Synodality and Oblates in the U.S.A., Part Two
June 17th, 2022
By Jim Brobst, OMI and Paul Hughes, OMI, Introduction by Harry Winter, OMI
In our first installment, we mentioned how much St. Eugene lived synodality, even though he may not have used the word (Synodality and the Oblates: Part 1). Since the core of synodality is mission, St. Eugene looks over our shoulders as we invest in synodality.
Michael Hughes, OMI, of the Anglo-Irish Province documented this when he described St. Eugene’s 1850 visit to England. “Today, we would say that he had set the Oblate mission well and truly on the synodal pathway” (p. 14, Oblate Connections, May 2022, #54). Hughes explains how St. Eugene “rallied his men and made a striking impression of gracious nobility on the various dignitaries he has met” (p. 15).This “gracious nobility” helped him overcome clericalism, and work equally with the laity and clergy.
Washington, DC, Oblate Residence, Jim Brobst, OMI
On May 12, 8 of the 12 Oblates residing in Washington, DC, met to discuss synodality… and I guided our discussion. Although our community discussion was often rather intellectual and historical in its approach, we also had some strong moments of personal disclosure. The fact of having something other-than-business to discuss was itself the best part about the meeting! We’re often good on the administrative/necessary business side of mission, but less so on the depth of community that is a part of mission. This discussion gave us the opportunity to go deeper than we normally do.
On May 14 I took our summary to the meeting on the Archdiocesan level, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. About sixty-five people attended, including Cardinal Gregory, laity, religious and pastors. Reporters ranged from Sr. Jeannine Gramick, long-time defender of LGBTQ within the church, to proponents of Latin Mass. There was quite a diversity in ages, ethnicity, culture and education among those present.
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