On 8th December 2017, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, it was announced by our Superior General, Fr Louis Lougen OMI, that the following 12 months would be the Year of Oblate Vocations.
The theme given to this special occasion is 'Come and See!’ (John 1:39): Focusing on the Joy and Generosity of Our Oblate Life. This Year of Oblate Vocations is naturally dedicated to the promotion of vocations to the Oblate Life, in its many varied forms, both religious and lay. This Year of Oblate Vocations coincides with the Year of Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment, announced by Pope Francis and is already underway to the Synod later this year focusing on those three themes. Luckily for us, in Australia, we have a third layer on that cake, with the Australian Bishops announcing 2018 to be the Year of Youth for Australia. As we can see, the Church all over the world sees the importance that young people bring to our community and it is imperative to listen to their voices, for they are not just the Church of the future, they are the Church of today as well.
From these young people, will surely spring our future vocations. Although a vocations to the Oblate life can occur at any age, it is important that in this year we dedicate ourselves to our relationships with the youth, who walk alongside us in our missions and are often integral parts of that mission. All young people need a vocation, a calling, a direction in life. Many of them find it in their work, many will find it in single or married life; and a chosen few will find it in the consecrated life as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate. All together we make up our Oblate family and it is important to foster the vocations of all people in our communities.
This year will provide an opportunity for us, as Oblates, to get out there and be visible witnesses to the joy and generosity of our Oblate vocation. This is a great opportunity to hold special events in your community to promote vocations. There will be resources provided for us to reflect on how we engage with the topic of vocations. And lastly, but by far not the least, this year draws us into a more dedicated spiritual practice of praying for vocations. This is one of the most important things we can do; wherever we are and whoever we are.
Stay posted on this website and on our social media for updates about this exciting occasion and I wish you all the best in your adventures for this Year of Oblate Vocations! Let us all renew our vocation to be Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
- Br Joshua Nash OMI