|September 7, 2015 • VOL. 53, NO. 15 • Oakland, CA|
| Year of Consecrated Life
Oblates have close ties to Oakland diocese parishes
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate were founded in 1816 by St. Eugene de Mazenod, who, with four companions, came together originally to preach missions. Oblates continue to preach missions across the U.S. but they are also active in retreat ministry, schools, parish and other ministries.
"We did bring a number of new features to the school including a music program with Rev. Leo Dummer developing a very good band. We brought in a counseling department and we developed a much appreciated retreat program."
The Oblates relinquished the school in the mid-1970s, when Father Carignan served as provincial. Rev. Paul Waldie was the last Oblate principal at the school.
In 1971 Father Carignan was asked to start an office of clergy education at the chancery office. "Rev. Dan Danielson had been fulfilling the role as director of the clergy education and Rev. Brian Joyce, who was chancellor had been handling the lay education."
The former provincial recalled that he worked closely with the Christian Brothers at St. Mary's College in Moraga "in developing programs to meet post-Vatican II needs."
The Oblates also took a turn at parish administration. The community served at St. Mary, Immaculate Conception Parish in downtown Oakland for 30 years. A number of "energetic Oblates" served as pastors including Revs. Jack Kelly, Paul Nourie and Tony Dummer," Father Carignan said.
St. Mary's also served as a residence for Oblate seminarians who were studying at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley.
Over the years the Oblate provincial house on Lenox Avenue in Oakland, has served as a local headquarters and a center of leadership.
Rev. Charles Burns was the first provincial. The provincial office was later moved to San Fernando.
The Oblates also established a pastoral center in Lafayette in the early 1970s and administered St. Rose of Lima Parish in Crockett. Rev. Ciaran Dillon, OMI, who recently returned to his native Ireland, was the last Oblate pastor.
After a 30-year tenure at St. Mary's Parish the Oblates assumed pastoral care for Sacred Heart Parish in Oakland in 1991.
Rev. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, a leading theologian and president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, is a frequent columnist in The Catholic Voice.
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