Oblate Novena for Vocations – May 2024

General Administration

Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

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By Sandra Prather HOMI, Provincial Animator for Associates, OMI Lacombe Canada 

The Oblate charismatic family cherishes the custom of gathering in prayer for vocations every May 21st, the feast of St. Eugene de Mazenod, until May 29th, the feast of Blessed Joseph Gerard.

During these holy days, we are encouraged to pray for vocation, to reflect on our personal vocation stories and unique responses to Jesus’ call in our lives. We’re privileged this year to have the Novena prepared by the Lay Associates of Lacombe Province, Canada; inviting us all to deepen our spiritual journey together. The background and significance of this year’s Novena are explained by Sandra Prather HOMI, Provincial Animator for Associates.

“My “YES” was enthusiastic but tinged with trepidation”

Eugene de Mazenod’s exhortation, “Leave nothing undared!” came to my mind when Father Frank KUCZERA invited the Canadian Oblate Associates to prepare the 2024 Oblate Novena for Vocations.  Knowing it was the first time in the Congregation’s history that lay associates were asked to provide the Novena prayers, my “Yes” was enthusiastic but tinged with trepidation.  I was very aware of the honour, the trust, and the responsibility inherent in the request.

A ‘pathway of prayer’ for vocations to the entire Oblate charismatic family

Long-time associates Darcie Lich and Lucie Leduc agreed to help spearhead the project, and we began by reviewing previous novenas and considering both content and format.  Recognizing that the novena was a ‘pathway of prayer’ for vocations to the entire Oblate charismatic family, we knew it needed to be inclusive of all vocations, sensitive to a multicultural, global congregation, and deeply reflective of the Oblate charism.  In format, it should be simple and accessible to all.  Lastly, we knew we had a blessed opportunity to show the diversity of the Oblate charismatic family by choosing a variety of Associate writers from across our unit.

Pilgrims of Hope in Communion

It was natural that we would choose Pilgrims of Hope in Communion as our theme.  The recent 37th chapter document set forth various calls under the three headings, ‘Pilgrims, Hope,’ and ‘Communion, lending themselves naturally to the division of three ‘calls’ within each category and our nine days of prayer.  With an introductory focus statement for each day, the writers could choose a quote from the document, a second Oblate writing, and Scripture to accompany their reflective piece.

A deep love for the Oblate charism and a commitment to the Oblate community   

In choosing the nine writers, we were mindful of selecting male and female associates from across the country alongside a vowed Oblate. Each brought a unique perspective, reflecting a variety of lifestyles, occupations, and ministries. Their reflections demonstrate a deep love for the Oblate charism and a commitment to the Oblate community. In terms of format, we identified simplicity and accessibility as paramount. The resulting booklet, elegantly designed by one of our committee members, was handed over for translation in the Fall of 2023.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Oblate family through the Novena of Prayer 2024”

A statement from Pilgrims of Hope in Communion comes to mind when reflecting on the project.  In reflecting on the role of the lay associates, the capitulars wrote,   
“…The diversity of cultures and experiences of people enhance our congregation.  We stay close to [lay associates] as we celebrate, collaborate, respect, and appreciate them and the gifts they share with us in our mission and ministry…” POHIC IV.18.2 
I think I can speak for the Associates on OMI Lacombe Canada when I say we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Oblate family through the Novena of Prayer 2024.

Click here for a copy of the Oblate Novena for Vocations – May 2024

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