Fr. Louis Studer, OMI
Provincial’s address at the graduation ceremony on May 6, 2022:
The graduation festivities at Oblate School of Theology are one of my favorite visits in the province! Not because of the pomp and circumstances, though the triumph is important and well deserved, but favorite for me because this graduation is a clear sign of hope and encouragement and dedication for our church’s future and for growth in faith in Jesus Christ and for the people of God!
Oblate School of Theology is a top-notch graduate school of theology, and it continues to play a vital role in our Church’s future for the Southwest, for our country, for our world!
Although I am very proud of those receiving academic degrees who typically will become leaders in religious and diocesan institutes, I am also very proud of the many receiving certificates and degrees of faith formation programs, pastoral studies, youth ministry, lay formation, RCIA and a host of other activities and programs all over the world. And congratulations to those receiving honorary degrees. A beautiful ceremony honoring them last evening!
I was recently reminded that Oblate School of Theology is the top graduate school recommended for students who have a desire to study Spirituality! I can’t think of any other study more needed or vital for the future of our church, for dioceses, for religious institutes or, for that matter, for all of us!
I am also very proud to single out, speaking of the Study of Spirituality, some folks who are receiving degrees or certificates in the discipline of Oblate Studies, a relatively new program here at OST, along with the doctorate in Spirituality. The Oblate Studies program is the genius of Oblates Frank Santucci and David Muñoz! With the strong endorsement of the Administration, thanks especially to President Scott Woodward and to President Emeritus Ron Rolheiser. I’m very pleased with the program in Spirituality and Oblate Studies at OST!
These new programs are off to an excellent start with some students graduating who I am proud to mention.
This graduation marks the first four certificates in Oblates Studies, a program, course of study, which is key toward enhancing, promoting, the Oblate charism among the members of the Mazenodian Family and toward attracting future members as well!
Michelle de Vito is present to receive this certificate. Already Michelle promotes everything about the Oblate charism in Buffalo, New York. She works closely with the Oblates there! Now she can continue to do so with a sheepskin!
Four Oblates are graduating from Oblate School this year.
Raymond Mwangala, Superior of the delegation of Zambia, receives a doctorate in Spirituality.
Oblate Cleber Lopez, from Brazil, receives a Master’s degree in Oblate Studies.
Scholastics Zane Nong, and Ignatius Nambondi are receiving the Master of Divinity. They continue in Oblate formation in their native countries.
Thank you to the staff, students, administration, faculty, Board of Directors of Oblate School of Theology for your energy, dedication, enthusiasm, support of this excellent graduate school of theology. I am also pleased, with the number of Oblates at the school, so that it continues to be strongly imbued with the Oblate charism. That charism is imbued as well in all who generously support OST.
Finally, a brief word about the future!
In prioritizing our ministry commitments as a U.S. province, as we face the future with fewer personnel, some limitations in resources, the U.S. Provincial Council has named Oblate School of Theology as the number one ministry of priority in the U.S. province!
So, for many years to come, OST will continue to be key in forming the Church of the future in our country and in our world!