Oblate Associates of Lowell/Tewksbury Pray with Colleague of Laotian Martyrs

Tewksbury, MA

By Br. Richard Cote, OMI

(L-R  at table) Fr. Luc Bouchard, Clayton Boutet and Ann Casey. (Background;) Sandy Galinaro and Catherine Creegan.

It was a sunny but cold Saturday, March 16, the eve of the Feast of St. Patrick, that attracted 12 Oblate Associates from the Lowell/Tewksbury, MA area to their annual Day of Recollection held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewksbury, MA.

Fr. Luc Bouchard, O.M.I.  missionary in Laos was the presenter of the day co-chaired by Donna Bell, Tewksbury Coordinator, and Fr. Steve Conserva, OMI, Lowell Coordinator.  Fr. Luc spoke eloquently and lovingly as he related many anecdotes and memories of his time in Laos.  Especially gratifying was the stories he told of the each of the six Oblate Martyrs of Laos, some of whom he knew personally.

These six Oblate priests were among the 17 Martyrs of Laos

Equally gratifying was the description of having found the body of one of the martyrs and the relics (a cutting from the beard and piece of cassock) he reverently removed for safe keeping and eventual Beatification.  These he entrusted to Oblate Bishop Etienne Loosdregt, of Vientiane (1952-1975). Many thanks to the staff at I.H.M. for their hospitality and delicious luncheon that followed.   In the background is Sandy Galinaro and Catherine Creegan.