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Donor Highlight: Robert & Ruth Kusenberger

 Abril Villarreal-Medina
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Robert and Ruth Kusenberger have lived lives full of blessings.  And many of those blessings have come courtesy of the Missionary Oblates.  Now the Kusenbergers are sharing their blessings to preserve the impact of the Oblates for many years to come.

“For us this is payback time,” said Robert.  “We have stayed very close to the Oblates for many years and it’s been well, well worth it.”

Both Kusenbergers grew up in an Oblate parish in Del Rio, Texas.  Robert spent several years in Oblate formation before discerning that God was not calling him to the priesthood.  Ruth also explored a calling to religious life as a nurse in the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

The Kusenbergers were married in 1966 and Robert had several successful business endeavors.  Ruth raised the couples’ four children and has been a very active formator in the Secular Franciscan fraternity.

The Catholic faith has remained central to the Kusenberger’s lives.  Robert is a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, where he ministers with several Oblate pastors.  The Kusenbergers, who were named Honorary Oblates in 2011, have instilled the importance of faith in their children and passed on to them their love of the Oblates.

“We have been part of the Oblate family for many years’” said Ruth.  “We always had Oblates in our home to visit, to eat and to have many fruitful discussions.”

Robert has served the Oblates on various boards, raising funds for the congregation, including Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.  He also promotes the Oblates’ gift annuity program as a way of taking advantage of tax benefits while also supporting the ministries of the Oblates.

In January the Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies was established at the Oblate School of Theology.  It is the first endowed teaching chair in the world-wide Oblate Congregation dedicated to spreading knowledge of the history of the Missionary Oblates charism.

“The school’s mission is preaching the Good News to the poor and abandoned; that has always held a high place in our hearts and minds,” said Robert.  “What better way to do that than to help further the education of priests as well as religious and lay ministers so they can continue the mission of Jesus Christ.”

Original story & images provided by Mike Viola at Missionary Associates of Mary Immaculate.