Called “Oblatepalooza”, this is the first Oblate Partnership mission experience for youth imagined and sponsored by an anonymous Missionary Oblate Partner and who is also donating a significant grant for missionary work in the region.
The name derives from a US concert tour, Lalapalooza, which is popular with young folks. Initially, Oblatepalooza is to provide an educational and spiritual resource that Partners can offer to their children and grandchildren. Specifically, this Partner’s hope is to provide a 3 week experience for a small group of late teens/early 20s boys or girls that gives them a sense of the Oblate identity of mission, AND ALSO stimulates a sense of that mission identity within themselves. That is to say, a participant might go to Zambia and experience being a missionary, but the hope is that they come home to the US and continue to feel “missionary” in their lives here.
The program begins with 2 days of travel preparation and “mission identity training” in the US with their Oblate leader, then travel to the mission country Oblatepalooza identifies for that year. (For 2013 the Oblate missions in the African nation of Zambia were chosen). The group, not to exceed 5, then travels to that country for 3 weeks. The trip begins with two days inculturation and education by the local Oblates about their approaches to mission. This is followed by a series of small project engagements around the various mission “stations.” In Zambia, this includes an AIDS hospice, a radio station, orphanages, a leprosarium, and several parishes.
Participants are asked to reflect on their experiences by journaling during the trip and, to allow others to have a “missionary” experience even though they could not attend. You can find many of their photos at our Facebook page here: http://facebook.com/oblatemissions
At the end of Oblatepalooza, this anonymous Partner will also provide a general grant to be applied to a project need of the Oblate missions in Zambia, ideally a project need that the Oblatepalooza participants worked on with the Oblates there.
Oblates have missions in 68 countries around the world, so future Oblatepalooza trips could go nearly anywhere on the planet! For more information you may contact the Oblate Partnership [ here ]