15 Young Men Attend “Come and See” Weekend in Buffalo

Interview with Fr. Richard Hall, OMI,  by Will Shaw
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This group shot includes the “Come and See” attendees, some Pre-novices and in the front row begining at left, Oblate Fathers: Alejandro Roque, Art Flores, Harold Fisher, Jesse Esqueda, Tuan Pham, Richard Hall and James Loiacono.

Fifteen young men from around the country along with one from Mexico converged on the Oblates’ Fallon Pre-Novitiate in Buffalo, NY on October 8, and 9, for a “Come and See” Weekend.  Ordinarily, they would all stay at the Pre-novitiate, but with 12 Pre-novices in residence; they didn’t have room for all 15 guests. “That’s a nice problem to have,” said Fr. Richard Hall, Vocation Director from San Antonio who brought five of the men from Texas. The Oblates  saw to it that the large group had comfortable housing.

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Four of the young men with Fr. Richard Hall, OMI (with glasses)

”Come and See” weekends give men who are seriously considering an Oblate vocation an opportunity to spend time at Oblate ministries in order to get a taste of what Oblate life may be like. In addition to learning about the Oblates, they also have time with the young men in formation so they can ask questions about life in the Pre-novitiate, the classes, and more.

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A Pre-novice talks about life in Oblate formation.

The men who came to the weekend ranged in age from 17 to 39 and came from Buffalo, NY, New Mexico, Tijuana, Mexico, San Antonio, Texas, the Midwest and the East Coast. The youngest is a senior in high school, the rest are in college or in the workforce.

On the first day, the Pre-novices shared their vocation stories with the visitors and took them on a tour of D’Youville College, which is right next door and is where the men in formation are in degree programs. Over the weekend they also attended Masses at the Oblate parishes of Holy Cross and Holy Angels.

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Time for Prayer and Worship

Two special activities were:  an “Emmaus Walk” with the Pre-novices, which allowed visitors more time for inter-action, questions and conversation about formation. The other, was a trip to the world-famous Niagara Falls just outside of Buffalo.

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Rain gear is a “Must” when visiting the Falls. (Fr. Art Flores, OMI on right)

Fr. Hall was pleased with the weekend and the group: “This particular group of young men was real solid, real serious about their discernment and where God is calling them. Plus, five of the men currently in formation in Buffalo attended last year’s “Come and See,” so they could really relate to the questions and concerns of their guests.” 

Back home from an eventful weekend, these men will have time to reflect and pray on what God’s calling is for them. If they still want to know more, they’ll have an opportunity to do a ministerial “Come and See” next summer, possibly at the Oblate’s mission in Tijuana, Mexico.

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For a group of young men there had better be plenty of good food. (Mark Hernandez of Eagle Pass, TX seems to approve)

Anyone interested in learning more about the next “Come and See” opportunity, Oblate life, or how to contact our Vocation Directors should visit our Online Vocations Page.