Uniquely created in the image of God, each of us is called to contribute something special to the world.
Religious Congregations, such as the Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate, come into existence to share a gift, or special talent, given by God for the benefit of others. In Christian terms we understand this gift given by God’s Spirit for the benefit of the Church and the use of all as acharism.
The charism of St. Eugene de Mazenod, Founder of the Missionary Oblates, is to preach the Good News to the poor. The poor have many faces and there are many kinds of poverty in our world. The Missionary Oblates carry on the mission of Jesus Christ…”to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free…(Isaiah 61:1)
Born in East St. Louis, Illinois,Geri Furmanek serves the Province as National Director for Oblate Associates and Director of Mission Enrichment (a program that orients Oblate employees to the values of the Missionary Oblates, the charism of St. Eugene, and the mission of the Oblate ministries). Majoring in Theology, she received a BA in Theology from St. Louis University; and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies in Spirituality from Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, MO. For the past 20 years she has provided retreats on management, spirituality and formation programs, both nationally and internationally.
Mr. Herminio “Hermie” Alignay of Chula Vista, CA, and his wife, Marina are members of Most Precious Blood Parish. Hermie is presently the coordinator of the Oblate Associates in that area where he has been active in sending supplies and donations to Oblate Missions in Mexico, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. He has served on Parish Councils, as Past Co-Chairperson of the Post-cursillo Committee of the Filipino Cursillo Movement of San Diego, CA. He holds a BA in Business Administration and served in the U.S. Navy for over 25 years. He retired as master Chief Petty Officer (E-9).
Fr. Porfirio Garcia, OMI is a native of Veracruz, Mexico. He completed his philosophy studies in Tijuana; his Novitiate in Godfrey, IL; and his theology at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX. His First Obedience was to Buffalo, NY, and then moved to Los Angeles in December of 2009. Since then, he has been serving the parish community at MaryImmaculateChurch in Pacoima, CA.
Born in Cebu, Philippines, Fr. José Arong, OMI, is Assistant Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Oakland, CA. Before that, he served as Pacific Area Superior, Provincial liaison for the Office of Mission Enrichment and Oblate Associates, and Vocation Director. When asked to be the spiritual director for a Cursillo group, Fr. Arong introduced them to the charism of St. Eugene and the Oakland, CA Associates began their journey. Ordained in 1966, much of his ministry has been in the field of education, including President of Notre Dame University, Cotabato City, Philippines.
Fr. Sal de George, OMI, a Texas native, is presently Pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Houston, TX. Ordained in 1965, Fr. Sal has spent much of his priestly ministry in Formation work. He has served the Oblate mission in various capacities: at St. Anthony High School Seminary for 13 years, directed the College Formation program, Southwest Area Superior and a variety of parochial assignments. He strongly believes that Oblate Associates can carry on the ministry and charism of St. Eugene that the original Missionary Oblates started.
Fr. Tom Ovalle, OMI is a Texan, and has been in various ministires throughout the Province, including vocation and formation ministry, retreat ministry, as well as a pastor. Ordained in 1977, he has served the Oblates in leadership positions as Southwest Area Provincial Councilor, Chaplain for Oblate Missions and presently as Provincial Councilor-at-large. Since July of 2011 he has ministered as the Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.
San Juanita “Janie” Sanchez of San Juan, Texas is a member of St. John the Baptist Parish. The youngest of 10 siblings, born to migrant farm workers, she holds a BA in Business Administration from PanAmericanUniversity and a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Practicing law for 15 years, her general practice is in McAllen, TX. In May of 2011 she was elected Mayor of San Juan (having served as its Mayor from 2005-08). Her outreach as an Associate includes playing the guitar and singing at Parish liturgies, directing the Children’s Choir, teaching CCD, Legion of Mary and St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Joseph Cipolla of Houston, Texas, has been connected to the Oblates almost all of his life, including graduating from St. Anthony’s Junior Seminary in San Antonio. “I remember seeing daily the Oblate motto outside the chapel and wondering, even today, how will I preach to the poor.” In 1984 he took over his father’s business as an air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanic. Presently he and his wife, Martha, are members of St. Patrick’s Parish, where he is involved leading the RCIA program and Bible study. In addition, he belongs to the ecumenical group “Males as Learners and Elders (MALE). He sees association with the Oblates and laity as a way to learn and encourage each other while ministering to the poor.
Your are currently browsing this site with Internet Explorer 6 (IE6).
Your current web browser must be updated to version 7 of Internet Explorer (IE7) to take advantage of all of template's capabilities.
Why should I upgrade to Internet Explorer 7? Microsoft has redesigned Internet Explorer from the ground up, with better security, new capabilities, and a whole new interface. Many changes resulted from the feedback of millions of users who tested prerelease versions of the new browser.
The most compelling reason to upgrade is the improved security. The Internet of today is not the Internet of five years ago. There are dangers that simply didn't exist back in 2001, when Internet Explorer 6 was released to the world. Internet Explorer 7 makes surfing the web fundamentally safer by offering greater protection against viruses, spyware, and other online risks.
Get free downloads for Internet Explorer 7, including recommended updates as they become available. To download Internet Explorer 7 in the language of your choice, please visit the Internet Explorer 7 worldwide page.