Walking Together: Synodality and Interculturality at the 2024 Joint Session

Washington, DC

Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

Click here to see the Article en Español

By Ken THORSON, OMI

This week, leadership teams from the Canada-US Region and the Central Government are meeting at the Washington Retreat House, close to the US Provincial House in Washington, DC.

Running from July 7-13, the US-Canada Joint Session aims to enhance understanding and strengthen the bonds between the four Oblate units: Assumption Province, Notre Dame du Cap Province, US Province, and OMI Lacombe Canada.

Fostering Understanding and Unity

The main goal is to share the experiences and challenges faced by the Oblates and Associates in these provinces. This dialogue is expected to foster fraternity and assess the progress on mandates from the last General Chapter. This Joint Session embodies a spirit of walking together and listening to one another, regardless of cultural differences. By coming together, participants aim to build stronger unity and collaboration.

Reflecting on Our Mission

The session draws inspiration from the journey to Emmaus, where the disciples walked together, listened, and found a path forward. Similarly, participants will reflect and discern the future direction for the Canada-US Region. The Acts of the 37th General Chapter call for conversion, renewal, ongoing formation, restructuring, and care for creation. Attendees will address these calls and plan the way forward.

Dr. Scott Woodward

Facilitated by Mr. Scott Woodward, recently retired President of Oblate School of Theology (OST) in San Antonio, the session will explore key questions: Where is the Spirit leading us today? How do we fully embrace our current reality? What contributions can we make to the world? This gathering is seen as a time to reflect and then continue the mission with renewed vigor.

Embracing In-Person Collaboration Again

This year’s meeting marks a return to in-person interactions, after the 2021 session was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The return to face-to-face meetings is welcomed for its effectiveness in building community and trust.

Let us continue to pray for the Joint Session!

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