Fr. Guido Acosta, OMI

The first meeting of representatives of the lay people who share the Oblate charism, took place in Santiago, Chile, from September 27-29, 2019 with their Oblate advisors. They came from all the four sectors that comprise the Cruz del Sur Province: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. They were intense days of sharing experiences, paths, histories, and of visualizing the next part of our “walk together” into the future.

With this direction, we began the first day by sharing the different reports and activities of what the Oblate laity have been doing in each sector. The second day was dedicated to sharing a previous survey that had been conducted with all the members who are associated with the charism – questions and answers, through which we were able to deepen reflection on the different aspects of the life, formation and mission of the lay men and women in each sector.

Then, we also had the opportunity to share what the lay members expect from the Oblates, as well as what the Oblates expect from the laity. It was a very valuable experience, as we agreed on several points of what we expect from each other. We also drew up several concrete proposals about the details of our joint activities, such as: frequency and time of meetings, the names and personal information of the group members, the signs, the times, training, etc. – to find ways to unify the work of Oblate lay men and women in the new province.

Finally, we approved a record of everything that was experienced, shared and worked on, during the three days of this meeting.  This is to be reviewed by the base communities to provide feedback that will permit the true “walk together” that we hope for, as an Oblate family. From all that was sent to the base communities, one of the great dreams and challenges posed for the province, is the creation, soon, of common statutes for the four sectors that comprise the Province.