Originally founded by a former Oblate, the CCCI (Indigenous Peasant Cultural Centre) provides basic necessities, education and training for families in need. From serving school breakfasts to 250 students, sheltering abandoned children, offering computer training and promoting health and nutrition, the centre offers hope and a chance to improve life situations.
As a volunteer couple, Canadians Louis and Armelle Molin experienced missionary life with the Oblates in Bolivia by helping with the care of orphaned children and offering shelter and rehabilitation to street children, youth and women in need. Moved by the Bolivian reality, the Molins continue to inform friends and family of financial needs that are prevalent - medical services for the ill, homes for the severely handicapped and the education of children.
Cristina Rodriguez, a lawyer by profession, is a close friend of the Oblates. After dedicating her spare time to setting up three day care centres for poor families unable to pay for child care while their parents work, Cristina now focuses on providing basic food, education and medical attention for the very poor.
Saskatchewan Oblate Paulo Ehle has worked in Brazil since 1978. Father Paulo’s most recent efforts have been focused on providing safe, good quality water for human consumption through a traditional solution of utilizing a rain water system. The cistern project has opened avenues for community building and is an instrument for evangelization in the local parishes.
Jim and Ieda Hellman are long-time partners with the Oblates, living and working with the poor in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. They, along with their two grown children, have dedicated their gifts of time, energy and finances to improving the lives of their brothers and sisters around them. The Hellmans can be found physically hauling materials to repair a home which is a mere dilapidated shack, delivering food hampers and clothing, leading a bible study program, transporting a frail elderly woman to a nearby clinic or journeying with lepers and their families.
The Oblates of Guatemala respond to the needs of the people in countless ways and have been blessed with vocations. Many young men are moved by the lifestyle of these missionaries and are drawn to explore a vocation as a Missionary Oblate.
The Oblate Juniorate in India is a minor seminary that invites specially selected students for a one-year "come and see" vocation discernment as Oblate candidates. There are presently 34 young men in the program so funds are required for food, educational materials and formators. These men are the future missionaries of the Oblate charism, willing to be assigned to various ministry works anywhere in the world, including Canada.
A growing team of Oblates and laity presently numbering ten have come from Canada, Australia and the Congo, to serve within the Diocese of Meru. The group has assisted in enhancing the spiritual, emotional and physical life of the Kenyan people. Through their presence and charism, many young men are presently studying and discerning their vocation to religious life as a missionary Oblate. The team has played an integral part in bringing a major water project to life providing water to more than 3,300 families and assisting in local self-sustaining initiatives such as a bakery and duka (lumber shop). To learn more about the bakery, click here.
The St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Centre in Toamasina was inaugurated in 1997. Oblate missionaries provide religious formation for rural families who come to the Centre for a 10-month period, after which they return to their parishes as spiritual leaders to carry on the Catholic faith. Their costs are subsidized by donations from the Propagation of the Faith in Rome, benefactors from Germany, Switzerland and Poland, and the Oblates. Oblates from Poland arrived in Madagascar in 1980. They labour in very difficult climatic and economic conditions, having to walk many miles to reach some of their Christian communities.
Several Oblates work in the formation of 15 scholastics at the Karachi Scholasticate and shares his talents in teaching assignments, spiritual direction and retreats. Joseph Aloysius Roy, OMI, is actively involved in formation at the philosophy level where individuals study prior to entering the scholasticate. Their presence has strengthened the Oblate community and Catholic faith.
Oblate Maurice Schroeder continues to oversee the medical needs while serving as Delegation Superior. Norbertine Jack MacCarthy, a priest and medical doctor, ministers to the body and soul of the poor in the jungles of Peru. Along with Peruvian staff members, he works in a small rural hospital in Santa Clotilde serving the people over a 400 kilometre stretch along the banks of the Napo River. Relying on a greater power than their own, the operating room, river boats and nearby church are filled with prayers and praise to God.
In other areas of Peru, an entire generation has grown up amid the atmosphere of drugs, corruption and a death-dealing guerrilla movement. Canadian and Peruvian Oblates including Blaise Mac Quarrie and Joseph Devlin are there helping families with the most basic necessities of adequate housing, nutritional meals, clothing, education and spiritual growth.
"Anpaham Orphanage" (A Home of Love) was started by the Oblates of the Jaffna Province in 1987. Presently there are 55 children in their care, most of whom are direct victims of war or the 2004 tsunami. These poor children of God are being sheltered, fed, educated, provided with medicines, clothing and love, formed to be living with hope for their future and given some awareness of their human dignity.