easily gave the benefit of the doubt. This characteristic, colored by his original personality, was undoubtedly a dominant trait of his being and of his life, perhaps even from his early childhood.

This trait was one the concrete ways by which he expressed charity. His long practice of charity made of him a master in the difficult art of welcoming and helping people who requested the assistance of his priestly ministry. Accordingly, he spent many years living and experiencing the requirements and types of charity in action, or, as he called it, the Christian contacts, included in the third "5" of the spirituality proposed to the members of Institute

Whenever he met someone he was first to speak and would challenge the person with phrases that were short, animated and to the point, somewhat like Jesus did upon meeting Nathaniel. Those who knew him well quickly discovered in him the loving heart of a father and the many facets of his rich personality.

HIS ABILITY TO RELATE TO PEOPLE WAS STRIKING. He took immediate interest in his visitors. Following a remark made to him in that sense, he said, “I learned over time. No matter who is before me, I search in his being, my eyes squinted, to discover a spark of talent deposited in him by God… each one is a treasure to be discovered. Even the worst people on earth have fire within them that can spark light and warmth in their hearts. All they need to kindle it is our attention, our sympathy and our empathy. He accepted people as they were and offered to accompany them if they so wished. He expected nothing in return. The welcome he extended to the families of his recruits was amazing. For him, they were almost part of the Institute.

HE WAS A MAN OF INVINCIBLE HOPE. He never allowed himself to sink into despair or self pity. He had absolue confidence in the persons he met and in the gifts God had granted them, either by nature or by grace. This attitude of believing in others, rooted in his faith in Providence, propelled him to daring creativity.

was remarkable. It was an expressionof his filial obedience to the will of God revealed through persons and events. He identified with Mary’s  fiat who welcomed the plan of the Father as soon as it was made known to her. He said this about his availability: "I once saw myself simply as a glove on the hand of Jesus which mobilized me. I knew then that I would spend my life with him".

was real, pratical and simple. His spoken word was direct and to point. However, he could recognize his errors and share responsibilities. He sought God’s will and, when it became clear to him, he could step aside and joyfully continue to be an authentic servant to others.

consisted in long hours set aside in early morning for meditation and spiritual reading. It was often in the Eucharistic or in the gospel of the day that he would find inspiration in keeping with th spirituality of the « 5-5-5 » which he would pass on in his homilies or conferences. His devotion to Mary was one of faithful and true filial love which he revealed in his sermons, sessions or spontaneoulsy in informal conversations. Prompted by his Marian heart he seized every opportunity he had to speak of her and, if the opportunity did not arise, he often initiated it. He was always pleased to recite the rosary in someone else’s company.


bateauHis feistiness He described himself at fifteen as being frail, lively, restless and nimble as a cat, especially in hockey. He was small, not very muscular, very energetic and exhausted himself trying to perform well.

prêtreHis passion “It is not cookies I will serve to men. I will give them hosts because I am going to be a priest.” On the way home, his uncle asked him, “Are you serious about becoming a priest?” Henri-Louis answered, I certainly am! – Well then, said his uncle, pray to God every day. He is the one who calls to the priesthood.


ostieHis tenacity His ascent to the altar was not without pain. Like in all divine works, he bore the seal of the cross. God showed me that he didn’t need me to save the world, he explained candidly… “Remember this, Louis, a vocation can never be lost.


colombeHis zeal For me, becoming a priest meant immigrating, bag and baggage, into the supernatural world. Supernatural life was Christ living in us and wanting to live through us in the midst the people he wanted to save. … I could see Jesus working through me and leaving me the role of instrument, nothing more.


louis marie pI would stop to visit the people, listen to their stories and talk to them about God. I was interested in their spiritual life. I encouraged them to pray morning and evening and even while they were working…  My passion was going after the lost sheep. I would go from one to the next. I tried to draw people closer to religion. I was especially pleased to visit those who didn’t practice their faith… I never passed by their homes without stopping. I would even visit God’s delinquents in the barn or in the fields... regardless of how they reacted. I was considered eccentric, unique, on the fringe of traditional pastoral ministry… I became known as one who was bold, insolent and unstoppable.

When I look back, I must admit that I was very daring. I never compared myself to others. I was faithful only to what God and the Blessed Virgin were dictating to me from within. I was hyperactive. My sense of humour allowed me to laugh with those who made fun of me…  I would wake up during the night and would converse with God.  I was almost always in his presence. I was in love, a love that lasted… One of the great graces I received from God was to love everyone and to tell them so.

to be continued in chapter 2 (coming soon).



Suscribe to mailing list

Follow Us on Facebook (french only)