Items filtered by date: December 2020
Life of the Oblates:
The life of the Oblates in our region is going on with the pandemic all over. The Oblates are very careful in their outside activities. They are avoiding the travel from place to place and attending celebration like marriage where people are not keeping social distances. By the grace of God, the Oblates are all safe in our region. The schools are still closed. Oblates teachers are teaching through online. The other offices are working with alternate staff. The churches are opened and the ceremonies are done with restriction.
The team meetings are regular with Oblates who are able to come together. Those who cannot travel are having meetings online through Zoom and whatsup groups. The teams are also took time to study and discuss the ‘Mission’ document sent by the PCA. Since the documents are very long, the Oblates studied personally and shared in the team level.
In Vietnam, the volunteers of God renewed their promise and some Oblates renewed their vows.
The formation of the candidates is also regular in most of the countries either through online or in person.
The regional animations were not done according to our plan. If things are in favour, the regional council will try to accomplish this year.
Death of Houngmany Ien: Laos
Our beloved companion Houngmany Ien from Laos died on December 15, 2020. She was sick for a long time. Our companions in Laos took care of her in all these period.
Soon after the regional leader knew this message through the coordinator of Laos, she sent a death notice to all the companions in our region. The Oblates offered their prayers and sent condolence messages to our companions in Laos.
Our companion Amadis Jeannette – Mauritius had an eye operation. Now she has better eye sight.
Rodrigues Island has so far been spared from covid 19 Mauritians and Rodrigans can travel freely by plane without having to quarantine.
The Oblates of Rodrigues is doing a wonderful job with the girls concerning vocation.
EDOUARD Sylvianne returned to Rodrigues and is at the service of her village, of girls for prayer meetings and to meet the Volunteers of God
CASIMIR Christiane is now working with Verlaine at the Centre Frere Remy twice or thrice a week.
CASIMIR Arlette has completed her formation and returned to Rodrigues since 9.12.2020 and it has been a successful formation.
AMADIS Jeannette forms part of PAT (Pastoral Animation Team) of her parish.
LAFLEURCausette celebrated her 50th birthday on 9.12.2020
In Mauritius we had our last team meeting on 19.12.2020 and BRELU-BRELUEllena renewed her vows.
With prayerful regards,
Recently, an article from Aleteia spoke about the beginnings of the Miraculous Medal expressed as follows: “On Saturday November 27, 1830, the Immaculate Virgin appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré, Daughter of Charity. She entrusted her with the mission of striking a medal the model of which she would reveal to her. All those who wear it with confidence and recite this prayer with piety: "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you" will enjoy special protection from the Mother of God and will receive great graces. "
In 1832, during the cholera epidemic which spread in Europe “…many miraculous medals were distributed… the graces were immediately received and there were several cases of unexplained cures, but also miraculous protection for people in direct contact with the sick, as well as spectacular conversions. "
As we are also living in a time of epidemic, why not call on Mary Immaculate help our communities? Isn't Mary the patroness of all Oblates? The inspiration came to me; I spoke about it to the person in charge of the liturgy and to the priest, who celebrates mass at the Residence where I live now… This idea delighted them and, on September 20, during mass, nearly 200 medals were blessed and distributed with an explanatory bookmark. It has now become Mary's project…
A few companions have asked me for the bookmark model to follow suit in their respective communities. I responded with joy! We live in a time where many people have let their faith drift off to sleep and for many of us, who are limited in our ability to reach out, spreading this devotion is something we can do.
If Mary so wishes a small medal can do a lot. “More than ever, today, it is good to remember the effectiveness of the miraculous medal, when it is worn or given with deep faith, in a spirit of surrender and trust in love and absolute benevolence from our Heavenly Mother.”
As well, perhaps vocations could arise from such random journeying of Mother Mary. May she inspire each of us.
A reflection by Bonnie Kirk following a team discussion.
The discussion was sparked by the viewing of a video on internet posted by a Friar Casey Cole (Georgia, USA) who asks, “Why are some congregations not recruiting new members? What needs to change? In the process of modernizing to be more like the world, some religious communities have lost their radical edge, he says, and, by the same token, have lost the interest of young people who are attracted by a radical gift of self. Communities that flourish are radical: they have visible signs that distinguish them from the world like the habit and an intense prayer life.
The question that arose in the team was, by its nature, is secular consecration radical?
“Yes,” Bonnie says, “our Oblate secular consecration is radical; we are called to embrace gospel values as the root and foundation of our lives; a commitment that is given flesh by our evangelical spirituality and empowered by our vows.
Embedded in society, at times anonymously, we are not called to visibility by conditions such as distinctive signs, communal living and prayer and specific ministry.
We have a strong charism and mission which are discreetly manifested from our place in the world, for the world and with the world. We are lay persons with regular jobs and in diverse living situations. We have some similarities with religious congregations yet we are different.
I think Friar Cole’s judgement of some traditional religious communities relates to the way they have watered down the description of who they are. In so doing, according to him, they have more or less embraced the life style of laypersons with no distinct dress, ministry or communal living.
I think he is challenging us as well in our own quest for vocations. In our contacts we often fall short of sharing our spirituality. We need to be open and vulnerable about Oblate life– a life style with all the rights and responsibilities inherent to lay consecration; a life rich and blessed but that, with its own particular challenges, is at times difficult to live.”
I thank the Lord for having inspired our dear Father Louis-Marie Parent, founder of the Institute, The Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. He has drawn a very concrete path of Christian and consecrated life for us to follow.
Being attentive to people, as Christ was, opens the door to a life of charity.
With a team, we had welcomed the children of migrants (the pandemic put an end to this project). I had gotten to know the parents beforehand. That is how, at an R.S.F. demonstration, the mother of three found the courage to confide: "I have a home, but I have no fridge or washer. Could you help me find some?"
Her request provoked me and propelled me to make multiple contacts to respond to her needs. I took particular interest in this family and made myself available for various services and I got others involved with me. The very grateful mom knows she can knock on my door anytime. Together with others we are always be able to help out. The family knows how to bring enjoyment by sharing moments of friendship.
The Covid crisis and confinement, which keep us mostly at home, have made me more attentive to my neighbors allowing me to create a fraternal atmosphere through small gestures.
The spirit of charity is not improvised, it is received from Him who is total Love and asks only to be spread around. I borrow a quote from Catherine of Siena: "Make yourself capable, I will make of myself a torrent!”
Lord, grant us the grace to live in your Love. Then You, in turn, will spring up like a waterfall giving us, as a bonus, the joy of sharing!
The Volunteers of God are a group associated with the secular institute of The Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. They are committed to living the Love of Christ everywhere in the present moment.
Since the pandemic, the participants of the Volunteers of God team of La Tuque have been prevented from meeting monthly to pursue deepen the spirituality of the 5 attitudes of life and to nourish fraternal bonds between them.
The priest, Marc Lahaie suggested that we hold a virtual meeting in December 2020. Stéphane (deacon in the making) and his wife Nicole, initiated the virtual meeting via the Teams application.
The meeting was scheduled for 7:00 pm Monday, December 14, 2020. There were 13 of us online, some with access to video (10), others who don't have a camera participated using audio.
Lise, one of the group leaders, facilitated the meeting. We were happy for the opportunity to exchange news.
Surprise! The priest, Marc Lahaie and Réjeanne, Oblate (initiator of our team 33 years ago) joined us.
Lise invited us to express our prayer intentions. Suzelle read the form of our commitment (promise) which we renewed together. Line continued with a brief description of the 5 attitudes of life which are: Presence of God, Absence of destructive criticism, Absence of unnecessary complaints, Being of service and Being a peacemaker. We renew our commitment to living this spirituality.
Réjeanne delivered a heart-warming tribute addressed to us. "Ah! If everyone lived that.” Stéphane exclaimed. The meeting lasted approximately 45 minutes. Although we were not gathered physically we felt a lot of mutual love and isn't that the main thing?
Nicole N. Volunteer of God, La Tuque team