By J. Michael Parker Originally Published on the OST Blog
Oblate School of Theology (OST) will inaugurate formally the Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies, the first endowed teaching chair in the United States dedicated to spreading knowledge of the history of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate charism, Saturday afternoon, Jan. 21, 2017, in the Oblates’ General House in Rome.
Father Frank Santucci, OMI, Assistant Professor of Spiritual Theology and Oblate Studies at OST, and the first holder of the chair, will give the inaugural lecture on the charism as St. Eugene de Mazenod envisioned it in the first half of the 19th century.
The establishment of the teaching chair was made possible by a generous gift to the School by Deacon Robert and Ruth Kusenberger, both honorary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and longtime friends of the Oblates and the School. The Kusenbergers will attend the inauguration along with Fr. David Kalert, OMI, Vice President for Administration at OST; Fr. Bill Morell, OMI, past president of OST and now the Oblate Executive of the Oblate Missionary Society Inc.; Sister Jane Ann Slater, CDP, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of San Antonio and an OST trustee; and Lea Kochanek, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and her husband, Dick Kochanek.
Fr. Warren Brown, OMI, General Councillor for the United States and Canada, will speak briefly on the significance of the chair’s establishment and three Oblates based in Rome will speak briefly on the Oblate charism today. Fr. Kalert will proclaim the formal declaration of the erection of the Chair of Oblate Studies.
Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, Superior General of the Oblates, will express thanks to the Kusenbergers and to OST for the initiative , and the Kusenbergers will have an opportunity to respond.
Fr. Santucci will give a short conference at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 22. Fr. Morell will celebrate a Mass at 11:30 a.m. marking the conclusion of the Bicentennial of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
To learn more about the St. Eugene de Mazenod and the Charism of the Missionary Oblates, visit Fr. Frank Santucci’s blog at http://www.eugenedemazenod.net/