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Oblates Return to Revive Philippine Missions

 

On a Mission Newsletter - Winter 2013

 

Notre Dame of Kulaman School located on the island of Mindanao

Notre Dame of Kulaman School located on the island of Mindanao

The Missionary Oblates recently returned to two missions in the Philippines that were on the verge of closing.

The first is Notre Dame of Kulaman School, located on the island of Mindanao. The combined grade school and high school was part of a network of “Notre Dame” schools created by the Oblates shortly after World War II to serve children in the poorest parts of the country. “The uniqueness of the school is the fact that it serves the indigenous peoples of the Daguma Mountain Ranges in Sultan Kudarat Province,” explained Fr. Lauro de Guia, O.M.I. Provincial of the Philippine Province.

Once the school was well established the Oblates turned it over to the Archdiocese of Cotabato and moved on to other ministries. In recent years Notre Dame of Kulaman has struggled financially due to declining enrollment, and was in danger of closing. The local community and diocesan officials turned to the Oblates for help. “The school is poor and serves the most abandoned, thus falling within the priorities of the Oblates,” said Fr. de Guia. “It is for these reasons that we could not refuse the appeal to take over responsibility of the school.” Today Notre Dame of Kulaman is back on its feet – and is once again a source of great pride in the community.

Map of PhilippinesLast May the Oblates also reassumed responsibility for Our Lady of Salvation Parish in Timanan, South Upi. The Oblates administered the parish for about 40 years before turning it over to the Marist Fathers in 2006. Recently the Marists decided to leave the diocese to concentrate on other ministries. Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, O.M.I. then turned to his fellow Oblates to step in and return to Timanan.

The transfer ceremony was a homecoming for Fr. de Guia. As a postulant he was introduced to the missionary spirit of the Oblates while serving at Our Lady of Salvation. “It was here that I got the taste of what it was to be a missionary praying in community, cooking and eating together, being sent to chapel by twos. I experienced hiking for many hours and rode on horseback and motorcycle to reach the far-flung Christian communities in the mountains,” said Fr. de Guia. “What was consoling was the hospitality and generosity of the simple folks who in their poverty openly welcomed us. They shared with us their homes to rest, and they offered us their best food at their tables.”

Today three Oblate priests and a brother are working with the people of Timanan. Once the school and parish become self-sustaining the Oblates will move on. It’s the Oblate way.

Share Your Blessings …

Our friends who remember the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate through a bequest or gift annuity become members of the Oblate Good Samaritan Society. When you create a gift annuity or create a gift through your Will or Trust, you reaffirm your commitment to care for others who are less fortunate. As a member of the Good Samaritan Society, you will be remembered in the daily prayers of Oblates around the world. Please consider joining the Good Samaritan Society through a planned gift.

Please join us in prayer for these benefactors of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
who have been called to their eternal rest with the Lord.
Joseph Assante
Margaret Barry
Rose Marie Bergna
Vilma Beyer
Mildred Bronger
Hilda Cain
Clarence Cechota
Irene Englehart
Mary Enright
Rosemary Hassenauer
Ruth Hayes
Carl Hoelzeman
Mary Hudson
Johanna Jonas
Clarence Kamen
Rose Karwoski
Irene Kinny
Fr. Roy Lombard
Berenice Loring
Frances Lysaght
Fr. David McLeod
Rachel Nosbush
Kathryn Reuther
Edmund Richardson
Clarence Rickert
Grant Rowold
Frank Ruocco
Olive Sade
Rose Marie Schmackers
Ed Smoczyk
Anne Sommers
Marian Spang
Thomas Steckel
Danielle Susel
Violet Tabor
Bernadette Wayrowski
Dorothy Zielinski

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