The St. Therese Spirituality Centre in Ormiston, Brisbane, hosted the Oblates of Australia for their Ongoing Formation Sessions from March 4th to March 8th.

This gathering proved to be an enriching experience for all involved. The sessions began with an evening of storytelling, led by seniors Oblates Fr. John SHERMAN OMI and Fr. Lewy KEELTY OMI. They shared with those present their life journeys and ministry experiences in Australia. This session not only provided a space for sharing but also strengthened the bond among the 24 Oblates present.

The following day was dedicated to exploring various Oblate ministries, such as Iona College, Rosies, Cannon Hill Parish, and St. Eugene’s College in Burpengary. For many, it was their first visit to these sites, offering valuable firsthand insights into the diversity of Oblate ministries across Queensland.

OMI Australia at the St. Therese Spirituality Centre in Ormiston, Brisbane

The momentum continued with a session on intercultural community and mission guided by Bp. Tim Norton SVD. Drawing from his experience as a Divine Word Missionary and his current role as Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane, he helped us appreciate the cultural richness within the Australian Province and the challenges it poses to individual communities.

The event’s highlight was Fr. Chris Ryan MGL’s thought-provoking presentation on preaching in Australia’s secular context, drawing from his co-authored book, “Preaching On Purpose.” Expanding on previous discussions on secularism, Fr. Chris urged attendees to preach with intentionality, recognizing the presence of seekers within congregations and striving to nurture them as missionary disciples of Christ.

The event concluded with a session of candid and fraternal dialogue facilitated by Fr. Christian FINI, OMI, Provincial of the Australian Province, addressing various matters concerning the Province. This reflective exchange provided a fitting end to an enriching time focused on supporting, encouraging, and promoting ongoing formation among Oblates.

In summary, the Oblates Ongoing Formation Session served as a platform for spiritual growth, professional development, and communal bonding, reaffirming the Oblates present of their commitment to ministry and mission in the Australian context.