Oblate Presence at Symposium on Missiology

Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

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By Nnaemeka ALI, OMI

Oblates from the Notre-Dame-du-Cap Province participated in the International Symposium on Missiology.

This international encounter brought together many national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, originating from 15 countries of Central America, South America, and North America. This second symposium, which took place at the end of the month of October, was the last phase of the preparation for the 6th Congress of American Missionaries (Cam6), which will take place in Puerto Rico. 

A New Model of the American Church

The guesthouse of the Manoir d’Youville in Châteauguay, in the province of Quebec, was the site of this symposium.  It was an excellent meeting, with much sharing on the manner of “being church” in the Americas, which are facing great religious changes. The missionary experience of each national church was very enriching. Yet, despite the different ecclesial experiences, it was evident that it is time to re-think the missionary identity of the church in the Americas.

An Impressive Welcome

Our confrere, Fr. Yolland OUELLET, OMI, national director of the Pontifical Mission Society in French Canada, organized this exceptional meeting. With his magnificent co-workers, he took up a great challenge, making this symposium very enriching, magnificently pleasant, and fraternally ecclesial.  All the participants left feeling themselves heard, understood, and valued, thanks to a team of professional translators. 

The Territory at the Heart of Mission with the Indigenous Peoples

I was invited to share on my missionary experience among the Innu.  For the first time, I could discuss my path with other missionaries, who had little knowledge of the Canadian dynamics of the mission with the indigenous peoples.  
This was an occasion to take note of the similarities of the missionary experience in indigenous environments, in Canada, as well as in Amazonia, and Brazil. After having heard the witness of a religious sister, working in Brazil, on the place of indigenous spirituality in Brazil, I had the impression of finding myself in the heart of Nitassinan of my Innu friends.