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Oblates Daily Prayer September 28th, 2023
Every day the Oblate Community and Family in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales publish a short reflective morning prayer video, created by members. Please join in daily from where you are.
Visit their Youtube channel for more videos: https://www.youtube.com/@TheOblates
Let Us Walk Together Listening to the Call to Care for the Common Home
September 1st is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. It is an initiative of Pope Francis who has also written the Encyclical Laudato Si’ (LS) on care for the common home. The 37th General Chapter told us that care for the Earth “is of special concern to us in our missionary work.
We have become aware of our insufficient efforts to care for the environment. We are challenged, therefore, to commit ourselves to the fullest extent possible to make ecological conversion a priority as a fundamental part of our lives and as an integral part of our evangelization”. (Pilgrims of Hope in Communion PEC n. 11,1).
I am aware that some, perhaps even many, question whether care for the common home is really important to us. There is even a certain resistance, if not opposition, to accept some of the proposals of Pope Francis in his Encyclical Laudato Si.
I would not like to enter here into scientific, political or sociological considerations that certainly need to be debated. My intention is to invite everyone to read, pray and seek ways to put into practice what the Holy Spirit can inspire in us as we confront the texts of Laudato Si and the Document of our 37th General Chapter (PEC).
I have asked our General Service for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation to prepare tools to help us do that prayerful reading in community to “study Laudato Si‘ affirming its value and urgency in all our communities. Sustain and promote our programs and activities in this area, linking with other groups through the Laudato Si’ Church Platform for Action.
Be aware of the simple things we can do in our communities, e.g., recycling.” (PEC 15.1) In this letter I would like to emphasize three dimensions in which we can grow as a charismatic family responding to the call of ecological conversion.
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
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
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
The 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.