Reflecting Faith

# 6. As a Chapter, we invite Oblates to respond to the call of Pope Francis to recognize that we are first and foremost a people advancing on its pilgrim way towards God (Evangelii Gaudium (EG) 111).   #20.3 In communion, we listen intently to the...

In the Acts of the 37th General Chapter, the theme of ‘Our Common Home’ is given focus several times and with various emphases. The Acts refer to the common home of the Oblate community in which we find ourselves, as well as the common home...

As his eyes swept over the filthy mess, amongst which were bodies propped against the building or fully prone on the sidewalk, he angrily spat out, “I don’t know why these damn people don’t go back to where they came from!” The elderly gentleman’s words...

This is one of my favourite times of the year in Ottawa. In part because it means the Rideau Canal will soon be frozen over for early morning or late-night skates, but also because of the lights! From City Hall to the neighbouring Confederation Park...

Over the past few months I have had many experiences of community and much time to reflect on those experiences. Our Constitutions and Rules remind us often that we are called to community: “We come together in apostolic communities” (CC1), “the community of the Apostles...

Often in conversations with new parishioners at our St. Patrick parish in Hamilton, ON, after asking what attracted them to this faith community, they would say, “You guys are just different!” I believe that that “difference” is expressed by our attitude and witness formed by...

As I began to write this article the image in my mind was of the many ZOOM Gatherings held for OMI Lacombe Canada Province in the past two years, where because of COVID-19 we could only gather online. These gatherings were my introduction to the Synodal...

We begin the season of lent with ashes on our foreheads. What is symbolized by this smudging? Perhaps the heart understands better than the head because more people go to church on Ash Wednesday than on any other day of the year, including Christmas. The...

Each day of Advent beginning December 1, and going through December 24, you can hear a new Advent Reflection written by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI. Produced with music and professional voices, these 2 to 4 minute reflections will enhance your Advent experience and help you...

“We must spare no effort to extend the Saviour’s empire…” Preface to the Oblate Constitutions and Rules 1825 Manuscript Fr. M Courvoisier wrote: “Nil linquendum est inausum ut proferatur imperium Christi…”, which states the text of the Preface of our Constitutions and Rules of 1826. As...

Dean’s funeral was on Tuesday. As I sit to write this, my thoughts drift back thirty-seven years ago to my first year of teaching. I first met Dean in 1984; I was brand new both to the community and to teaching. The high school had 25...

It’s my turn to write a blog for this page and I am stuck – at a total loss of words. The discovery of the bodies of 215 First Nations children at the Kamloops Residential School is too fresh, too raw. It has taken over...

Hello, my brother Oblates and Oblate Associates. This past week we had a Spring Congress Day in the Saskatoon Diocese. It was presented by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. The third presentation called us to the necessity of putting 100% of our efforts toward Evangelization...

Those are the four words that describe Constitution 33 in the OMI Rule of Life. “It is as missionaries that we worship, in the various ways the Spirit suggests to us.  We come before him bearing with us the daily pressures of our anxiety for...

At The Star of the North Retreat House in St. Albert, Alberta, the halls and rooms are quiet save a very few people who have decided to ‘come away awhile’ for their Lenten Retreats online.  During the week, three or more of us gather for...

During my novitiate year, we did several Rochais Sessions which are designed to help us understand ourselves and how we function in relationships. The first session was entitled “Who am I?” I have been pondering that question of late as we deal with the restrictions...

Pope Francis has just written his third encyclical of his papacy, called “Fratelli Tutti”, brothers and sisters all. Once again St. Francis of Assisi inspired him to write this teaching as he did for the great work “Laudato Si”. Pope Francis writes: “Let us dream,...

“I can’t make any plans!’ A close friend is bemoaning her current reality and I resonate completely. It’s a refrain I am hearing over and over. In ZOOM conversations, back yard visits, and socially distanced gatherings, the word “Uncertainty,” keeps cropping up. With Covid, the...

“C’mon, Richard. The light’s green. Let’s go. I don’t know what you’re daydreaming about.” Sitting in the car at the intersection of Laurier and Nelson, on our way to the office, the thought is unspoken, but the words are forming in my mind. Tick, tick, tick, tick...

A poem by Fr. Ali Nnaemeka, OMI, following the recent killing of George Floyd by police, in Minneapolis MN.  Fr. Ali is a member of Notre-Dame-du-Cap Province, and currently ministers in Sept-Îles, Québec. I cannot breathe Pls, I can’t breathe Do not kill me, man Please, don’t kill me I’m...

Religion is a two-sided coin. On the one hand, it comforts us with the security of God’s love and protection. On the other hand, it makes demands of us that are frightening in their consequences. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, represents a combination of the two...

“Who lived here? Was it a family with kids? What was their life like in this place? What were their names? Whatever happened to them?” Standing, pensively, alongside my bike, questions eddied about as I looked over the abandoned farmhouse and yard. Leaving our house on...

Reflections on the Theology of Proclamation The scriptures remain dormant until brought to life in the liturgy: unless and until the words of scripture are proclaimed, the Word remains silent. Anyone who has proclaimed the scriptures, as well as everyone in the assembly who listens to the...

At a recent meeting we were invited to reflect on two questions: What is your faith experience of being called to leadership? What are the three challenges facing your Province at this time? Challenging questions, but ones that led to some fruitful reflection. My first response...

It is magnificent how the Master Artist mixes and combines colors and brush strokes to create a masterpiece of life; and how the creator of a beautiful symphony first composes the melody and then brings it all together writing the notes for individual instruments which...

On this Easter day we gather to proclaim that from the tomb of violence, crucifixion and death Christ sheds His grave cloths Like a butterfly sheds a cocoon He emerges, our winged hope, an elegant embodiment of a new vision for humanity. In this time of Easter help us to recognize the...

I recently got a call from one of the religion teachers at Immaculata High School whose grade 7/8 religion classes have been coming up with questions, and wanted to know if I was willing to provide some answers. The 20 questions were sent in advance....

Fr. Frank Santucci, OMI, describes who comprises the Mazenodian Family and what it's all about.  Fr. Santucci holds the Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. Fr. Frank Santucci has traveled around the U.S. Province to present the importance...

As professed Oblates, few would question that the vows that we live are an integral part of our religious commitment.  As a priest and a psychologist, I have wondered about the purpose and experience of the Vows in my religious commitment.  I would like to...

In Mark’s gospel we read the following, “While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear,...

Kevin is a Canadian.  At six weeks of age, he captures the attention and the hearts of those around him, especially his parents and his “auntie” – me.  Kevin’s parents are from Homs, Syria, and he is separated by half a world and terrible war...

The past few weeks there have been several visiting Canon Lawyers taking summer sessions at Université Saint Paul (Ottawa) who have crossed the street to pray and celebrate with us at Canadian Martyrs, and I’ve heard a number of very positive comments—especially about the multitude...

It’s an unprepossessing entrance, across a parking lot and under a bridge, but inside, the De Mazenod Centre in London’s Tower Hill area is warm and welcoming. On a recent Saturday in May, I was privileged to meet there with 16 Friends of Saint Eugene....

The bus arrived at 5pm with our special guests. Twenty-eight women picked up in the inner city and area and brought to our doors at the Star, transported by the limousine of buses, donated by our neighbor, Connelly-McKinley funeral homes. Every year for the past...

As the adage goes “Old is Gold”. Indeed, reside with old wise men and you will get all that pertains to life; structurally, emotionally, spiritually, historically and economically these people are gurus, well informed in their own spheres of life. This Easter season I got...

In October of last year, I had the opportunity to do some work with the Kenora Catholic School District in Kenora, ON. Shortly after returning home the pastor of one of the parishes, Notre Dame du Portage parish in Kenora, contacted me and asked if...

Recently, our 15-year-old granddaughter acted in her first musical as a high school student.  She was part of the chorus and dance troupe, not a lead actor but in a “supporting role”, as they say.  The whole family turned out to watch her performance, eleven...

Recently I had the privilege to celebrate the anniversaries of the Jubilarians of Taché District. Nine Oblates were honored by the community during the celebration of the Eucharist and a wine and cheese reception. These men served their Oblate community in internal ministries as Superiors,...

Click on any date below to hear the reflection for that day February 14, 2018   February 15, 2018   February 16, 2018    February 17, 2018   February 18, 2018   February 19, 2018     February 20, 2018   February 21, 2018  February 22, 2018  February 23, 2017   February 24, 2018  February 25, 2018 ...

Cosmas Kithinji, a Kenya Scholastic, studying in San Antonio, Texas, has a Canadian Christmas Experience I had an inspiring, insightful and amazing Canadian winter experience this last Christmas in British Columbia. Between the 9th of December and 8th of January I had a providential opportunity to...

My family was not terribly pious when I was growing up.  Oh, Sunday Mass was a must, and confession now and then. We prayed grace before dinner and prayed at bedtime.   But we never said the family rosary, or gathered for Advent wreath prayers.  Occasionally...

As a person of faith, as a leader, pastor, friend, or family member, do you ever have second thoughts about the answers you give to people when they ask questions? The more I pray the more uncomfortable I become with the answers I have given...

As many of you know my co-author and I published a book, Forgiveness: Breaking Free and Moving On.  We had a very successful book launch several weeks ago.  Afterwards one of my colleagues came up and asked me what I would say to someone who...

It is a few months in from the annual August parish reassignments. Across most dioceses, parishioners have said goodbye to long-serving priests and helped clean out rectories in preparation for new pastors. Priests have packed their belongings and made the trek to new venues. Now,...

More recently, Marian devotion and devotional prayer in general have fallen on hard times, intellectually and theologically. More and more, Marian devotion is written off as non-essential to the faith or worse as a harmful distraction to it. Christ, the Word, and the Eucharist, it...

12 Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13 rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and...

I have just finished a counselling session with a couple. I decided to take this opportunity to share a bit more about the ministry I am involved in. As well as teaching at St. Mary’s University in Calgary, I have a small practice where I see...