(Compiled from the Partnership website at oblatepartnership.org some of the following was written by Alicia von Stamwitz)
On the weekend of February 24-26, 2012, fifty participants gathered from all parts of the U.S. at King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center in Belleville, IL for the third annual De Mazenod Conference: “Missing in Action (MIA) II: Engaging & Re-engaging Catholics.” Missionary Oblate Partners launched the conference series in 2010 with Artie Pingolt, President, convening the event and Fr. Tom Singer, Spiritual Director, coordinating. The conference seeks to promote broader collaboration and understanding around issues of faith and human development.
A lively mix of vowed Oblates, national leaders, partners, and friends attended the conference, including 14 Oblates from the U.S. province: Bill Antone, Jim Brobst, Jim Chambers, Bill Clark, Paul Daley, Jesse Esqueda, Seamus Finn, Art Flores, Ray John Marek, Pat McGee, Tom Meyer, Bill Morell, Ron Roheiser, and Lou Studer.
“Dr. Thomas Groome of Boston College gave an excellent and entertaining keynote address: “The Best Things About Being Catholic: A New Apologetic.”
The Partnership began in 2004 as an initiative of the US Province of Missionary Oblates that would provide a new way to engage with individuals and institutions who support the Oblate charism of evangelizing the world’s poor.