The Oblates believe that the spirituality of our patron, St. Francis de Sales, has a lot to offer our complicated and aggressive world. During the year we examine the insights of our saint in the following ways:
- Live as a community and serve in the community putting Salesian spirituality into practice.
- Benefit from presentations, conversation and four retreats during the year that draw on the talents of various Oblates in the area.
- Read and discuss key books on Salesian spirituality and Catholic social teaching.
- Benefit from a process of spiritual direction and mentoring.
The Four Pillars
DSW is guided by four main values that serve as the basis of everything we do. They are:
Volunteers have the choice of a variety of service opportunities. An individual’s placement can either be all with one agency or can be made up of a combination of placements. There are service placements to meet each volunteer’s interests and talents. If you are interested in a professional field that you do not see on our website, we will find a placement that suits your skills and talents!
Christianity cannot even be imagined without community. DSW Volunteers are invited to form community with fellow Volunteers, the Oblates, and the with local neighborhood community. Volunteers develop a covenant that will establish goals and minimum expectations for group participation in community activities. Sometimes Christian community is made up of people who just “click” and are all friends; sometimes it can be more of a challenge; it never just happens by itself. Community life involves sharing the DSW house, meals, and prayer, and much more.
DSW is sponsored by the religious order the Oblates of St Francis de Sales. Our charism is shaped by the charicteristics of De Sales– things like the Little Virtues, ordinary greatness, and the value of gentleness in violent neighborhoods. Volunteers are encouraged to take advantage of spiritual direction, and there are four retreats to benefit spiritual life. St. Francis de Sales has a lot to teach us about prayer and living in the presence of God—-and connecting that to service and community.
Simple living is a broad concept that people follow for many reasons. At DSW, voluntary simplicity is shaped around the desire to be in solidarity with those around us, and to focus on how our actions affect others. More than just a call to reduce one’s possessions, it’s the pull to be more conscientious consumers. Social justice starts with how and where we get our possessions. Throughout the year, volunteers discern how to spend their stipends, and determine what they truly value.