Oblate Spirituality workshop in Thailand

During a meeting of the Oblates in our Lomsak Pastoral Center a question was raised: why do the people close to us, the people we work with, even our catechists do not know our Founder and our spirituality. The answer was quite easy: “because we don’t speak about these topics enough”. We work hard, we dedicate our life and our energy to the poor and our parishioners recognize and appreciate it, but we don’t speak much about our spirituality, which is the foundation of our mission. At that meeting we identified the problem, we understood the reasons and the solution was obvious: “Tell our friends more about the Oblates of Mary Immaculate”.

August 19 and 20 we organized the first formation meeting for our catechists and the people who work with us. There were almost 30 participants: Hmong, Thai and Laotian and we wanted them to experience the Oblate family life with a series of immersive activities.

The presentation of saint Eugene’s life and the struggle he had to endure in order to find his vocation was a real discovery for our catechists, thr

ough his experience they realized that holiness is not out of reach, Eugene, at the end of the day, was not very different from them and God called him using the same language he uses with us, a language, sometime easy to understand, sometime quite obscure and difficult to be deciphered.

It was encouraging to see our collaborators listen carefully Eugene’s story and the development of the Oblates mission around the world, take notes and sometime complaining because they had no time to copy the slides content. During the workshop different activities there was a great collaboration among them that allowed to fulfil their task easily and with precision.

During the meeting the Oblate’s house was their own home and they took care of the cleaning and the arrangements of the common spaces with pleasure. The small daily tasks, that are often a burden, became an opportunity to get to know each other instead and enjoy each other company. There was a family like atmosphere and the sharing of experiences highlighted the joy of spending time together. “I didn’t know that the congregation of the Oblates was so activeand “it was nice to discover that we are the fruits of Saint Eugene callingkruu Na told me. “I was given this small book about Eugene life and the Oblates in Thailand and I didn’t pay much attention to it, but now I want to read because I have been working with the Oblates and I don’t know them”. These simple statements were a beautiful sign of the fraternal atmosphere of the meeting, it was a gift of Saint Eugene de Mazenod to the Oblates in Thailand and it encourages us to live our mission with more commitment and enthusiasm.  

 

 

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