Missionary Oblate Partnership Meets in Washington


Story & photos by Will Shaw


John Whitehurst (glasses) hands out special t-shirts he had made for the gathering.

The Annual Meeting and Oblate Forum of the Missionary Oblate Partnership took place in Washington, DC September 28 – 30. Partners from all over the U.S. gathered with Oblates to engage in dialogue around the panel discussions and presentations on Peace and Justice arranged by the president of the Oblate Partnership, Artie Pingolt.


Friday evening kicked off with a social hour followed by a “A Personal Recollection of Vatican II” by Fr. David N. Powers, OMI. He reflected on the changes in the Church since the Council and related anecdotes of his experiences as a young Oblate given the opportunity to attend sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome in 1962.


L-R Len and Marge Busch receive Gerard Award from Fathers Bill Morell and Bill Antone.On Saturday, the group met in the Executive Boardroom of the Express Scripts Building in downtown DC hosted by Oblate Partner and Express Scripts Vice President, Rob Lively. The Partnership’s Annual Report was presented by Artie Pingolt with additional comments from partnership grant writer, Graciela Etchart, Will Shaw and Oblate Fathers Tom Singer, William Antone, and Barnabas Simatende. Among the projects supported by the partnership this year were: The School of Philosophy, a girls dormitory, and medicines for a clinic in Zambia, equipment, supplies and a mobile clinic for La Morita, Mexico, a chapel in India, education for single mothers in the Congo and equipment for a seminary in Cameroun.


L-R Richard and Linda Scott receive Gerard Award from Fr. Bill MorellAs always the meeting featured panel discussions on issues of importance to the partners: Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI Director of the Office of Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation, moderated a discussion on “Faith Serving Justice in Corporate and Public Life.” The panel of featured partners: Paul Dietrich, Bob Klosterman, Rob Lively, former Colorado Governor, Bill Ritter and Sr. Theresa Sandok, OSM. A second panel, “Faith Serving Justice in Religious and Church Life” featured U.S. Oblate Provincial, Very Rev. Bill Antone, Seamus Finn, OMI and former Oblate General Administration Treasurer, Rufus Whitely, OMI. This panel was moderated by the National Director of Pontifical Missions, Fr. Andrew Small, OMI.


Finally, the Joseph Gerard Award for special service to the missions of the Oblates was bestowed upon long-time partners, Len and Marge Busch, and Richard and Linda Scott. The rest of Saturday was given over to a private tour of the U.S. Capitol, a Celebration of the Eucharist in the Oblate Chapel of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and a cook out at the Oblate Provincial House.

               Fr. Seamus Finn grills up a storm at the Saturday night cook out.L-R Linda Scott, Graciela Etchart, and Diane Conoccholi listen to Fr. Barnabas Simatende, OMI at the Saturday night social


The Missionary Oblate Partnership is a voluntary association of Oblates of Mary Immaculate and men and women working together to support the Oblate charism of serving the world’s poor. The Partnership sponsors meetings and retreats around the country each year in order for partners to “plug in” to the various ministries of the Oblates. For more information about the Missionary Oblate Partnership, visit their website at www.oblatepartnership.org

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