Oblates Louis Andreas and Alfred Hubenig are joined by lay leaders such as Ed and Natalia Schrader and others who travel around Canada leading parish missions. Like Saint Eugene, the team shares the love of God in unique ways enabling transformation in hearts and souls, while reaffirming vibrant parish community life.
Oblate Youth Ministry
Oblates Dan Dionne, Mark Blom and Mike Dechant are the energetic Youth Ministry team members reaching out to young people in the Edmonton area. The training of youth leaders provides a faith experience encouraging empowerment in embracing a fuller spiritual life and facilitates youth ministering to youth.
Teams of Oblates and laity minister in various areas of the North. The Arctic has changed. Vast distances, isolation, high cost of living, intense cold, language and closeness to the land remain. Growing problems have arisen with alcohol, drugs and violence. It is impressive to observe the sincerity of the missionaries – the depth of their faith and courage – their patience to work in what is sometimes a very difficult situation, offering hope and solidarity. There are currently five Oblates serving as bishops in the North: Doug Crosby – Labrador/Schefferville, Denis Croteau –Yellowknife, Reynald Rouleau – Churchill/Hudson Bay, Sylvain Lavoie – Keewatin/The Pas, and Gerry Wiesner – Prince George. For a reflection on northern ministry by an Oblate bishop, click here.
The Province of OMI Lacombe Canada has several retreat and renewal centres located across Canada that are committed to providing sanctuary spaces of stillness, hospitality and beauty. These sacred places welcome all people seeking healing, solitude, spiritual growth and formation.
398 John Street, North
Oblate Mission Abroad
Bolivia – Cochabamba:
Aimé Aubin is an Oblate, originally from Manitoba, who has spent the past 53 years as a missionary in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Having served mostly in prison ministry, he is also involved with several houses providing care for homeless and needy children ranging from infancy to late adolescence.
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.
Cristina Rodriguez is a close friend of the Oblates. A lawyer by profession, Cristina has dedicated her spare time to setting up three day care centres for poor families unable to pay for child care while their parents work. Regular hunger pains of the children are now replaced with nutritious meals and a safe place to laugh and play with other youngsters.
Bolivia – Santa Cruz:
Working in Bolivia since 1963, Oblate Gérard Leclaire, originally from Manitoba, has primarily served through parish work, preaching retreats and counseling of religious and laity. Father Leclaire is also drawn to helping the homeless and the physically and mentally challenged.
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.
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.
Gérard Le Strat and Jacques Johnson are Oblates from Canada who are working with the people in Guatemala. Human suffering is what preoccupies them most at the present time as the country rebuilds from the devastating consequences of Hurricane Stan that struck the area in October of 2005. The Oblates respond to the needs of the people in countless ways and have been blessed with vocations. Young men are being moved by the lifestyle of these missionaries and are drawn to explore a vocation as a Missionary Oblate.
Oblate Maurice Schroeder and Norbertine Jack MacCarthy are two priests and medical doctors ministering to the body and soul of the poor in the jungles of Peru. The two, along with Peruvian staff members, work 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.
A growing team of Oblates and laity presently numbering ten have come from Canada, Australia, Poland 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 over 2,000 families and assisting in local self-sustaining initiatives such as a bakery and duka (lumber shop). To learn more about the bakery, click here.
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.