Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales was established in 1872 in Troyes, France, by a diocesan priest, Blessed Father Louis Brisson. It is a congregation of priests and lay brothers with simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The congregation was founded to carry out a plan that St. Francis de Sales himself had formulated: the personal sanctification of the individual members and the sanctification of others through the spirit and doctrine of its holy patron.

Today, the Order is comprised of about 500 priests and brothers located throughout the world in Holland, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy, India, South Africa, Namibia, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Haiti and the United States.

In 1893, the first Oblate priests came to the United States, serving chaplaincies in the New York City area. In 1906, the first English speaking province was established in Wilmington, Delaware. After early years of modest expansion, the American Province flourished during the forties and fifties with many vocations from schools it conducted in the Wilmington, Philadelphia, Toledo, Detroit and Niagara Falls areas.

In 1966, the American Province was split into the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province which covered the eastern and southern U.S. and the Toledo-Detroit Province which covered the central and western parts of the country.

The members of the Province engage in a wide variety of areas of service. There are the three traditional apostolates of education, parish work and foreign missions. Oblates are also working as teachers at religious and secular colleges and missionary areas as well as serving in military, campus, hospital, and convent chaplaincies and in inner-city social work.

In the Diocese of Arlington, the Oblates administer the parishes of Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. John Neumann.

The Oblates' presence in this diocese keeps alive the dream of St. Francis de Sales - to teach and preach the word of God - and to help people to know God by means of the gentle Salesian spirituality.