By Very Rev. Louis Studer, OMI, U.S. Provincial
And another inspiring story I can tell:
At the “Under 10” meeting in mid August in Tijuana, Julio Narvaez invited Ahbp. Francisco Moreno of Tijuana to celebrate Mass with us and meet with our admin team and me along with some of the Oblates ministering in Tijuana. At the Oblates’ request, I presented a plan for future ministry of the Oblates to the Archbishop. Basically, the Oblates in Tijuana are asking to give over to the archdiocese some of the better established mission churches, so they can move to southern Tijuana where the new poor are arriving from southern Mexico and Central America with no possessions. They are looking for work and some are trying to escape a repressive government and find a better way of life. Our Oblates are keenly aware of what it means to be missionary.
The Oblates have already given over to the archdiocese a few of these mission churches where the lay people are actively involved in catechizing, and faith formation. These Oblates understand the need to find lay leaders to help bring the faith to the people they serve so diligently here. The Archbishop seemed very excited by this plan.
Another young Oblate, Webert Merilan, has recently been assigned to Tijuana to help care for these new poor. We have eight Oblates assigned now in Tijuana, including two assigned to our pre-novitiate where we have been blessed with many vocations in the past years. The Oblates at the pre-novitiate, and the seminarians there, will also help bring the faith to the people in these mission churches.
In Tijuana, the Oblates serve at 13 mission churches, with a total population of about 250,000, the majority of whom are Catholic.
The clinic that the Oblates founded to give medical, dental, optical assistance to these poor, continues to operate on a pay-as-you can basis.
Lou Studer, OMI