Father David’s Oblate Journey Has Been One Big Blessing
Father David P. Uribe, O.M.I. says the best day of his life was when he said “yes” to God’s call to become a Missionary Oblate priest. And in recent months he has been saying “yes” a lot more times as the Oblates have added new responsibilities to his ministry.
Earlier this year Fr. David was named the Oblate Director for the Oblate Missionary Society, Inc. (OMSI) the primary fundraising organization for the Oblates. He splits time between Oblate Missions in San Antonio, Texas and the Missionary Association in Belleville, Illinois. In this role Fr. David is responsible for keeping hundreds of thousands of benefactors informed about the work of the Oblates and making sure that their prayer needs are being met.
For most people, being the Oblate Director for OMSI would be a full-time job. But Fr. David isn’t like most people. Last month he accepted responsibility to also become the Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, the Oblates’ spiritual home that provides liturgies and programs to thousands of pilgrims each year to help them deepen their faith.
For Fr. David, joining the Shrine team is a homecoming. He was the Pilgrimage Director of the Shrine for three years after his ordination in 2014.
“It is an exciting time to join the Shrine again as well as working to ensure that our Oblate benefactors, donors and pilgrims share in our ministries,” said Fr. David. “At both places I hope to be an instrument of God’s peace, love, joy and mercy and to show friends of the Oblates how God is present and working in their everyday lives.”
Father David’s path to the priesthood began at age 14 when he entered the Oblates’ St. Anthony’s High School Seminary in San Antonio. After graduation he entered the Oblate pre-novitiate program but after two years felt he had to explore other options in his life.
Father David attended St. Edward’s University and earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Organizational Leadership and Ethics. He worked for nine years at the university.
Despite his career success, Fr. David said he felt an undeniable void in his life. Prayer led him back to the Oblate pre-novitiate program and eventually to his ordination. After the three years at the Shrine, Fr. David ministered at an Oblate parish in Houston before taking on his current assignments.
“The Oblates allow many different forms of ministry and I have benefitted from this diversity,” said Fr. David. “It truly has been one big blessing ever since I decided to answer His call.”
Maintaining one of the country’s largest Marian devotional sites can be a daunting task. Roads, air conditioning, roofing, lighting and other necessities have to be in good working order to allow pilgrims to best experience the power of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.
To ensure that the Shrine is a special place of worship for years to come, the Missionary Oblates created a rainy-day fund. While the fund doesn’t benefit the more glamorous projects like those in our capital campaign, it does fund some of the on-going structural and behind-the-scene projects that keep the doors open and the lights on.
Some of the projects the rainy-day fund could help at the Shrine include:
- Annual cost for maintenance costs to the Shrine Church.
- Ongoing road repairs throughout the Shrine grounds.
- Annual maintenance of the bells that are the centerpiece of the Annunciation Garden.
- Room and board for one year for an Oblate ministering at the Shrine.
The Missionary Oblates ask that you prayerfully consider making a gift in
support of the Shrine rainy-day fund, or remember the Shrine in your estate plans. Your gift advisor is always available to explain your giving options.
Dur ing the last few months, I have often thought of the phrase, “Home is where you hang your hat.” For me, a native of Texas, that hat is a cowboy hat, and it will be hanging in several different places over the next few years.
I am truly honored and humbled to serve as the Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows and oversee our
fundraising programs in Belleville, Illinois and San Antonio, Texas. These two ministries allow me the opportunity to provide both the spiritual and physical gifts that are the hallmark of Oblate work.
At the Shrine, the spiritual needs of our pilgrims are met every day as they come to this special place of healing and hope. At our two fundraising offices, the Missionary Association and Oblate Missions, our generous benefactors like you are truly co-missionaries providing the resources for the Oblates to thrive all over the world.
Today, I ask you to do me a favor. Please remember me in your prayers as I take on these new challenges. And know that I am looking forward to working with you.
No matter where my new Oblate journey takes me, Scripture will remind me to stay focused on a common goal: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) I truly look forward to serving the Lord with you.
In Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Fr. David P. Uribe, O.M.I.
Your bequest of any size can help ensure that the Missionary Oblates will bring healing and hope to a world in need for many generations to come. As you plan or update your Will, consider including the Missionary Oblates as a beneficiary.
• Even if your estate is small, you still need a Will.
• Dying without a Will could pose a hardship for the ones you love most.
• A Will allows you to distribute the assets you have accumulated during your lifetime to the people you choose — including the mission and ministries of the Missionary Oblates.
- A Will minimizes taxes your estate may owe.
- A codicil is an easy and inexpensive way to change portions of your Will.
- A Will should be reviewed annually to make sure it is up to date.
Please feel free to contact us if you have questions or need more information about how you can remember the Missionary Oblates in your Will — your Gift Advisor will be happy to hear from you!
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
Call toll-free: 1-800-233-6264
By e-mail: email@example.com
9480 North De Mazenod Drive,
Belleville, Illinois 62223
Legal Title: Oblate Missionary Society, Inc.
Tax ID: 26-0634043
For the past 59 years, a member of the Weck family has been working for the Missionary Oblates. And that streak isn’t expected to end any time soon.
Jack Weck was hired by the Oblates in 1960 and worked for them for 50 years. His daughter, Diane, has worked for the Oblates for 31 years. And his granddaughter, Maya, began working for the Oblates this summer.
The collaboration between the Weck family and the Oblates began when Jack was hired after graduating from high school. He started his career in the Production Department for the Oblates’ fundraising program. Soon Jack became a photographer for the Oblates, a job that lasted 35 years. He also worked in acquiring premiums as thank-you gifts for donors and moved into the Charitable and Planned Giving Department.
In 1963 Jack married Sandy who became an active member of the Shrine family too, helping out at devotional services and special events while raising six children.
Diane’s career with the Oblates started as a child when she would fill Holy Water bottles, earning a penny for each one. As a high school student, Diane worked evenings for the Oblates in the Data Entry Department. Diane started working full-time for the Oblates after high school, first in the Donor Services Department and for the past 20 years with the Charitable and Planned Giving team. She is currently the Marketing Coordinator for the department.
Now the third generation of the Weck family has joined the Oblate family when Diane’s daughter, Maya, started working for the Oblates. Maya has been working as a Donor Service Representative during the summer, helping to process donations to the Oblates.
In April, Jack and Sandy received the highest honor that a layperson can receive from the Oblates – being named Honorary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (HOMI).
Jack and Sandy are so committed to supporting the Oblates that they are remembering them in their Will. Through their generosity, the Wecks will be helping to train seminarians, bring self-sustainability to the impoverished and create hope for some of God’s most abandoned people for many years to come.
Jack said that when he and Sandy were named Honorary Oblates it was the highlight of a nearly 60-year partnership with the Missionary Oblates. “It’s such a great honor, I felt all my life like I was part of the Oblates — now I guess Sandy and I really are!”
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.
Mary Clare Aucoin
Helen Lee Braun
Joseph F. Callahan
Mary P. Davitt
Bernadine L. Drake
Bill & Mary Epping
William R. Graham
Jean A. Hartman
Harold & Bernice Kassing
Joan E. MacDonald
Mary Jane Mattingly
Joseph M. Sherry
Joseph J. Snyder
Daniel J. Stocker
Antoinette Van De Kreeke
Carmelina “Connie” Walsh
Mary E. Weiland