Oblates of St. Joseph

Oblates of St. Joseph
Abbreviation OSJ
Motto Do the ordinary in an extraordinary way
Founded 14 March 1878
Type religious institute (Catholic)
Headquarters General Curia
Via Boccea 364, 00167
Rome, Italy
Michele Piscopo
Key people
Joseph Marello — founder
Website http://www.osjusa.org

The Oblates of St. Joseph is a Catholic religious institute founded in 1878 by St. Joseph Marello. The institute has provinces or delegations in Italy, the Philippines, the United States, México, Perú, Brazil, Bolivia, India, Poland, and Nigeria. The congregation also has members present in Australia and Indonesia. Professed members of the Oblates of St. Joseph use the post-nominal letters "O.S.J.," which corresponds to the Latin title of the institute.

Oblates of St. Joseph, San Jose, Batangas


Joseph Marello's original intent was to found a simple association of men dedicated to a common spirituality, serving the local church in catechesis and assisting local clergy but not publicly professing canonical vows in a religious institute. On March 14, 1878, he opened a house for what he called the "Company of St. Joseph" and invited four candidates to be members. By 1883, the Company had begun accepting candidates for the priesthood along with candidates to be lay brothers. Eventually the Company of St. Joseph would become known as the Oblates of St. Joseph. On September 15, 1921, the Oblates of St. Joseph received approval as an international institute of pontifical status.

Apostolates and Ministries

The principal apostolate of the Oblates of St. Joseph is to work with youth and the poor. However, Joseph Marello's original plan was to have the Oblates serve in whatever capacity the local bishop deemed necessary, so long as it was consistent with the spirituality and life of the Oblates. In the present day, the Oblates serve in many different capacities, depending upon the needs of the bishops where they serve. Common apostolates include education and catechesis of youth, parish ministry, serving the poor and underprivileged, and orphanages.


The Oblates of St. Joseph are headed by the Superior General and the General Council, composed of four councilors. Geographic regions are organized into Provinces and Delegations, each of which is headed by a Provincial or Delegate, respectively. The Superior General and his council serve for a six-year term; Provincials and Delegates serve for three year terms. Each community has a superior (the Rector) who serves a three-year term. Oblates of St. Joseph are bound by their Rule to live in community, unless exceptional permission is granted.

See also


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