||Although this is a bit long, I wish to share a portion of a letter that I wrote two months ago to Father General concerning my living in Rome as a acholastic and a priest and the theme of internationality and how I hope that future Oblates can have a similar experience.
"While I was a scholastic in Rome (1950-1957), the staff came from six different countries and my fellow scholastics were from sixteen different countries. In addition we had a truly international life and experience as Oblates through contact with missionaries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Canada, Haiti visiting Rome and speaking to us. The Gregorian University was most international with professors and students from all parts of the world. My experience at the Roman Scholasticate gave me a deep sense and understanding of the universality of the Church and the Congregation. A special gift that I received was a profound love for and loyalty to the Holy Father and the Church’s magisterium. Perhaps my biggest disappointment as provincial (1975-1981) of the Central U.S. Province is that I could not send any scholastics to Rome to profit from the same experience that I had. Another important benefit that I received was—in spite of my lack of facility of learning languages—is the ability to speak French, Italian, and German—although most imperfectly—and to read and celebrate Mass in Spanish.
"While living at the General House from 1981 to 1986 I came to a greater realization of its importance in the life of the Congregation. The hospitably given to Oblates from around the world when visiting Rome and staying at the General House gave them a concrete understanding of the Congregation and its universality. It would be a shame to lose this.
"My international experience continues to the present. The majority of the faithful here at Holy Rosary are from Mexico, and the Metropolitan Tribunal of Chicago, where I work, has personnel from Purerto Rico, Poland, Columbia, and Mexico. I can relate well to them because of my interntional experience.
"As an individual I have been especially blessed as a Oblate by my experience at the Roman Scholasticate and the five years living at the General House. I pray that many more Oblates can profit similarly in the future."