Saturday, February 10, 2024
The word Oblate is a term that many find difficult to understand when they first meet the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Missionaries? Of course, we know what that means... to work in the foreign missions. And this missionary identity of the oblates accompanies them wherever they serve. See for yourself who we are and what we do in the Assumption Province of Missionary Oblates in Canada.
“As priests and Brothers, we have complementary responsibilities in evangelizing. We will spare no effort to awaken or to reawaken the faith in the people to whom we are sent, and we will help them to discover “who Christ is” (Constitution 7).
One of the brothers serving in our province is Brother Grzegorz Loska OMI, who got to know the Congregation through the Catholic magazine "Niedziela" published in Poland, in which there was an invitation to a vocational retreat. By his own admission, he was most attracted to the Oblates by their Marian devotion and the missions, without hiding the fact that he also liked our Oblate cross (and not only he). When asked why he decided to join the Congregation and serve in Canada, he replied:
"I have always felt a vocation to the Order especially as a brother, I never thought about the priesthood. Canada has always fascinated me as a country, the multi-culturality and, above all, nature which is beautiful here."
And what is the ministry of an oblate brother like? In brother Gregory's case, the first years he worked at the Provincial House in Toronto.
"I had a lot of different responsibilities there, among other things, I was responsible for the guests who stayed with us, for supplying the house, taking care of the functionality and good appearance of the property, and I took care of the elderly oblates living at the Provincial House and at Copernicus Lodge. I also worked at Saint Marys Parish in Prince George and Holy Angels Parish in Toronto as a pastoral assistant and doing other needed work. Currently, I am working at St. Hedwig's Parish in Barry's Bay as a "pastoral assistant", I have charge of the sacristy and the church. My duties also include preparing Mass, helping to distribute Holy Communion, exposing the Blessed Sacrament and before covid as a Eucharistic minister I visited our sick and elderly parishioners in their homes."
When asked what gives him the most satisfaction in his ministry, brother Gregory modestly replied: "what gives me the most joy is that I can serve and help others, that I feel needed in this particular place."
Thanking him for sharing his story and ministry, I wish him God's blessings on his continued ministry.
(TJ/DJ/ photos br. Greg)