By Geri Furmanek, National Director of Mission Enrichment
May 24th was “Mission Enrichment Day” for the Oblates and their co-workers in San Antonio, Texas. National Director of Mission Enrichment, Geri Furmanek, was on-hand along with Oblate Fathers Art Flores and Jim Chambers. Southwest Area Secretary, Victoria Barrientes-Luna, coordinated details of the local logistics with Geri and Fr. Art. Employees from Southwest Area Ministries: Benson House, DeMazenod House, George Sexton House of Studies, Oblate Madonna Residence, Oblate Missions, Oblate Renewal Center, Oblate School of Theology, San Angelo District, and San Juan de los Lagos Parish participated in either the morning or afternoon session. In between sessions, both groups gathered for a Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Art Flores with Fr. Jim Chambers con-celebrating; lunch was then served.
The sessions consisted of a presentation on Oblate Co-Workers and the Oblate Triennium by Geri Furmanek, followed by “The St. Eugene Story” presented by Will Shaw in the guise of St. Eugene. The final part of the session focused on “A Missionary and his story” featuring Fr. Jim Chambers who narrated a slide-show reflection on his missionary life in Zambia.
The role of Mission Enrichment is to assist with leadership development and deeper reflection of the mission among the lay workers, especially management and leadership. The Mission Enrichment office has a larger role of ensuring that the ministries have the vision of the religious congregation and that they retain a Catholic identity.