OMI Novices Visit Cahokia Mounds, a State Historic Site South of Godfrey, IL.

Oblate Novitiate

Photos and story Provided by Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, Director, La Vista Ecological Learning Center

High atop the ancient mound are Oblate Novices: (L-R) David Chisha, Democracy Mudenda and Mark Hernández,

As we explored the interpretive center, Novices Democracy Mudenda, David Chisha and Mark Hernández learned about the indigenous people who lived in our bio-region from 700 AD – 1400 AD. As an extension of this ancient city, these native peoples likely inhabited the bluffs at the Novitiate long ago.

As part of our ongoing Earth Literacy Program, Sister Maxine Pohlman arranged for the field trip and made connections to Oblate missionary service with indigenous peoples in many parts of the world. We read a reflection written by Oswald Firth, OMI titled “Indigenous People: A People with a Past, a History and a Culture.”

Because the mound we visited was a ceremonial mound, we created a prayerful ritual to honor people of the past and to pray for and for indigenous people today.

The “surprise” for David and Democracy was that the canoe and buildings in the museum were very similar to ones in their homeland, illustrating the wonderful awareness that we are all one!

Democracy stands in front of a diorama showing what the site may have looked like 1,000 years ago.

Democracy and David are ready to make the trek to the top of the mound.

The ancient site’s proximity to downtown St Louis is evident in this photo with David Chisha estimating the distance.