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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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U.S. Provincial Reflects on the New Year and What’s Ahead for 2021 January 8th, 2021

By Will Shaw with Fr. Louis Studer, OMI 

Fr. Louis Studer, OMI

On January 5th U.S. Provincial Fr. Louis Studer, OMI took some time to reflect on the new year and discuss some of the important events taking place in the province in 2021.

COVID in the Province

The men of the U.S. Province have not escaped the devastation of the COVID virus. Fr. Studer reported that a total of 10 Oblates have passed away from complications of Covid during 2020 and into the first week of 2021. Many more Oblates who had COVID infections are now recovering or have recovered.

Oblates are known for being “close to people,” and that closeness makes it especially risky for Oblates as they do ministry. Oblates in Tijuana, San Fernando, CA, New Orleans, LA and San Antonio, TX all contracted the virus after coming into contact with COVID positive individuals in the course of doing their ministry. Fr. Studer discussed the Oblate response to the pandemic:

“We’re called during this emergency to find and develop new and creative ways to do ministry that will enhance the safety of our men and the people to whom we minister,” said Fr. Studer. “I’m impressed that many of our parishes are now streaming masses and reaching out through ZOOM meetings and phone calls. I saw that Fr. Jack Lau gave out communion at Sacred Heart in Oakland to people who drove by in cars, Oblates at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows offered drive-by blessings on special days. Though we look forward to the time when distribution of the vaccines will allow us to go back to doing things in a more normal fashion, we will continue to utilize technology to enhance our ministries and reach more people.”

Read the full story at OMIUSA.org.

 


Oblates Gather with Archbishop Moreno of Tijuana August 16th, 2017

Oblates gathered with Archbishop Francisco Moreno of Tijuana. — (L-R standing) Fr. Art Flores, Fr. James Chambers, Fr. Lucio Castillo, Fr. James Brobst, Archbishop Moreno, Fr. Louis Studer (Provincial), Fr. Webert Merilan, (L-R kneeling) Fr. Jesse Esqueda, Fr. Julio Narváez

Oblates gathered with Archbishop Francisco Moreno of Tijuana. — (L-R standing) Br. Rusty Gardiner, Fr. David Uribe, Fr. Fernando Velazquez, Fr. Webert Merilan, Fr. Jose A Ponce, Fr. Juan Manuel Gaspar, Fr. James Brobst, Fr. Louis Studer (Provincial) , Archbishop Moreno, Fr. Richard Sudlik, Fr. Greg Gallagher, Fr. Emmanuel Mulenga, Fr. Francisco Gomez, Fr. James Chambers, Fr. David Muñoz, Fr. Daniel Ziegler Fr. Art Flores, ((L-R kneeling) Fr. Jesse Esqueda, Fr. Julio Narváez, Fr. Lucio Castillo, Br. Jason Rossignol

 

 


Pentecost and Immigration: Ecumenism and Dialogue Essential May 13th, 2016

Written by Fr. Harry Winter, OMI, Coordinator, Ministry of Mission, Unity and Dialogue, USA Province

 

Fr.HarryWinterOMIThe celebration of Pentecost reminds many Christians of our disunity, and how the Holy Spirit is reuniting the Christian Churches. We also credit the Holy Spirit for helping us work with people of other Faiths, and People of Good Will, for Justice.

Only if Christians are united, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, can we hope to effectively assist immigrants, especially in the promotion of family life for those whose families have been torn apart. In his Apostolic Letter “The Joy of Love,” Pope Francis begs clergy to work with skilled laity to address the fragmentation of the family today (204). Let us not reinvent the wheel by thinking that vowed Oblates should address the challenge of migrants by ourselves. Our Oblate Associates, our Oblate Partners, our Honorary Oblates all possess resources that we need to bring together. The Holy Spirit is ready to help clergy and laity minister to migrants, each in their own sphere.

Don’t the gifts of the Holy Spirit help us to work with so many others who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and share the grace of one baptism? Evangelical Protestant groups such as World Vision are eager to work with Catholics. The Eastern Orthodox, led by Patriarchs Bartholomew and Kirill are begging us to cooperate. The Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, signed in Cuba on Feb. 12, 2016, begs us to work together to lessen the suffering of migrants and refugees in the Middle East (8-13, 17-21).

Strengthened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, let us not be afraid to make coalitions with groups we may not usually work with. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) disagrees with Catholicism on many issues, but every so often, there arises an issue where we find common ground. May Pentecost open our eyes to these allies for assisting migrants.

When our superior general spoke to us from Rome for our convocation (April 26, 2016), he gave two examples, in Turkmenistan, and Western Sahara, where moderate Muslims and Christians are working together. Also many of our Jewish elder brothers and sisters are skilled in working with migrants.

Yes, at first it will require a little more time and energy to seek our allies. But in the long run, we will be much more effective if we work with others rather than attempting to do everything by ourselves. As Oblates celebrate the 200th anniversary of our founding, during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us beg the Holy Spirit of unity, of daring, and of courage, to lead us. Only by working with others, can Oblates significantly lessen the suffering of immigrants.


Oblate Shrine hold workshop on Encyclical Laudato Si for Hispanic Community October 22nd, 2015

This week Fr. Chava Gonzalez, OMI of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleviile, IL led a workshop on Pope Francis’ latest encyclical Laudato Si. This workshop is one in a 4-part series and offered in Spanish for participation by the Hispanic community. The series was organized after parishioners expressed strong interest in discussing the encyclical, which focuses on the environment.

FrChavaGonzalesOMI's LaudatoSi

Fr. Chava Gonzalez, OMI of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleviile, IL (front) with his study group.

 

 

 

 


Fr Seamus Finn OMI interviewed by Bloomberg TV and New York Times, Discusses Corporate Engagements September 22nd, 2015

Father-SeamusFr. Seamus Finn OMI was featured on Bloomberg TV morning show discussing socially responsible engagements with Bank of America. The live interview was aired Tuesday, September 22.

The New York Times also interviewed Fr. Seamus Finn OMI about the ongoing corporate engagements with Bank of America. At the core of the discussion is the shareholder action requesting a separate role as Chairman and C.E.O. of the company. Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI is Chief of Faith Consistent Investing – OIP Investment Trust and a Consultant to the JPIC office.

Find Bloomberg TV interview & New York Times interview here.

 

 

 


Missionary Oblates in Zimbabwe: “borehole for clean water” is a lifeline delivered. July 14th, 2015

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Fr. Charles Rensburg,OMI with Bhomela community leaders in Zimbabwe

Recently, a Catholic parish of St. Mary of Sorrows in Virginia,United States donated to the local community in Bhomela in Zimbabwe. This generous gift has enabled people of Bhomela to get a borehole for clean water supply and help in development of local farming initiatives during the prolonged dry season. Bhomela community is a mission church for the Zimbabwe Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

“Many children suffer from water-born diseases as well as malnutrition in Bhomela area. This borehole project will go a long way in alleviating these problems and developing ‘self-help’ initiatives in solving local problems,”

says Zimbabwe Missionary Oblate, Fr. Charles Rensburg, OMI speaking on behalf of the local community.

“Words cannot begin to describe the community’s joy in having received a ‘life-line’ of water for the whole village.

 The borehole will be maintained by the local Catholic community whilst at the same time, complete access has been given to the whole village of over 3000 people.”

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