Hearts Immersed in God
Pope Francis recently greeted 30 members of the Oblate Missionary Cooperators of the Immaculate (COMI in Italian) in recognition of the Missionary Oblates’ secular institute’s 70th Anniversary.
COMI has lay participants around the world who are asked to “be like the Oblates.” In collaboration with the Oblates, members provide health care for the poor, teach children, assist with pastoral ministries and provide a variety of other forms of social and spiritual outreach.
In visiting with COMI representatives at the Vatican, Pope Francis noted that being consecrated as member of a secular institute means living the spirit of the Incarnation in the time and place in which God has placed us. He encouraged the COMI members to go into the world with hearts immersed in God.
“It does not mean taking refuge in a middle ground,” said Pope Francis. “But fully sharing, like Jesus, the condition of ordinary people, the daily work routine, homelife, neighborhood relationship and so on, all animated by the light of faith, the warmth of charity, the horizon of hope.”
Three-Part Harmony Farm Expanding
Congratulations to Gail Taylor, owner and operator of Three-Part Harmony Farm, located at the Oblates’ U.S. Province administrative offices in Washington, D.C. Out of 180 local businesses that applied, Three-Part Harmony Farm was among nine to receive a grant from Capital Impact Partners (Nourishing DC Collaborative) in partnership with Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office.
“We’ve come a long way since the backyard gardening days when we use to carry tools on the bus to tend vegetables at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House,” said Gail “Thank you Nourish DC for making a place at the table for a small, independent Black-owned farm to be part of the future of DC’s local food scene.”
Three-Part Harmony Farm was established in 2012, primarily growing vegetables sold to local families. In 2021, Three-Part Harmony Farm sold produce to 100 families through community-supported agriculture sales. The farm also grows and sells vegetable and flower seedlings.
The $50,000 grant will be used to purchase two hoop houses to extend the growing season, a walk-in cooler and additional staff to support increased harvest.
First Squamish Mass
The Missionary Oblates recently celebrated the first Mass in the Squamish language. Squamish is spoken by native people in British Columbia. The special Mass was celebrated at St. Paul’s Indian Catholic Church in Vancouver.
Father Garry Laboucane, O.M.I. who has First Nations heritage, celebrated the Mass wearing a feathered war bonnet, a symbol of leadership, and vestments made of buckskins. Plans are for Mass to be celebrated in the Squamish language on the fourth Sunday of every month.
Oblates Lay Associates Congress
Nearly 30 Oblate co-missionaries from the United States and Canada took part in an Oblate Lay Associates Congress held in San Antonio, Texas in May. This was only the second Lay Congress in the history of the Oblate congregation.
Members of the Mazenodian-Oblate Family and Oblates gathered for a weekend to share prayer, Eucharist and conversations focused on concrete plans for future collaborations between the laity and the Oblates. Participants were also able to hear from other associates from around the world about how they are living the Oblate charism in their daily lives.
“I participated with the group gathered in San Antonio and found the stories, the sharing, both heartfelt and inspiring,” said Fr. Louis Studer, O.M.I. Provincial of the United States Province. “I came away from the event convinced that the members of the Mazenodian-Oblate Family, through their love of the Oblate charism, greatly enrich and strengthen us vowed Oblates.”