Story by Will Shaw Photos by Angela Aquino
Recently, a book has become available in the U.S. with a connection to both the Oblates and to Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy. Titled, “Misericordiosos Como El Padre,” (Merciful like the Father,) it features a new sub-title, “Abriendo caminos de esperenza a los pobres y los más abandonados, (Opening Ways of Hope to the Poor and Most Abandoned,) along with a new forward by Oblate Fr. Saturnino Lajo, OMI.
Fr. Lajo, whose titles include: Director of Centro de Comunicación, and Director of Hispanic Development for Oblate Missions in San Antonio Texas, was invited by the book’s publisher, PPC in Mexico City to write the new introduction and re-design the cover especially for the benefactors and lay associates of the Oblates in the Hispanic community. Fr. Lajo included Oblate images on the cover and inside, some quotations from St. Eugene de Mazenod relating to mercy. But it is in his introduction where he really states the Oblate connection, “It appears Providential that as the Oblates celebrate 200 years of service to the poor and most abandoned, the Pope has declared this the Year of Mercy, because that is our mission.” Fr. Lajo goes on to gratefully acknowledge the support of the lay missionaries and members of the Association of Mary Immaculate who are connected to the mission of the Oblates.
In April, Fr. Lajo continued the celebration of the Oblate’s 200th Anniversary at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City where he presided at a special Celebration of Thanksgiving for the supporters of Oblate Missions: for their donations, their prayers, and their help. The Mass was concelebrated by a group of Mexican Oblates with local Oblate Associates and Members of the Association of Mary Immaculate in the congregation.
He summarized the main theme of his homily,“As we celebrate the Oblate’s 200 years of Religious life, we will continue to focus on service to the poor and most abandoned as we look to the past with gratitude, live the present with passion, and embrace the future with hope.
“It was a nice, nice, Oblate family celebration.” With a smile Fr. Lajo added “…along with the thousands of other people at the Basilica.”
The book, “Misericordiosos Como El Padre,” (Spanish only) is available for $6.00 plus shipping from: Centro de Communicación, P.O. Box 659432, San Antonio, TX. 78265. Or you can order it directly from Fr. Lajo, his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org