A Space to Find Their True Calling
Brother Steven Montez, O.M.I. is enjoying building an Oblate community from the ground up.
Three years ago Bro. Steven arrived in San Antonio, Texas to study for the priesthood at Oblate School of Theology. He moved into George Sexton House, a residence that had been home to generations of seminarians studying to become Oblate priests and brothers.
Although Bro. Steven very much enjoyed the community life at Sexton House, the building left a lot to be desired. It was old, cramped and not conducive to a life focused on prayer and studies.
In August 2018, Bro. Steven moved into the Oblate Seminary Residence across the street from Oblate School of Theology. Immediately, his seminarian experience was enriched by having a place to call home.
“When I lived at George Sexton House I enjoyed being close to my brothers, but sometimes I just need to have my own space,” said Bro. Steven. “Here at the residence we have that extra space to move around. Just the chapel alone is a much more prayerful atmosphere because we can fit so many more scholastic brothers and Oblates in there.”
Sexton House had just ten small rooms for the seminarians. The Oblate Seminary Residence has 20 rooms for students, allowing more young men to come from foreign countries to study at Oblate School of Theology. The current seminarians at the residence come from the United States, Mexico, Zambia, Canada, Lesotho and Cameroon.
Sexton House had also become a maintenance nightmare. A lack of electrical outlets resulted in extension cords running throughout the building. Windows were thin and had trouble closing, causing air conditioning bills to soar.
At the residence, all safety codes and energy efficiency recommendations are being met. Saving on utilities will have a positive effect for the communities’ finances for decades.
Brother Steven said he is grateful to the many benefactors who made the residence a reality. He said the residence has truly become home, a place where his heart and God can be found.
“I want to let our benefactors know that they are in my prayers, and the prayers of all my brothers who live at these houses,” said Bro. Steven. “Please pray for us as we continue to live, grow and transform within this
community and residence.”
One of the biggest expenses for the Missionary Oblates is the education and formation of our seminarians. For example, the cost to educate and house one seminarian who is studying for the priesthood is $33,000 a year. This covers everything he needs, including his classes at Oblate School of Theology.
Today is the perfect time to support our Oblate seminarians. The Oblates are blessed to have a matching fund program specifically for the education and formation of these men. For every $1 you donate, an additional $3 will be contributed, thereby quadrupling the impact of your gift!
In addition, there are several opportunities for donors to memorialize a loved one when making a gift in support of the Oblate seminarians. Contact your Gift Advisor of the Office of Charitable and Planned Giving for more information.
Our Oblate seminarians are men who have truly dedicated their lives to serve the poor and needy throughout the world. They are the bright future of the Church, and ask for your prays as they continue on their journey to become missionaries to the world.
When I attended the dedication of the Oblate Seminary Residence in San Antonio, Texas I’ll admit I was a little bit jealous. The residence is beautiful, and truly a blessing for our current seminarians. It provides them an ideal place to prepare to become Missionary Oblates.
When I studied for the priesthood in San Antonio, I lived at Sexton House. It was adequate, but less than ideal. The house was miles away from classes at Oblate School of Theology. I always feared plugging in my electronics because the outlets might overload. The windows were single glass pane and we heard everything that happened with our neighbors.
By comparison, today’s seminarians just have to walk across the street. So I am a little jealous of our current seminarians in San Antonio. But I am also overjoyed that they are finding the residence to be the perfect place where they will be trained to become the best possible Missionary Oblates in today’s world.
Today, I ask that you prayerfully consider supporting our education and formation programs. Please know that every day when our seminarians gather in their chapel, they pray on your behalf in gratitude for your generous heart.
In Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Fr. David P. Uribe, O.M.I.
Act now before it’s too late! Your end-of-year donation will allow the Oblates to continue our lifesaving work in more than 60 countries. The gifts you give to the Oblates will live on in the lives of the poor people that we serve.
Here are several ways to give:
- Outright cash gifts are the easiest to give.
You may donate by check, credit card or monthly pledge payment.
- Donate through your IRA.
For taxpayers aged 70½ and older, federal law requires annual distributions from IRAs to be included in the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI) and taxed. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows
taxpayers to directly transfer up to $100,000 to the Missionary Oblates without paying taxes on the distribution.
- Donate stock.
You can use appreciated stocks, bonds and/or mutual fund shares you’ve held over one year to make a gift. You will be able to claim a federal income tax charitable deduction for the full appreciated value of the securities and you will pay no capital gains tax on the transaction.
- Donate back your annuity distributions.
Donate your payments back to the Missionary Oblates.
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Legal Title: Oblate Missionary Society, Inc.
Tax ID: 26-0634043
Brother Jean is in his fourth year of studies at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. For two years he lived at the Oblates’ Sexton House before moving into the Oblate Seminary Residence last year. Here, Bro. Jean writes about how the residence has helped to enrich his life as a seminarian.
“It is sometimes easy to forget that there are virtuous people in the world doing beautiful things for others. Living at the Oblate Seminary Residence, I am the beneficiary of these virtuous people, and I praise the Lord who inspired such generosity.
“Let me share a few words about myself. I spent the first 24 years of my life in Haiti. In 2000, I entered the United States with my parents and siblings. I was fortunate to meet Fr. John Morin, O.M.I. who was the Associate Pastor of St. Angela’s in Mattapan, Massachusetts. Father John was a missionary for 41 years in Haiti and I learned many things about pastoral care from him.
“As a scholastic in San Antonio, I am discovering my true self and taking the time to discern my mission as an Oblate while living in an international community. My favorite part of the house is the community chapel, where through prayer I am able to grow closer to the Lord. I hope that when I complete my formation as a priest, I will understand God better in order to be able to serve in various Oblate ministries while creating a connecting bridge between God and His people.
“One of the great blessings of the seminarian residence is that it is across the street from Oblate School of Theology. With the extra time this gives me each day, my commitment is to offer a rosary for our benefactors and to take some time to praise the Lord for their generosity. You have made such a difference in my life, and through me, your gift will continue to touch many others’ lives to come.”
Be assured of my prayers,
Bro. Jean Emmanuel Meloncourt, O.M.I.
Rest in Eternal Peace…
The Missionary Oblates are grateful to our friends who have remembered us through a bequest or charitable gift annuity. Please join us in prayer for these benefactors who have been called to their eternal rest with the Lord.
Barbara E Goss
James F. Holland
Gary R. Kelly
Catherine C. Koller
James A. Lyons
Nicolas & Carmen Martinez
W. Joseph Mulvaney
Raymond J. Murphy
Matilda A. Petesch
Mary Nell Richter
Marie G. Salvatoriello
F. J. & B. Iola Schaaf
Kathleen Sisterson Gould
Mary C. VeHorn