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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
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.