GENERAL ADMINISTRATIONNew superior at the General House
Father General in Council has appointed the Procurator to the Holy See, Fr. Roberto SARTOR, to an additional responsibility, that of Superior of the General Housecommunity. He succeeds Fr. Gilberto PIÑÓN who was elected Second Assistant General at the recent General Chapter.
Appointed Procurator General in 2002, Roberto acts as canonical or legal advisor to the Superior General and his Council and sometimes to the other Major Superiors of the Congregation. His task also includesthe responsibility for the Congregation’s official contacts with the Holy See, in particular with the offices that are concerned with religious priests and missionaries. Likewise, the Procurator is incharge of the relations with the Prefecture of the Papal Household for obtaining tickets for the audiences of the Holy Father and the ceremonies that he presides.
Born at One di Fonte (Treviso) in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1982, Roberto was assigned to formation ministry in the Province of Italy where he was superior of the scholasticate in Vermicino from 1990to 1996. After four years as a member of the Oblate community at Lourdes, he studied Canon Law for two years (2000-2002) at Saint Paul University in Ottawa to get ready for his future work. He alreadyhas a Ph.D. in civil law from the La Sapienza University in Rome.
Father Daniel LEBLANC is the Oblates' representative to the United Nations. As such, his work can positively impact the lives of millions of people. Needless to say, Fr. Daniel works in a frenzied and stressful environment.
Much of his day is spent meeting with people from around the world to examine issues of major importance - eradicating poverty, promoting the rights of indigenous people, combating human trafficking of women and children and reducing the impact of global warming.
“By having contact with country representatives and U.N. personnel, I have the opportunity to bring to their attention the realities and perspectives of people from around the world with whom the Oblates work,” said Fr. Daniel. “Often I can provide information that is truly unique because of our experiences working among the world's poor.”
Issues that the Oblates are involved with that Fr. Daniel has discussed with U.N. personnel include: land-grabbing by the government of Bangladesh against the Garo and Khasi indigenous people, promoting peace and reconciliation during the civil war in Sri Lanka, and efforts along the U.S./Mexico border to promote justice for migrants and immigrants. Father Daniel is also presently at the forefront of efforts to have the U.N. declare 2011-2020 as the Decade for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation For Peace.
Father Daniel works at the United Nations because the Missionary Oblates are recognized there as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). In addition, the Oblates are members of VIVAT International, a consortium of religious congregations at the U.N.
Ordained in Canada in 1978, Fr. Daniel's first assignment was to the missions of Peru. He would spend nearly 30 years there, working among the urban poor of Lima, the capital city, and in the high jungle.
For many years Fr. Daniel was a member, as well as chair, of the Oblate's Latin American Commission of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. He worked on a variety of justice issues: assisting victims of terrorism, investigating mass graves and helping to bring perpetrators to justice.
On June 5, 1992, Fr. Daniel was a victim of a terrorist attack. A car bomb with 600 kilos of dynamite exploded outside a television station located across the street from the Oblates' provincial house. Father Daniel was asleep at the time. He suffered serious injuries that left him unconscious for days. “At one point they had declared me dead but that turned out to be a little premature,” Fr. Daniel now jokes. “There were about 70,000 people killed during Peru's 20-year civil war, but I was not one of them.”