Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - At the lay level young Australians are the ones who follow the spirituality of the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate, a religious congregation founded by St Eugene de Mazenod. In Australia they are very active as they strive to grow in the faith taking part in prayers, meetings for formation and spirituality and also experiences of volunteer work and mission at home and abroad in developing countries to help people most in need.
Young Oblates are projected towards the event which will characterise Australian youth in 2008: the 23rd World Youth Day to be held in Sydney in July 2008, an event for which they have adopted their own logo and slogan “Witnesses in the World”. In fact their participation in WYD will be preceded by an international Oblate Youth Encounter in Melbourne, an opportunity to share experience with other young Oblates from different countries. The Youth Encounter, according to OMI Superior General Fr. Wilhelm Steckling, “will be an opportunity for prayer, reconciliation, sharing of culture, community experience and deepening the Oblate charisma”.
At present young Australian Oblates are preparing to welcome the WYD day Cross and Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 17 November at St Pius X parish in Adelaide and they show all their enthusiasm at the web site www.oblateyouth.com, a place of encounter and conversation for young Oblates the world over.
Oblate Australian Provincial Fr. Harry Dyer OMI, in a message to Young Oblates, stressed that both events “Melbourne and Sydney, will be founding points for the Church in Australia and a rare opportunity to celebrate the 'catholic' or 'universal' nature of our faith”. Remarking on the young people's involvement the message says: “You young people are giving God your time, your talents so this will truly be a celebration of the faith. I thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment, which reminds us of our task to carry the Good News everywhere in our society”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/9/2007 righe 26 parole 269)