As priests and brothers, we have complementary responsibilities in evangelizing.
CC&RR, Constitution 7
As I write this reflection, I am at the summer school of the Anglo Irish Oblate Province. It is an example of the Mazenodian Family in action as a fruit of the charism of St Eugene. In 2006 I was privileged to be present, and to make a presentation on St Eugene, at the Oblate Congress held in Manchester. This is how the Oblate province describes the event and its results:
“In 2006, Fr. Tom Murphy OMI set the Province on a new journey when he called for lay people to be invited to the Congress of the Province. The theme of the Congress was to be “Partners in Mission.” It was the first time we had invited the people we walk with to such an event. The days we spent together helped shape the direction taken by the Province in the years that followed.
Four years later this new direction would lead to the establishment of the Partners in Mission team based at Denis Hurley House in London. The then Provincial, Fr. Willie Fitzpatrick, encouraged the team to find new ways to engage with people during a time of immense change within the life of the Province.”
Since then it has been my joy and privilege to work with and journey with this group – and to be inspired and enriched by their missionary zeal. With Fr. Lorcan O’Reilly at the helm of this team of partners, many exciting ventures of complementary evangelization have been undertaken.
“At present we have a team of nine people involved in the Partners project. This nine is comprised of two Oblates and seven lay people who share both our spirituality and mission. Three of them are devoted to youth ministry, four others work in the area of charism development and the final member of the team takes care of the administration needs of the project.
The values that underpin the work of the Partners in Mission team are: Continuity, Responsiveness and Innovation.
By continuity we mean continuing the best practices of our Oblate heritage and building on our rich traditions.
Responsiveness is for us to be faithful to the example of St Eugene and to reach out to the needs of the present moment.
While innovation invites us to leave nothing “undared for the Gospel.” http://oblates.ie/ministries/partners-in-mission/
“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” Mitch Albom