Together to meet, communicate and make unity in diversity


From July 31st to August 3rd 2017, in Nicolet, Quebec, Canada, over 30 Oblates of 12 nationalities, in service of authority in the Institute – either for the whole Institute or for one of the 5 regions set up in 2013-2014 – met to know each other better, to share their experience and follow together two days of formation.  A first experience in the Institute! Other people were also present to help in making it possible. It was nice, warm, and comforting at the diocesan house of the grand Seminary of Nicolet, One day, at the end of the afternoon, Bishop André Gazaille, pastor of the local Church, came to greet the group and each one personally.

The first day, all were gathered for the presentation of the grassroots reports from each of the 5 regions.

On the second day, the Regional Councils reflected on attributes and the future of the Institute in workshops. A questions and answers period with the Administrative Council concluded this session.

The 3rd day, Gilles Levesque, psychologist, accredited mediator and certified coach taught by example to communicate with respect, openness and humour throughout the day. He gave a talk on the fundamentals of effective communication in an intercultural setting and at distance. He used case studies to illustrate principles of influence and ways of giving constructive feedback.

The last day, Fr. Gilles Routhier, Dean at the faculty of Theology at the Laval University, Québec, made a brief review of our history as recounted in the book Pilgrimage of an Institute written by Marie-Paule Malenfant. He made a link between the evolution of the international and multi-cultural nature of our Institute and catholicity – an inherent quality of the Church highlighted by Vatican II. He illustrated this concept by giving concrete examples of the need for unity in diversity and the importance of giving and receiving the gifts of each culture for the common good.

During the morning Mass, August 2nd with the residents of the house and a few faithful, five Oblates renewed their vows. On August 3rd, in a moment of intense unity, the “Our Father” was proclaimed in Vietnamese. Between moments of prayer, sessions and meals, the Regional councils whose members are from different countries held meetings; the President held individual and group meetings. Many enjoyed relaxing times under the tall trees or with ice cream! The joy of being together came with some tiredness, and all hit the road anew with good spirits.

Council Europe

Council  Latin-Am/Caraïbes

Council Am. North-East

Council  Asia-Indian Ocean

Council, Am. North-Ouest