Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 13, 2004
Oblate mission needs help
Brother says they are running on fumes and need money now
By BILL GLEN
WCR Staff Writer
For seven years, the Oblate mission team has been bringing new life to parishes across the Edmonton Archdiocese.
But it's a ministry that will soon die unless it receives a large infusion of cash.
"We are basically running on fumes," Brother Louis Andreas told about 40 people at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council meeting Dec. 4. "The funding has run out."
Andreas described the situation as "urgent," stating the team is down to only two more months of survival. He asked the APC members to take his message back to their parishes and discuss the Adopt a Missionary initiative to save the mission team.
"We have existed on Oblate subsidies for seven years, but due to the current financial situation, special ministries like the mission team can no longer be subsidized," Andreas said. "It is humbling to ask people for funds who wish to support this kind of venture."
The team has been running missions in parishes around the archdiocese. They mobilize parishioners to become part of the core mission team, to prepare meals and to integrate youth mission activities.
Their goal is to lead a parish and its members to reach out to those most in need. Those people who might feel alienated or marginalized often feel invigorated after encountering the mission team. They become confident to participate in celebrations within the parish.
The team requires about $70,000 a year to survive, but its goal is slightly more in order to continue providing books and music CDs associated with its ministry.
Archbishop Thomas Collins gave Andreas his support. "The team does enormous good in the parishes. I think this situation raises a larger issue when we think of various things that are in need. There is the mission team, but also the Oblate youth team as well.
"We also have Camp Encounter and Our Lady of Victory Camp which are under considerable pressure to survive, particularly as we are asking various groups to get out of forms of fundraising that hurt people. The effect is they are losing large chunks of their funding."
Collins hopes as stewardship grows in the archdiocese, people will become more involved and realize the importance of ministries like the Oblate team.
Anyone wishing to support the Oblate parish mission team, can call Brother Louis Andreas at (780) 460-6067.
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