Photos by Will Shaw
On Sunday, May 19, three communities of Oblate Associates were invited to a celebration for the Feast of St. Eugene de Mazenod at the Esquiline Life Plan Community on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois. The celebration was held for Oblates, Honorary Oblates and Associates and hosted by the Missionary Oblate Community of the Shrine. In order to maximize participation, the celebration was scheduled two days prior to the actual Feast Day of May 21st.
A prayer service prepared by Fr. Elvis Mwamba, OMI and Geri Furmanek was led by Fr. Jim Allen, OMI and included a commitment ceremony for new Oblate Associates, and the re-commitment of current Associates. Fr. Jim Allen began by receiving the the one-year commitment from the new Associates.
“I ask to serve God as an Oblate Associate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate for one year.”
“Accept this cross as a sign of your commitment to the charism of St. Eugene de Mazenod. Let it remind you of the need to take up your own daily crosses and follow Christ”
“…send your Spirit upon these Oblate Associates as they live this commitment of St. Eugene’s charism along with us, your Missionary Oblates. Strengthen their intention to serve you each day in the midst of the world…”
After evening prayer, the much-anticipated pot-luck supper commenced in the high-rise lounge of the Esquiline. The Oblates provided the meat and the Associates provided a large assortment of home-made sides and desserts.