By Fr. Louis Studer, OMI
RE-THINKING THE PLAN FOR THE OBLATE CONVOCATION: The Leaders for planning the Oblate Convocation met in San Antonio to discuss how to change the schedule, the timing of the conferences, adapt the technology, for a virtual meeting instead of an in person April meeting of U.S. Oblates in Belleville, as originally planned. A letter from the Provincial is being sent (see copy of letter below) with a few basics about the changed schedule. Due to the increase of the spread of the omicron virus, the provincial council made the decision to change to a virtual meeting this past week.
FR. STUDER MAKES TIME TO VISIT WITH THE MEN IN SAN ANTONIO:
“I took the opportunity at breakfast at Madonna Residence, San Antonio, to ask a few of the retired Missionaries if I could get a photo of them. They willingly obliged, though they didn’t particularly like my interrupting their breakfast!”
“And, interrupting another table: Missionaries Bob Wright, JB Aluthwatte, Bill Davis who graciously moved to a different table for this photo also!“
UPDATES ON SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES FOR THE CONVOCATION:
The Convocation will begin on Monday evening, April 18 with a special opening Prayer Service led Provincial, Fr. Louis Studer, OMI. (Fr. Salvador Gonzalez is planning Music and Liturgies for the Convocation)Tuesday morning, Superior General, Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI will be the Keynote Speaker with Q & A following his address. Other speakers during Convocation with schedules yet-to-be-announced are: John Mark Falkenhain, OSB, and Bro. Paul Michilenko, ST, both of whom will speak on topics related to the theme, “Renewing Ourselves in the Spirit of Our Vocation.” Q & A will follow both speakers.
Oblates and members of the Oblate Family are invited to attend via streaming video, or at one of four regional sites where the Convocation will be streamed: Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewkesbury, MA; Whitley Center at OST, San Antonio, TX; King’s House Retreat Center, Belleville, IL; and a conference center (TBA) in San Diego, CA. There may also be local gatherings centered on the Convocation Themes for prayer, socializing and meals. Specific dates, times and locations will be forthcoming once plans are finalized.
All four Provinces in the Canada-U.S Region will be represented at the Convocation in order to have an open forum regarding the future of Oblate ministerial presence in the region, as well as to entertain thoughts and ideas about administrative re-structuring. This will be the first such discussion held in 2022, with additional conversations to be held at each of the three upcoming Canadian Province Convocations which will include representatives of the U.S. Province.