THE NEW SUPERIOR GENERAL SPEAKS TO YOUNG OBLATES
Interviewer: Fr. General, you have spoken a great deal about the importance of the young people in the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. If you were asked to direct words to the young Oblates, as their new Superior General, what would those words be?
Fr. Louis Lougen, O.M.I.: Well, I am honoured that you asked me that. To all the young Oblates in formation: scholastics, novices or pre-novices, I would like to thank you for hearing the Lord’s call! Thank you for saying yes! You are generous men filled with the ideal of bringing Christ’s Gospel to the world. The world needs the Good News and the Church needs you! The Oblates want you to journey with us.
You bring us so many gifts, beginning with the simplest gift of life, vitality. You bring us joy. Maybe you stretch us at times; you question us; you help us to grow and you’re very counter cultural. You have great courage to choose a life that vows chastity, obedience, poverty and perseverance in a society that doesn’t value that at all. You’ve got strength of character and that is so important for us. A group without new men entering will die. The fact that we have new men among us, joining us, is a tremendous sign of hope and a blessing for us.
I pray every day for the men in formation and for the formators, so that you can spark us with your life, renew us, call us to conversion, and call us to live what we are supposed to live. You say to us: “You have all these documents; will you live what you are committed to?” You have to keep saying that to us; don’t be discouraged, the spirit is alive!
Everywhere I’ve gone as a provincial, around the US Province, northern Mexico, Zambia and once, to the Philippines, everywhere I have seen the love of the people, the poor, for the Oblates and the love of the Oblates for the people. It’s so beautiful!
We do have a lot to thank God for and we have to be worthy I think, of receiving you who are coming with ideals. So thank you for your generosity! I pray for you and I say I love you. I don’t know all of you yet, but there is a special affection in my heart for the young men discerning their vocation, for pre-novices, novices and scholastics. I am with you and I want to have a close relationship with you all. I don’t know technology very well. They are telling me that right now there are all kinds of messages going on Facebook. I’ve never done that, but I will see if I can get familiar with that and have contact with all of you. I hope that eventually I will get to know you by going around the Oblate world and visiting you.
In our journey we are following Jesus. I always like to remember Mary. Our Constitutions and Rules say: “Mary accompanies us in the joys and sorrows of our missionary life.” So may you always look at Mary with special tenderness, love her and pray to her to keep your vocation strong and to have it deepen. I pray for you and may Saint Eugene really fill you with fire, the fire of charity for one another as Oblates and the fire of zeal for the salvation, for the evangelization of the most poor. Thank you so much. (Interviewer: Marcin SERWIN, International Scholasticate, Rome)
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