On May 2, 2018, the five new residence buildings of the Blessed Mario Borzaga Formation Community were dedicated at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. The “Vance Campus” (in honor of generous donor Vivian Vance) is located directly across the street from OST., and the Oblate seminarians will live, study and be formed there beginning in August of 2018.
Each house has a formator’s suite and four bedrooms as well as a large common room to be used as a chapel in one house, library in another, dining room in a third, etc.
The dedication of the new scholasticate buildings began with a Mass of Thanksgiving presided by the U.S. provincial, Fr. Louis STUDER, in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Oblate School of Theology.
After Communion, Fr. Arthur FLORES, Vicar-provincial for Personnel, thanked all those who contributed to the building of the residences. He also gave some background on Blessed Mario Borzaga, whom the scholastics chose as the patron of their new community. Fr. Borzaga was an Italian Oblate and one of six Oblate missionaries who were killed in Laos during that country’s civil war and communist take-over. He and 16 other Martyrs of Laos were beatified in December of 2016. Known as the Martyrs of Laos, they include a Laotian priest, eleven European missionaries (including the six Oblates and five priests from the Paris Foreign Mission Society) and five lay catechists. They were killed between 1954 and 1970.
Following the Eucharist, the assembly was invited to follow a Mexican mariachi band in procession across a busy street fittingly called “Oblate Drive” for the blessing of the new buildings and tours.
On the evening before the dedication, at a dinner attended by many of those whose gifts made the building of the new scholasticate possible, Deacon Victor Manuel PATRICIO (who will be ordained a priest on May 18) spoke in the name of his community: “I am honored to speak on behalf of these scholastics that were sitting among you. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know them. Thank you for your support. So many here have donated their time, their resources and their experience to build these residences. So I have a question for you. What is the gift of all your generosity? You are partially correct if you said that you helped build these five houses. But what REALLY is your gift to the Oblates and to the world? On behalf of all of us scholastics, now and into the future, I need to end the night by saying this: ‘We are your gift! We are your gift to the poor. We are sent to serve. We are your gift to the world thirsting for God’s love and God’s presence.’ Thank you!“ (www.omiusa.org)
Caption for picture of scholastics: