By Geri Furmanek, National Director, Mission Enrichment and Oblate Associates with Claudette LaChance and Paulette Melican
Oblate Associates in the area of Willimantic, Connecticut gathered at the Oblate’s Immaculata Retreat House in September for their annual retreat.
Utilizing resources which included the book, How to Forgive, by Canadian Oblate, Fr. John Monbourguette, OMI, the CD, The Hidden Power of Forgiveness by Jeff Cavins, and deeply personal stories from their own experiences, Co-coordinators, Paulette Melican and Claudette LaChance fashioned an insightful program around the subject of Forgiveness.
After opening prayer, Ms. LaChance opened the presentations with her reflection titled, Forgiveness is Not Forgetting. An inspired session of group sharing followed, along with the playing Jeff Cavins’ CD, The Hidden Power of Forgiveness.
After lunch, Paulette Melican, (a former Director of Immaculata Retreat House as well as a trained Spiritual Director,) delivered a reflection titled, Spiritual Wounds / Prayer. More group sharing was followed by the opportunity for Reconciliation, a Celebration of the Eucharist and commissioning as Oblate Associates before heading home. Two of those commissioned are the newest members: Lee Ann MacFeat and Gina Raymond.
More than just gatherings for fellowship (which is an important part of the day), these annual Oblate Associate Retreats provide Associates with ever-deeper faith encounters through our shared exploration of God and the charism of St. Eugene.
This group of Oblate Associates began in the fall of 2013 at the invitation of Fr. John Hanley, OMI, then director of Immaculata Retreat House.