By Arthur A. Pingolt, Jr. President, Missionary Oblate Partnership
“Prayer-Our Deepest Longing” was the theme of this year’s De Mazenod Conference, held at the Oblate Renewal Center, on the campus
of Oblate School of Theology (OST) in San Antonio, February 1- March 2.
Artie Pingolt and Partner Len Busch welcomed Conference speaker, author and OST President, Oblate Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI with a welcome and prayer shawl from India. Pingolt indicated that on a recent trip to Chennai, INDIA he and Busch heard from religious in India about the appeal of Rolheiser’s books on spirituality. The Conference topic was taken from a new book that Rolheiser published in 2013.
Over the three days, Rolheiser gave 4 separate talks and conducting a 2 hour question/answer/reflection session on the final day. 40 Oblate Partners, friends and Oblates came from Texas and several other states in the US and one participant, a missionary from Zambia, had just recently arrived back in the States.
Rolheiser’ session topics included private contemplation and meditation, liturgical prayer, and an understanding of how present-day culture can both positively and negatively impact our faith and prayer lives. Rolheiser drew from numerous personal experiences and a wide variety of spiritual authors and theologians with whom he is familiar.
In addition to the four lecture sessions, the weekend included small and large group discussions, morning prayer and liturgy.
Tom Singer, OMI and Partner Alicia von Stamwitz served as facilitators for the weekend. Conference Sponsors were Bonnie & Frank Gittinger, Gee Gee & John Whitehurst, and Liturgical Press.
USP Oblates present for all or part of the weekend included John Collet, OMI, David Kalert, OMI, Bill Morell, OMI, John Staak, OMI, Nino Lajo, OMI, Leo Perez, OMI, and Lou Studer, OMI
The topic for the 2015 De Mazenod Conference, mostly likely in San Antonio again, has not been determined.