A Note from the Provincial
This week's reflection is written by
V. Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, OSFS, Provincial.
During the week of June 18, we Oblates of the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province met at De Sales University for the 2018 Convocation/Chapter. On Tuesday of that week I was elected Provincial. I am both honored and humbled and deeply grateful to my Oblate brothers for the confidence they have placed in me. We Oblates trust in both the Providence and Love of God. We believe in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. And each of us is committed to continue to “Live Jesus” and to proclaim his Gospel of mercy, love and inclusion to all those we serve!
On Wednesday of that same week, four Oblates were elected as Provincial Councilors. They are Fathers Michael Murray, Jack Kolodziej, Michael Vannicola, and Matt Hillyard. Father Mike Murray has agreed to serve as the Assistant Provincial. All four of the Councilors are younger and taller than me! They would no doubt add: “and handsomer too!” Each of the four is gifted in many ways and I know that the Province and I will be well-served by each of them. God is good!
As the five of us begin our ministry, I wish to thank Father Jim Greenfield and his council and staff for all they have done over all these years to shepherd this Province with superb leadership. They have helped every Oblate to better serve God’s people in the gentle spirit of St. Francis de Sales. With them, the Province has been in very good hands!
I have always been struck by how St. Francis de Sales described his mystical experience of the Holy Trinity during his episcopal ordination: “God had taken me out of myself in order to take me to himself, and then he gave me back to the people. That is, he converted me from what I was for myself into what I was to be for them.”
No, I did not enjoy any mystical experiences at my election. Still, I hope that the new four councilors and I will see in these words of our Patron the spiritual plan for each of us as we begin to serve our Oblate brothers in this new way. May God take each of us out of ourselves unto himself. That is, may God assist us to let go of our own plans and preferences so as to be transformed into his. Thus transformed, may God give us back to those we are to serve, “converted from what each of us was for ourselves into what we are now to be for them.”
Francis urges us to “Bloom where you are planted!” May I ask each of you who read these words to pray for the members of the Provincial Council and me that we will do just that? Thank you!
-In St. Francis de Sales and Blessed Louis Brisson,
V. Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, OSFS