By Fr. Juan Gaspar, OMI
Bishop Fallon Formation Residence, Buffalo, NY
Buffalo, NY- Young men from around the United States and Canada came to a “Come & See” weekend experience at Bishop Fallon Prenovitiate Community. The weekend was coordinated by the current Prenovices and it involved a beautiful video production (Click here to view on YouTube) of a “daily routine” at the residence. The weekend was filled with prayerful liturgies, a card game night with ice-cream social, a Mission with Youth experience (Kickball Game), faith sharing and lastly, the traditional trip to Niagara Falls complimented by “Buffalo” Wings and Pizza.
This “Come and See” weekend was a beautiful and helpful experience for all those involved. It allowed for the Prenovices to convey their personal understanding of the goals of this stage of formation and transmit important Oblate values such as community, prayer, the Cross, St. Eugene, being missionary, religious life and most importantly, a personal relationship with Christ through their discernment process. There were times of laughter and accompaniment. The primary focus was to offer discerners the opportunity to witness young men in the Prenovitiate formation program who are living their discernment journey. “We, Prenovices, are seeking and discerning the presence of God at the Prenovitiate”, shared Marlowe Romero (1st year Prenovice) Discerners were encouraged to recognize the call bear Christ within their lives and also to recognize growth as an essential part of a missionary life. Fr. Jesse Esqueda spoke to the discerners about Mission with Youth, “Growth comes from being uncomfortable. Missionary efforts invite us to experience such opportunities.” Fr. Mark Blom added in his homily, “As missionaries, we carry the space in our womb to bear the presence of Christ to the world.”
Overall, the experience was fruitful and encouraging for the Fallon Formation Community and its guests. Let’s continually pray for the increase of vocations to the Oblate Congregation, and for the men in formation.