Mike and Jo Creedon, Nanaimo
Being Associates has given us the privilege of journeying and deepening our faith with a group of bishops, priests, brothers, women and men committed to a continual conversion, taking our direction from the charism of the founder St. Eugene de Mazenod and our mother Mary Immaculate. Making an intentional commitment to live this charism of St. Eugene has joyfully enriched our spiritual lives
Karen and David Sax, Vancouver
We were raised, educated and married in Saskatchewan and now are retired “Islanders” in British Columbia. We have four daughters, two of whom live on Vancouver Island with our youngest grandson, one in Prince George and another in Regina with her family. We are Oblate Associates because the charism of Saint Eugene de Mazenod has been guiding us since our young adulthood.
We were invited to journey with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1996 through our involvement with Glenn Zimmer OMI and Margaret Dick SNJM at Qu’Appelle House of Prayer in Saskatchewan. Some nine years later we were invited to meet in Saskatoon with other Oblates, both vowed and Associates, about lay association. Right from the very beginning of our marriage, we have felt called to be welcoming and hospitable followers of Christ, building Christian community, while serving the greater community. We really felt like we were at home when we gathered to share and celebrate with our Oblate community, and realized quite early in our journey with them that the charism of St. Eugene was unknowingly written right in our marriage vows from the very beginning.
Over the next couple of years, regular gatherings with the Oblates provided formation and made us yearn again for an intentional Christian community. We went through a discernment process and became Associate members of the Saskatchewan District in February 2008 and again after the formation of Oblates Associates of OMI Lacombe Canada. David has served a term as lay participant on the Saskatchewan District Leadership team and attended the 2011 Convocation in Vancouver. We’ve made our second 3 year commitment to our Oblate family, this time with the community in British Columbia.
We were living the Oblate charism in Saskatchewan through service in parishes providing marriage preparation, prayer formation, sharing groups, active social justice outreach and building bridges between people and communities. David had a career as a counsellor, psychologist and spiritual director. Karen had a career in the municipal public service. Since our retirement, we have continued to live out our Oblate charism in more quiet ways, but in all ways with a sense of hospitality and gratitude.
We are busy grandparents and busy retired volunteers in the wider Nanaimo community, including All Saints Catholic Parish. Members of our church choir which entertains at seniors’ facilities, we’ve also led prayer experiences and liturgies. Karen is the part time office manager for this new (since 2018) parish, which encompasses St. Joseph’s Church in Chemainus, a former Oblate parish, and St. Mary’s Church in Ladysmith.
Cathie Oberndorf, Vancouver
For the past thirty years, I have been deeply connected with the Oblate Fathers through my involvement at St. Augustine Parish in Vancouver British Columbia.
As a new principal to the Parish School, I came to know of the Oblates through my close involvement with seven Oblate pastors that I had the privilege of working with over my twenty seven years of service to Catholic Education at St. Augustine School.
My story was single-minded in many ways: I believe passionately in the impact that Catholic Schools can have on society and the Church and along with many equally determined parents, parishioners and staff we have worked to establish connections within the Parish, and outside of the community to put ‘flesh’ to our call to justice, compassion, service and hospitality. As the Oblates have touched my life so impact-fully, I was blessed to help to guide and lead our School through involvement in the Kenyan missions as our ‘outreach’ project each year, established deep roots with Sancta Maria House – a recovery home for women, established a long-standing and joyful relationship with our Seniors in the parish through a program we all “Seniors’ Lunches” and encouraged our students always to be generous and joyful in their service.
Having retired from my administration position three years ago, I was asked by Father Ken Forster to commit to embracing the role as Lay Advisor on the Provincial Council, and in that capacity, my respect for, knowledge of and commitment to the Oblates took a deeper form. For the past year, I have been participating as a guest at the Oblate Associates meetings at the Crescent, and in the winter, sought out the Associate leadership to seek membership for myself.
In this time of new beginnings for myself, it is a blessing to be welcomed into the Associates’ community, and continue to live a life worthy of a deepening Oblate connection.
Debbie Doornbos, Edmonton
My journey as an Oblate Associate really began in 1998 when our family moved to Edmonton. Shortly after arriving I was introduced to the Oblates and the Oblate Parish Mission team, who I subsequently worked with for six years. It was the beginning of an amazing journey of parish missions, community, and prayer that brought the charism of St. Eugene de Mazenod alive for me. It was during this period of time that Oblate Associates was emerging as a reality in our area. It has been twenty years now since this new beginning. Over the years I have watched and experienced a wonderful unfolding of Oblate Associates. Being an Oblate Associate has influenced my work in retreat ministry, and spiritual direction as well as my life as a wife, mother and grandmother. It is part of what grounds me spiritually, and it brings me into a wonderful community of people, many of whom have become good friends. As I have shared many times, my heart is at home with the Oblates. For me that says it all.
Dan & Joanne Friedt, Edmonton
We, Dan and Joanne, live in Edmonton, near our three daughters and their families, including eight precious grandchildren. After a lifetime of association with many Oblates in a variety of ministries and parish life across the prairies, we formalized our individual promises as Oblate Associates in 2015. Journeying together to build God’s Kingdom, we seek to live the charism of St. Eugene through prayer and service to the people of God, starting first in our home as we offer hospitality and friendship to those in need. We are especially attracted to the Oblates as they serve the marginalized and strive to live in community. Our vocation as Catholic educators / administrators since 1980 in Medicine Hat and Edmonton allowed many opportunities for each of us to live the gospel, with our unique gifts and talents. We treasure our rich missionary experiences of preparing and accompanying two groups of high school students in 1996 and 1998 to work among the poor in an Oblate parish in Salvador Brazil with James and Ieda Hellman (former Oblate from Saskatchewan). We have been blessed to live and work alongside the Oblates in liturgical music; youth ministry and retreats. Now as we are “rewired” we are thankful to have more time and energy to connect with Oblates and Associates in Lacombe province and throughout the world to pray and serve in joint ministry. We love our Oblate family and look forward to the future with joy and enthusiasm!
Helen Gledhow, St. Albert
Belonging to the OMI Associates fulfills in me a sense of responding to a deeper call within my baptism, to serve the Lord in the ministry of grief counselling to the poor, the incarcerated and the Indigenous Peoples. St. Eugene stressed the importance of being close to the people and to see the dignity and worth in all, especially those on the periphery. For me to journey with the broken hearted is a charism close to his teaching, close to his heart. As an OMI Associate I have a strong sense of belonging to a community of like-minded and like-hearted people whose vision and mission in life is to walk humbly with the Lord. Together in partnership with OMI Priests, we are the body of Christ – all of us are cooperating in the life and mission of the church according to our gifts. Our monthly meeting is a place to call home – where we are known; our prayer life sustains us and deepens our commitment to one another, to St. Eugene’s teachings and to Jesus’ invitation to “follow me.” This gives me joy. For me, this is incarnational.
Bernadette Lemay, St. Albert
Being an associate means, ‘belonging to a family of Faith as Companions on the Journey’. Leading up to St. Eugene de Mazenod’s Canonization on 1995, I attended the meetings held to form Oblate associates. During this time I read the life and letters of St. Eugene; his Conversion, Zeal or the Glory of God, bringing the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel especially to the poor, of which I am one, and his devotion to Mary, touched my heart, nourished my mind and inspired my soul.
By way of meetings, newsletters, encounters and striving to live the Oblate Charism, I find my identity as Oblate Associate in mutual support and spiritual growth. In humble gratitude, I Give Thanks to God for this day-to-day Blessing and strive to respond in prayer and witness to the Worldwide Missionary Ministry of the Oblates at home and across the Boarders.
Laurel Lutes, St. Albert
Becoming an Associate has meant continuing along a faith journey that has provided many enriching friendships and experiences with both Oblates and Associates. In learning and studying about St. Eugene and the Oblate charism to the poor and abandoned, I have discovered and embraced a more intentional focus in my personal relationships, activities and ministries. I haven’t so much had “to do more” but rather I am learning day by day to deepen more prayerfully with an Oblate heart what I already do. This spirit-led awareness has been opening up more gratitude, patience, freedom and joy in my life and ministries.
Sandra Prather, Sherwood Park.
I have been involved with Oblate Associates for many years, having been one of the delegates to the foundational ‘Aix Congress’ in 1996. I work nationally and internationally in leading retreats on the Oblate charism and in promoting Association. St Eugene and the Oblate charism shape the way I live my faith. The connection to the Oblate and the Associates is life-giving; it keeps me grounded and inspired. Since February 2014, I’ve been the Provincial Animator for Oblate Associates for OMI Lacombe Canada, a job I love since it puts me into contact with so many great people.
Cathy Holden Saretsky and Greg Saretsky, Edmonton
Hello, our names are Cathy (Holden) Saretsky and Greg Saretsky and we are members of the Oblate Associates of the Taché community.
I (Cathy), having grown up in St. Albert and attending the Oblate parish on “the hill”, was exposed to the Oblate charism throughout the years,( really without knowing it.). There were many dedicated priests and brothers who exemplified this, one of which was Fr. Duchesneau. I was greatly influenced by his instruction of theology and youth programs. He taught us to put our faith into action and offered opportunities to do this through the P.I.T.C.H. and S.P.I.C.E. choirs and placements to northern First Nation communities during the summers. We worked along side the Oblate missionaries, implementing children’s and teen’s activities both in the community and the church. Because of these experiences, as well as being involved in the parish, I grew deeper into the Oblate charism. Later, I attended Newman College and met many Oblate professors whose influence added to this commitment. I have worked with persons with disabilities for over 40 years and bring this ministry to the group.
My husband, Greg, is originally from Humboldt, Saskatchewan. He grew up with the spirituality of the Benedictine’s of Muenster and even worked at the abbey there in the guest department and library. He moved to Edmonton to study theology at Newman College and this is where he first met the Oblates. Many of the professors were from the Oblate order and their theology and charism really left their mark on him. After graduation, he also began working with persons with disabilities and had a client who worked at the Star of the North retreat house. Greg was very impressed with the sense of welcome and acceptance there, which also reflected the Oblate charism of working with the poorest of the poor.
When we met, we realized that the Oblate community and charism was a connection that we both really prized and wanted it to be a part of our life. Having heard of the Oblate Associate group, we decided to join as a way of having spiritual support on our Faith journey, with other Lay and Consecrated Oblates.
We have found that we have enjoyed learning about the charism of St. Eugene, with persons we trust and respect and who can help us apply the teachings to our every day lives and ministries. We look forward to deepening our relationships and understandings as we continue our journey.
Sister Margaret Dick, SNJM, Qu’Appelle Valley
Sister Margaret was posthumously named as an Honorary Oblate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Margaret formally became an Oblate Associate in 2014 but she has been associated with the Oblate community, its charism and works long before that. She has been a member of her Manitoba-based community since her first vows on August 22, 1957, serving over the years in a variety of ministries, including teaching and administration in several elementary schools, and parish pastoral ministry including with the Oblates in several places.
Gradually Margaret began to do more spiritual direction ministry, as well as enneagram workshops and team retreats. With that wealth of experience in 1987 she came to Queen’s House Retreat and Renewal Centre in Saskatoon, where she worked on the programming team, with a focus on spiritual direction formation. She helped co-found the Qu’Appelle House of Prayer, Fort Qu’Appelle, in 1995, where she has been since that time. She has been a participant in the Saskatchewan District of OMI Lacombe Canada since 2003.
From the nomination letter for Honorary Oblate:
Sr. Margaret first and foremost is a person who seeks to deepen her relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer, meditation, the Word, and liturgy. She has a passion for the people of God and sees dignity in all. Sr. Margaret’s care reaches across boundaries, and her kindness is not confined by religion, race, or gender. As an instrument of Christ in the world, she has empathy for those who are suffering and marginalized. To this day, so similar to the original founding of the Holy Names sisters, she has a special affection for young children. She will always greet a child, whether in Costco, at the Co-Op in Fort Qu’Appelle and elsewhere.
Sr. Margaret has a personality which is joyful and calm, and people are at ease with her. In her ministry at Qu’Appelle House of Prayer, she is known for her hospitality, generosity, and warmth. A recent guest at the house of prayer, one who was the first to come there in 1995, wrote this: “Life is made up of many small joys. For me, last week at QHP, my greatest delight was Margaret. We found ourselves alone at table once; and, both of us giggling, deliberately chose to break the luncheon silence (no other retreatants being there) and have a chat. It was sweet beyond words. I had expected to find her diminished since last Fall; yet, she seems happier and more engaged. Her memory is still in free fall, but her dear essence is so present. And, I had the very real pleasure of enjoying her company. We had a great visit – and not about trivial things.”
Sr. Margaret’s request to be accepted as an Oblate Associate of OMI Lacombe Canada included the lines: “I have long appreciated and have been encouraged by the direction of the Oblates in Canada – their being close to the people, their missionary spirit, their sense of community, and no less than anything else, the ways the Oblates include others from outside the community as full partners in their life and ministry.”
Mark and Darcie Lich and family, Saskatoon
As we strive to live our lives in a manner faithful to our baptismal call, we have found companionship and love among those who have dedicated their own lives to doing the same according to the charism of Eugene de Mazenod. We truly believe that, with God’s help, we can create a society in which justice, peace, love, and forgiveness are commonplace.
Our children, like us, have a special love for the Oblates, having been attracted by their love, warmth, and hospitality. We often find ourselves overwhelmed with gratitude as we watch them visit with their Oblate friends, for they truly have found themselves at home among the members of the community.
We consider ourselves abundantly blessed by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Our hope, as a family, is to instil in others the hope and love inspired in us by the charism of St. Eugene; and we pray that, with God’s grace, we are able to do so in the company of others who are driven by that same charism.
Jim and Adele Longstaff, Saskatoon
Long-time Associates Jim and Adele Longstaff were named as Honorary Oblates during the Saskatchewan District Community Days, June 20-21, 2019.
We applaud the recognition of their Oblate hearts and celebrate their presence among us, Jim and Adele’s in the SK community. Their witness as Oblates has enriched us all.
We are Jim & Adele Longstaff. We live in Saskatoon where we have resided our entire married life. We were married in 1967. We raised two sons- Brent and Sean. Our youngest son, Sean, passed away in 1998. We are now the proud parents/ grandparents of our son, Brent, daughter-in-law Casey and grandparents to Sarah, Elanor and Rose.
We have journeyed as Oblate Associates for the last 10 years. However, we have been associated with the Oblates from across Canada and around the world in many ways over the past 35 years in our work with Worldwide Marriage Encounter. The Oblates were instrumental in working with couples to get the ministry of Worldwide Marriage Encounter started in Saskatchewan and beyond. We were impressed with their willingness to not just work with couples and families, but to be in relationship with them; from writing talks and becoming a presenting priest on weekends, to babysitting children while their parents attended a weekend, to grabbing a tea towel and drying dishes.
We were initially attracted to the Oblates because of their hospitality, their service and their option for the poor. Through our work with and relationship with the Oblates, we have become much more aware of and sensitive to our call to serve the poor with their many faces. We have gained the courage to step out of our “comfort zone” to serve others.
One of the most significant experiences in our journey to get to know St. Eugene, and his charism, was the opportunity to travel with other Oblate Associates to Aix en Provence. While there we stayed in the residence where St. Eugene founded the Oblates. A team of Oblates from around the world hosted us. We had the opportunity to “walk in the footsteps” of St. Eugene, guided by Fr. Bonga. This experience made St. Eugene come alive for us.
As we have learned more about the charism of St. Eugene we come to recognize the importance of living in community and serving the poor and marginalized that is so integral to the Oblate way of life. As Oblates we are called to live that charism in our marriage and beyond. It means that we live out the Oblate charism in our day to day lives- for us this is in serving and loving one another as spouses and being open to responding to the needs of others.
Corrine Pambrun, Saskatoon
I truly believe my Oblate Association began in Baptism with Fr. Valentine Fix. The Charism of Fr. Eugene De Mazenod has played a special role in my life that I wasn’t even aware of. I am a better and stronger person because of my Oblate family and I am lucky to live my faith journey in my everyday work, my Ministry! I love the Oblate Community life and the many beautiful stories and relationships that we share. Each day I realize how blessed and grateful I am to be an Oblate Associate and most of all I am grateful to be a part of our Oblate family.
Christine Taylor, Prince Albert
I have been an Associate of the Oblates for 19 years. I am the Director of Catechetics for a small, missionary Diocese. As I work for and in the Church, I realize how much the Oblates and the charism of St. Eugene de Mazenod have shaped my approach to ministry and my call to spread the good news of the Kingdom of God.
When I come to an Oblate gathering it is like coming home to my mother where I am known and I know those I gather with as we have the same outlook and view of the world and the Church.
Armelle and Louis Molin, Ile-des-Chenes
Notre association avec les Oblats remonte à 1973 lorsque nous avons commencé à participer aux activités de l’Association missionnaire de Marie-Immaculée. En 1987, suite à une session en Personnalité et relations humaines avec le P. Lomer Laplante O.M.I. nous avons eu le désir de nous rendre en Bolivie pour un séjour de trois mois. Puisque Louis était journaliste à Radio-Canada, le P. Laplante lui demandait de faire des entrevues avec les cinq Oblats manitobains sur place à ce moment-là, de prendre des photos et aussi de se renseigner sur la Théologie de la libération. En peu de temps, nous avons été touchés par les boliviens, leur spontanéité, leur tranquille acceptation d’une vie toute simple mais aussi par la triste situation d’un si grand nombre d’enfants orphelins ou abandonnés. Nous retournions en Bolivie en septembre 1988 et y avons passé un total de 10 années sur une période de 15 ans puisque nous voulions aussi être auprès de notre propre famille au Canada.
En Bolivie, nous étions bénévoles dans l’institution ‘Amanecer’ (lever du jour). Armelle s’occupait des vêtements des garçons, les aidait avec leurs tâches scolaires et était responsable de la préparation aux sacrements. Louis était l’homme à tout faire dans les 10 maisons de l’institution. Il travaillait souvent avec les garçons, leur enseignant les trucs du métier mais surtout la valeur du travail bien fait.
En 1989, nous recevions une invitation du P. Alain Pïché, alors provincial au Manitoba, de devenir Associés. Après un temps de préparation avec le P. Louis Jolicœur, nous faisions notre premier engagement en Bolivie le 9 octobre 1989, engagement renouvelé chaque année depuis. En Bolivie, nous étions invités à la retraite annuelle et aux journées de réflexion tenues par les Oblats. Notre association avec eux fut un soutien et souvent, une inspiration. Revenus au Canada, notre groupe d’associés se rencontre régulièrement sous la guidance du Frère Thomas Novak. Ensemble, nous nous penchons sur les documents Lacombe, nous tâchons de suivre les évènements mondiaux et réfléchissons sur la façon de grandir comme chrétiens et comme disciples de Saint Eugène-de-Mazenod.
Our association with the Oblates goes back to 1973 when we started participating in activities sponsored by the MAMI. In 1987, following a session in Human Relations with F. Lomer Laplante O.M.I. we felt an urgent desire to go to Bolivia for a 3-month discovery journey. Since Louis was a journalist at CBC Radio Canada, F. Laplante asked us to interview the five Manitoba Oblates who were in Bolivia at that time, to take photos and also to interview religious and laity on the Theology of Liberation. We very soon were touched by the people of Bolivia, their spontaneity, their quiet acceptance of a simple life but also the painful situation of many abandoned and orphaned children. We returned to Bolivia in September 1988 and spent there a total of 10 years within a period of 15 years as it was also important for us to be present to our own family in Canada.
During our time in Bolivia, we were volunteers in an institution called ‘Amanecer’ (daybreak). Armelle took care of the boy’s clothing, helped them with their school upgrading and was responsible for the preparation of different groups for the sacraments. Louis took care of general upkeep and repairs in the ten different houses of the institution, often working with the boys and teaching them to be proud of a job well done.
In 1989, we received an invitation from F. Alain Piché, then provincial in Manitoba, to become Associates. After a one-month preparation we made our first commitment in Bolivia on October 9, 1989 and have renewed it every year since then. In Bolivia we were invited to the annual retreat and reflexion days held by the Oblates. Our association with them has been life-giving and often inspiring. Back in Canada, our associate group meets regularly with the guidance and input of Brother Thomas Novak. Together we share on documents received from Lacombe, we try to keep in touch with world events and reflect on how we can grow as Christians and followers of Saint Eugene de Mazenod.
Gail Hillier, Ottawa
Most of my life I lived day to day believing this was meant to be. My Catholic faith or any faith was not part of my living. In the early 2000 the desire to find God brought me back to my roots and my church. I had heard about St. Joseph’s Church and felt on my first visit something”special”, very welcoming. Became part of the Parish but still felt an emptiness “something”was missing. At a church function in 2013 I met 2 very special people, Erin Ryan and Eleanor Rabnett. They recognized someone searching, reached out and invited me to an Associate gathering. My life was forever changed, I had found my pathway to God! I was introduced to St. Eugene and his life changing Charism, the connection was felt immediately. Eleanor walked with me sharing her gifts and her love for St. Eugene and his charism. I met people who loved me before they knew me. Always encouraging, supportive and believing in me. This gave me hope and the ability to grow. I learned to love myself as God loves me. Giving me strength to see me and my gifts I had never recognized. Sharing of themselves and their gifts allowed me to see God in a new light, become friends with my Savior Jesus Christ and learned that the Holy Spirit lives in me. So grateful for the Mazenodian Family that God has placed in my pathway. Feel so blessed for all God has given me and excited about all that is yet to be discovered!
Brian and Colleen Kerr, Ottawa
Our call to the Oblate mission as Associates both personally and communally is to listen compassionately to elders and youth (in particular) with an openness and willingness to serve and share our faith journeys. For us this is Eucharist; meeting one another in our diversity and our brokenness letting it shape us into the body of Christ; taking us beyond our own agendas. We look forward to renewing our commitment as Oblate Associates within the Ontario District on February 17, 2015.
Suzanne Massie Manchevsky, Ottawa
“Being an Oblate Associate means being in fellowship with a worldwide apostolic faith family of vowed and lay persons who share the charism of our founder, St Eugene de Mazenod: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor” (Lk 4:18). We are cooperators in the work of Jesus. Each of us are involved in different forms of mission, and we are all strengthened and enriched by our membership in the Oblate community. We all share a desire to live our faith more deeply, to reach out to those most in need, to work for social justice and for responsible stewardship of the earth and we pray together and for each other. What a life-giving blessing!”
Ken Mansfield, Arnprior
Since my arrival five years ago I have been heavily involved with the Oblate community in one way or another. During my time here I have felt drawn to the Oblate charism way of life. Up to my retirement in March of this year I have worked on the leadership team at Galilee Centre which is an Oblate owned retreat facility which reflects on and fleshes out the Oblate mission and ministry.
From my beginning at Galilee Centre, Fr. Jack Lau, OMI was the Centre’s Spiritual Animator and I attended his monthly meetings and Eucharist he held for anyone interested in discerning becoming an Oblate Associate. In this process I learned about the life and charism of St Eugene, and the mission and spirituality of OMI, especially as lived out in OMI Lacombe Canada.
Fr. Jack left Arnprior for Godfrey, Illinois and I continued my journey as an Oblate associate with Fr. Roy Boucher, OMI, meeting at his home every second Wednesday of the month. Also, I had the privilege to attend and share the faith of the Oblates by attending prayer services, annual retreats, community days, feast days and more recently monthly Ottawa BOC sessions.
I feel a special connection with the Oblates and their mission working with the ‘poor and abandoned’ in society and in particular the spiritual poverty that I encounter on a regular basis as a Spiritual Director. I feel called and honoured to continue my life of prayer, meditation and regular Eucharist with the Oblate community.
David and Marie Morgan, Arnprior
We are David and Marie Morgan in Arnprior. We came to know and love the Oblates of Mary Immaculate through our association with Fr. Jack Lau, OMI at the Galilee Retreat Centre. Our spiritual lives have been greatly enriched by the charism of St. Eugene. We enjoy meeting Oblates and Associates wherever we go, visiting the sick and helping those in need locally and when in Mexico. We truly feel blessed to belong to this faith community and walk in solidarity with Jesus Christ and the Mazenodian family.
Eleanor Rabnett, Ottawa
Making my commitment and becoming an Oblate Associate of OMI Lacombe Canada Province has been a very concrete step on my journey. Walking in relationship with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and sharing in the charism of St. Eugene de Mazenod and a deliberate way of living is how I am able to respond to Gods call to me. It is a base from which I try to live in support of the Oblate Mission. It is in sharing with others the Good News that I find life. It is with the community that I come to know myself and how I live in support of the Oblate Mission. This is what gives me life. Bishop Wilhelm Steckling, OMI spoke in 2008 of a need to belong that runs along-side of our need for freedom. In belonging as an Oblate Associate, the need to be a member of something larger than myself is also nurturing the freedom that he mentioned. For me it runs hand in hand.