The Joy of Oblate Youth: An Oblate’s Reflection

Oblate Mission with Youth

By Fr. Felix Bwalya, OMI

More than 50 young people from across the Oblate parishes in the US, Mexico and Canada met in San Antonio for the Oblate Youth Forum.

It was a time of discernment, a time to draw closer to God, of learning, and entertainment. A time to recommit to be witnesses to other young people. A time to regain hope and joy in our challenging world. It was also a time to reaffirm our Oblate identity and commitment of doing ministry with the youth. To create a better plan, network, and vision on how the youth from US, Mexico and Canada can better coordinate activities together.

Oblate ministry with youth is vital. St. Eugene was committed to the youth of his time even in challenging circumstances. With the decline of vocations in the Church, and Churches closing because of the decline of numbers, the young people are our hope. We need to give them our time and a listening ear. They need to feel a sense of ownership and belonging in the Church.  

This past weekend, I witnessed a group of young people who are energetic, passionate, full of life and joy. A group ready to be missionaries of joy to their families, Churches, friends, schools, and workplaces. The young people are agents of transformation, of hope and joy in our challenging world. As Oblates, we need to discern the signs of the times. We need to meet the young people where they are. We must answer the question: how can we be present to the young people experiencing many transitions?