Seminary Residence Campaign

Posted by on February 14, 2017

July 27, 2017

Here is the end-of-the-month progress at the Vance Seminarian Homes. We finally see some good progress on the two buildings in the back, although the three in the front are nearly done. I see that the workers still have a lot going on, but I’m sure it won’t be long before we can hear about the completion date.

July 12, 2017

Happy July! Here are some images showing you the latest progress at the seminarian homes. San Antonio Water System is here this week to work with the water and drainage pipes. The fifth & final structure in the back still hasn’t risen yet, but  expect it to happen very soon.

June 13, 2017

A few pictures of the construction site. The structure for the fifth house in the back has not risen yet, although the first house (in grey) is nearly complete!

June 1, 2017

Happy June!  Here are some shots depicting the latest progress on the seminarian homes.

 

May 17, 2017

Here is the latest round of progress at the construction site.  The three houses right across OST are getting close to completion.  One of the houses in the back finally got its wooden structure, and we’re just waiting on the last one in the far back to being rising soon.

May 2, 2017

Happy May! Here are some of the latest pictures of the construction site.  It won’t be long before the first three buildings in the front are ready!

 

April 20, 2017

Here is your bimonthly update of the construction site.  The first three homes are looking great so far!

April 6, 2017

Happy April!  Here are a few images from the construction site.  The first three buildings are coming along nicely, and in the back we are finally starting to see the foundations being laid for the next two.

March 21, 2017

Happy spring! Here are a few images showing you all the most recent progress at the construction site. The third structure has finally been erected, and hopefully it won’t be long before they cover up the walls.

March 2, 2017

Happy March! Construction seems to be coming along nicely. The windows have finally been installed.

 

February 4, 2017

Here are a couple of images from the construction site. Progress has been slow over the past few days since it’s been raining, hopefully the weather improves soon so the construction can resume.

January 19, 2017

Here is an update on the construction site. One of the workers mentioned they should be receiving the windows & beginning with installing plumbing and AC units soon

January 11, 2017

Work is progressing rapidly on the seminary housing project near Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. The land has been cleared for all five homes and much of the foundations have already been completed. The homes will be used by Oblate seminarians from around the world who will be studying at Oblate School of Theology. Funds are still being raised to furnish the homes. For more information, call 1-800-233-6264.

January 4, 2017

A History of Service: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate were founded in 1816 byDonationForm
St. Eugene De Mazenod.  He invited his followers “to imitate the virtues and examples of our Savior Jesus Christ, above all through the preaching of the Word of God to the poor” and “to live together as brothers.”  He urged them to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the work of the missions, binding themselves by religious vows.  In 1818 he wrote of his dream to have his Oblates “embrace the vast expanse of the whole earth.”

oblate_calvaryThe Oblates have served in the United States for well over 150 years.  One of their earliest missions was in Texas, where the Oblates were commonly referred to as the “Cavalry of Christ” as they rode on horseback through the vast Rio Grande region.  At about the same time the Oblates established a strong ministerial presence along the East Coast and New England.  In the years that followed, the Oblates’ presence in the United States continued to grow steadily.

Today almost 4,000 Missionary Oblates are in nearly 70 countries around the world, serving the poorest of the poor.  The nearly 300 men who currently make up the United States Province of the Missionary Oblates evangelize with enthusiasm and vitality across this country.

One of Pope Francis’ central themes is summed up in his exhortation: “Avanti!” – “Go forth!”  The Pope invites us to go out into the world and “evangelize with enthusiasm and vitality!  Be living examples of joy, love and charity especially among the poor, the sick and others cast aside by our world.  Evangelizing means bearing personal witness to the love of God; it is overcoming our selfishness; it is serving by bending down to wash the feet of our brethren, as Jesus did.”  (Address to the College of Cardinals, March 2013)  Who today will follow Pope Francis’ inspiring invitation to serve God and His people in need?

Oblate School of Theology

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Founded in 1903, The Oblate School of Theology (OST) originally was a residential house of formation and an academic institution exclusively for young men preparing to be Missionary Oblate priests or brothers.  OST has undergone a number of changes since then.  It is no longer a residential institution.  Theological education and preparation for ministry remains its overall goal, yet the school’s focus has expanded dramatically.  Today, OST’s mission mirrors and replicates the Church’s expanded model of ministry.  It boasts a diverse student body, with Oblate and diocesan seminarians, men and women religious, lay men and women, all preparing for service in the Church.  At the same time, Oblate seminarians are imbued with the charism of the founder, St. Eugene De Mazenod, and prepared for ministry in his name and in his spirit.  Our seminarians are well prepared to enter into ministry in today’s world because of the rich environment and solid Catholic theological education they receive at OST.  The personal and religious preparation for a life of ministry for Oblate seminarians, as well as seminarians from dioceses and other religious communities, takes place in their respective houses of formation.

theology_studentsThe Need for Vocations

Because the Catholic Church is, and has always been, a Church “in mission,” the need for vocations is a critical and ongoing priority.  In particular, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate continue to seek out men who understand and are committed to facing the challenges of ministry in the 21st century.  The Oblates want and need more men to join them in ministry – men with intelligence, deeply spiritual men, men who will “leave nothing undared” to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world.

The future of the Missionary Oblates, and ultimately the Catholic Church, is in the hands – and hearts – of our seminarians.  They know the road ahead will not be an easy one.  Becoming an Oblate priest or brother requires years of study, prayer, discernment and community living.  It also requires a love for the poor and a selfless commitment to helping others.  The Oblates take seriously our mission to prepare the men who will be Oblate priests and brothers for life in ministry and community.

A Place to Call Home: The Seminary Residence Project

Ostudents1ur loyal Oblate benefactors are helping us prepare the next generation of Oblate priests and brothers by providing our seminarians an appropriate place where they can learn to live a life of service, faith and community.  It is a mixed blessing that our current seminary residence – Sexton House, located four miles from the OST campus – is too small, and inadequate for the future direction of our formation program.

Living in community has been a value embraced by the Oblates since our founding.  Our Constitutions and Rules state:  “Community life is the life-giving reality fashioned by the vows which binds us in love to the Lord and to His people.  Thus we become a living cell in the Church in which we strive together to bring the grace of our Baptism to its fullness.”  (Part one, chapter two, section one, number 12)

students2Our vision is for five houses of formation to be built directly across the street from the OST campus, on land already owned by the Oblates.  Each house will replicate the small community life the seminarians will experience in their future ministerial settings.  Following our tradition, each seminarian will be required to take responsibility for his own activities of daily living, and to contribute to the wellbeing of their community – working together, and learning to resolve the day-to-day issues that inevitably arise in community life and ministry.  Together they will be formed according to the values and charism of the men of St. Eugene, for whom community life and apostolic ministry were inseparable.

students3The United States Province, well aware of the broader needs of the Catholic Church, has designed the residence in such a way that we can continue to imitate and enhance the international Oblate community.  Seminarians from Oblate communities in diverse countries like Mexico, Canada, Zambia, Australia and India are and will continue to be invited to share the new residence with their U.S. counterparts.  We want to provide future Oblate priests and brothers with an international experience that broadens their understanding of other cultures and enriches the cultural context of their ministry.  This concept is consistent with the Oblate tradition:  “The proclamation of the Word to all people requires a deep rooting of the faith in their respective cultures.  While formation opens the Oblate to an appreciation of all cultures, it will especially help him to be formed in and through the authentic values of the people among whom he lives and works.”  (Constitutions, part two, chapter one, number 47 and 47a.)

A major benefit of the new residence is its close proximity to the OST campus.  The seminarians will have more direct contact with a diverse group of religious priests and brothers, diocesan priests, women religious and lay men and women who are themselves in formation for ministry.  This will help Oblate seminarians experience firsthand the present and future shape of ministry in our Church.

Missionary Oblate Seminary Endowment

In order to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the new Seminary Residence, a portion of the funds we raise will be used to establish a Missionary Oblate Seminary Endowment.

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The endowment will be utilized to pay for the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of the physical plant and grounds at the new residence.  In addition, it will help the U.S. Province welcome international Oblate seminarians by defraying a portion of their expenses.  Because many of these men come from economically challenged parts of the world, it will be important to keep the cost of seminary education and formation within their reach.

Project Overview

Each of the five new residence houses will accommodate four or five seminarians.  Three Oblate formators will live there to assist the seminarians as they prepare for sacred vows.  There will also be rooms for two guests.

Each structure will have common areas designated for a different specific use:  worship space for daily Mass, community prayers, quiet meditation and Eucharistic Adoration; a small research/group study area; dining room space; and spaces for community gatherings.

Summary

Help us prepare missionary priest eager to bring Christ’s presence to a world thirsting for love, for faith and for hope. Help the seminary today – spread our faith tomorrow.

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