October 2023 Issue
From the Provincial, Fr. Louis Studer, OMI
As I write this letter, my assignment as Provincial of the Missionary Oblates in the United States is coming to an end. It has truly been an honor to serve in this position. As I look back on my time as Provincial and as a Missionary Oblate, I am reminded of the saying: The Lord works in mysterious ways.
I grew up on a farm in Iowa and there was a sign in the area that read, “Iowa, A Place to Grow.” I didn’t like that sign because I struggled with farm life. When the Oblates visited my grade school to talk about vocations, I jumped at the invitation to leave Iowa and attend Our Lady of the Ozarks Seminary in Carthage, Missouri.
I was 13 years old when I left Iowa to join the Oblates. After a short time of homesickness for my parents, I realized that the Oblates were my place to grow.
I grew in my faith as an Oblate seminarian. After ordination, I grew in my understanding of the needs of young people as a teacher, principal and formation director. And while working at our shrine and retreat ministries, I grew in how to better meet the spiritual needs of people who come to us seeking healing and hope.
While working on our provincial leadership team, I was reminded often that my personal growth, and the growth of the Oblates, is only because of our lay partners like you. Your prayers and generosity have allowed us to grow ministries not only in the United States but in Tijuana, Mexico; Zambia and Turkmenistan.
As I begin my new Oblate chapter, I ask you to continue supporting the Oblates as our new leadership team begins their work. Together, we can grow our Oblate ministries well into the future.
Scripture tells us: “The seeds that fell on good soil represent those who truly hear and understand God’s word, and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as has been planted.” (Matthew 13:23)
I have been blessed to land on some good soil all my life. Sixty years ago, I couldn’t wait to get away from Iowa. Now I realize that the rich soil of our family farm was truly a good place to grow.
Thank you, Iowa. Thank you, Missionary Oblates. And thank you. May we continue to grow because we are blessed to be on good soil.