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Daily Reflections for Advent by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI December 16th, 2019
These audio Advent Reflections run between 2 and 3 minutes each
Click On Any Date to Hear That Day’s Reflection
2019 World Mission Sunday is October 20 October 18th, 2019
“We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother. In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way. She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross: the mission of cooperating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith.”
(Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day, October 2019)
World Mission Sunday (October 20) is a worldwide day for Catholics to reflect on the baptismal call to mission. World Mission Sunday this year falls within a special Extraordinary Missionary Month. We are called through our baptism to be part of the Church’s missionary efforts, through prayer, self-sacrifice and support of missionary vocations through material aid.
Mission Sunday collection provides vital support and sustains developing Catholic missions around the world especially for dioceses and mission centers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific Islands. The theme for 2019 World Mission Sunday is Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.
In a world where so much divides us, World Mission Sunday rejoices in our unity as missionaries by our Baptism. And it provides an opportunity to support the life-giving presence of the Church among the poor and marginalized in more than 1,111 mission dioceses.
Community Water for Livingstone Diocese, Zambia
Livingstone diocese is at the southern tip of Zambia. It shares borders with Zimbabwe, Botswana Namibia, and Angola. Livingstone diocese does not usually receive adequate rainfall due to its location near two deserts: Namib and Kalahari.
The community has long been facing a water shortage. It has always been a challenge to get running water for bathing, cooking and other needs because the water is pushed through worn out pipes. Sometimes there is no water at all for days. As a result, using buckets residents resort to fetching water from outside the house for cooking and hygiene needs. Also relying on the current water supply are a youth center and girls’ secondary school.
Our goal is to drill a borehole and set up a strong water system which can hold a 5000 liter-tank. The diocesan residence is between the diocesan youth center and St Mary’s Secondary School. Once there is steady water flow at the residence, both the youth center and St Mary’s Secondary School will benefit in the event they
run out of water as is frequently the case. The youth center has about 250 students and St Mary’s Secondary School has 700 girl students.
The current community water shortage greatly affects the students. Instead of concentrating on learning they worry about drawing water for sanitary needs.
A borehole will eliminate all these problems and reduce the incidence of water-borne illnesses.
There are many ways we can respond to this call:
Continue to pray for Missions and please give generously on World Mission Sunday. If you would like to help the Livingstone diocese improve their water system please make your donation through this link and make it out to: Catholic Diocese of Livingstone, Zambia https://www.omiusa.org/index.php/oblate-ministries/support-our-mission/
The work of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in bringing the Gospel to the poorest of the poor is an answer to this call of the Mission and Spirit. Missionary Oblates are dedicated to bringing the good news to the poor in over 60 countries through life in community and in collaboration with men and women of all faiths.
Oblate presence at the Special Synod for Amazon 2019 October 10th, 2019
When Pope Francis announced on October 15, 2017 a new Special Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region, the whole process of listening and dialogue with the Amazonian peoples of nine countries (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana) found a push that could only come from those who know these cries and concerns, these proposals and challenges. The Latin American Pope with this Pan-Amazonian Synod invites us to dialogue, to discern, to listen, to ask God in order to find new ways for the Church and for an integral ecology.
The Holy Father has called them to participate as Synod Fathers from October 6 to 27 in Rome, where this important ecclesial event will take place, bringing together more than 250 people. They include bishops, missionaries, lay people, experts and special guests, who for three weeks will have the task of discerning with Pope Francis how to put into practice Evangelium gaudium and Laudate sí.
We transmit this great joy to all belonging to the Mazenodian family that two of our brothers will be participants of the Synod to share their lived testimonies with the Amazonian peoples.
Bishop Jan KOT, Bishop of the Diocese of Zé Doca, a territory of the Brazilian Amazon is one of those bishops who represent the Pan-Amazonian Region. Fr. Roberto CARRASCO, of the General Delegation of Peru, has also been elected as a Synod Father from the list of delegates of the Union of Superiors General.
Bishop Kot is an Oblate missionary from Poland. He was the vicar parish priest in Siedlce, Poland, before he arrived in Brazil in 1994. He then served as parish priest, first in Jussarval and then in Vitória di Santo Antão, Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife. He was also the parish priest of the Parish of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Alegre do Fidalgo, in the diocese of San Raimundo Nonato. Since 2014, he has been serving as the Bishop of the Diocese of Zé Doca, right in the Amazonian region of Brazil.
Fr. Roberto Carrasco is completing a degree in Social Communications at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. He worked for four years in the Mission of Aucayacu, Diocese of Huánuco, as director of Radio Amistad. He then moved to the Mission of Santa Clotilde, Napo River, where for seven years he served as the parish vicar. In the Apostolic Vicariate of St. Joseph of the Amazon he served as coordinator of the Indigenous Pastoral as well. He is currently leading a joint initiative called “Amazonia: Casa Común” a space where various religious congregations, Church organizations and civil society organizations interact digitally in their work with the Amazonian peoples. They have prepared more than one hundred activities that will be carried out with the purpose of accompanying the Synod this October 2019.
Both Fr. Roberto Carrasco and Msgr. Jan Kot, with the spirit and charism of St. Eugene De Mazenod are present for the development of the Pan-Amazonian Synod, living and sharing that collegiality which is nothing but “walking together” for a Church that also has an Amazonian face to it.
2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees September 27th, 2019
World Day Of Migrant And Refugees – September 29, 2019
Pope Francis’ message for 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees:
“Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” (Mt 14:27). It is not just about migrants: it is also about our fears. The signs of meanness we see around us heighten “our fear of ‘the other’, the unknown, the marginalized, the foreigner… We see this today in particular, faced with the arrival of migrants and refugees knocking on our door in search of protection, security and a better future.”
“¡Ánimo, soy yo, no tengáis miedo! (Mt 14,27). No se trata sólo de migrantes, también se trata de nuestros miedos. La maldad y la fealdad de nuestro tiempo acrecienta «nuestro miedo a los “otros”, a los desconocidos, a los marginados, a los forasteros […]. Y esto se nota particularmente hoy en día, frente a la llegada de migrantes y refugiados que llaman a nuestra puerta en busca de protección, seguridad y un futuro mejor.”
In line with the 2019 theme set forth by Pope Francis, “It is not just about migrants,” we present a podcast featuring the work of Missionary Oblate Fr. Jesse Esqueda, OMI, who shares his insight on the migrant and refugee crisis in Tijuana. The podcast was produced by: Br. Joey Methé, OMI – JPIC fellow.
Conversation With Bishop Valentine Kalumba, OMI, Catholic Diocese of Livingstone in Zambia September 25th, 2019
Bishop Valentine Kalumba, OMI, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Livingstone in Zambia talks about the projects he hopes to fund through a series of parish missions in the U.S.. He also talks about how he became an Oblate, his work as a parish priest in Western Zambia and how his life has changed since becoming a Bishop.
The Most Rev. Valentine Kalumba, OMI, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Livingstone in Zambia, sat down for a wide-ranging discussion of his call to Oblate priesthood, his time as pastor of mission parishes, his surprise at being named Bishop of Livingstone, and the changes the office has made in his work and life style.
Oblates Host 2019 McLean Center Scholars September 17th, 2019
The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy held its 2019 Annual Seminar from August 18-September 20 under the theme The Meaning of Democracy: Foundations & Contemporary Challenges. The seminar is an interdisciplinary and intercultural initiative with 15 scholars from different countries around the world participating. One objective of the seminar is for participants to practice mutual understanding and so achieve lasting forms of academic friendship and cooperation.
Participants twice visited the Oblate community in Washington DC during the month of September. On September 8th they participated in liturgy at the chapel and on September 10th they joined the community for lunch and listened to a lecture, “Issues of Justice/Democracy and Finance Today” presented by Fr. Séamus Finn OMI.
On Monday September 16th Fr, Séamus Finn, OMI also served on a panel of scholars and practitioners at a public event –Contemporary American Economic Culture and Its Values– organized by the McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values.
Rev. George F. McLean, OMl (1929-2016), was the Founder of Catholic University of America’s (CUA) Center for the Study of Culture and Values, and the International Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP, www.crvp.org). He taught philosophy at CUA from 1956-1993 but devoted his entire life to promoting dialogue and cooperation among different peoples, cultures and religions around the globe.
In 2017 to honor Fr. McLean the university officially inaugurated the CUA McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values (MCSCV). Fr. McLean initiated an annual seminar in 1984 to invite scholars and philosophers from diverse cultures and civilizations to participate in five to ten week seminars in Washington, D.C. to discuss current and urgent philosophical issues.
For more information about the Center visit http://www.crvp.org/McLean/McLean.html
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