The month of May has been a busy one for St. Patrick's Seminary with the end of the school year, graduation, and various ordinations of our graduates into the priesthood. May God bless these young men as they courageously start their joyous lives as priests following in the footsteps of the graduates before them. Another thing that they have shared with their predecessors has been the loving support of the Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Priest during their formation at St. Patrick's Seminary over the past 25 years.
Since 1994, the Oblate Sisters have been a steady presence at the seminary. Founded in 1924 in Mexico City by the missionary priest Venerable Felix de Jesus Rougier, M.Sp.S., the beloved Oblate Sisters have responded to God's call through lives of contemplation and apostolic work, offering support service to faculty, seminarians, and wider St. Patrick’s community. They are a critical part of the mission of the seminary by giving their lives daily as an oblation and assisting in the sanctification of priests. Their motto, "IN OBLATION TO THE LORD", summarizes their imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her Fiat, and union with the priestly mission of Jesus. Countless seminarians, staff, and faculty have been touched by their actions over these many years.
Oblate Sisters of Jesus the Priest - September 1994
Back Row: Srs. Teresa Sandoval, Teresa Silva, Lupita Quintana, Margarita Garcia, Maria del Lourdes Gonzalez, Manuela Rodriguez
Front Row: Srs. Esperanza Sandoval, Isabel Pacheco, Margarita Ramirez, Guadalupe Torres (Superior), Mother Celina Cruz (Mother General), Mother Ines Rojas
On May 8th, the entire St. Patrick's community came together to give thanks to the sisters for their decades of service. About 200 people attended the evening event, which included vespers, social, and dinner. Archbishop Cordileone, JCD, and four current or former rectors of the seminary - Bishop Robert Christian, OP; Bishop Thomas Daly, DD; Father George Schultze, SJ; and Father Gerald Coleman, PSS - were in attendance. Father Coleman is the former rector who invited the sisters on campus in 1994.
The evening started with vespers in the Main Chapel with Archbishop Cordileone as the celebrant. The sisters were presented with beautiful corsages. The St. Patrick's choir chanted beautifully and there was an elevated level of holiness throughout the prayers. Bishop Robert Christian gave a heartfelt speech on the blessings of the Oblate Sisters for the formation of our seminarians and the love and prayers they provide for the entire community. Third Year Seminarian Candelario Jimenez of the Diocese of Oakland recited a wonderful poem ("Gracias") in Spanish as a tribute to the dedicated service and love of the Oblate Sisters. Then, the Student Body President Will Mamangun of the Archdiocese of Agaña presented the gift from the seminarians – a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Bishop Christian also presented to Sister Guillermina Gutierrez López a papal blessing celebrating their 25 years of service as a gift from the seminary to the sisters. Accepting the gift, Sister Guillermina talked of the fondness and ongoing support for the seminary by all the sisters.
At the social there was a lot of hugs and stories about people's experiences with the Oblate Sisters. Father Gerald Coleman presented the sisters with a wonderful gift – a plaque with all the names of the sisters who had support the seminary over the years. He then led the entire community in prayer and grace. Dinner was then served, but this time not by the sisters. Instead, the seminarians served the sisters. Afterwards, all attendees expressed joy in the entire evening with one person exclaiming that it was the best event that he has ever attended at St. Patrick's.
Please view the slideshow below to see all of the highlights of the evening. God bless!