511 - May 2011
April 4th, 2011 - May 10th, 2011



Fr. Emmanuel Mosoeu: new General Councillor

When Fr. Evans CHINYEMBA was named Bishop of Mongu in Zambia in February 2011, there was left a vacant seat on the General Council. He had been elected General Councillor for the Africa-Madagascar Region in September of 2010.

On May 2, 2011, Fr. Emmanuel MOSOEU, Provincial of the Central Province of South Africa, was elected General Councillor for the Region of Africa-Madagascar by a collegial vote of Fr. General and his Council, after Consultation of the Provincial and Delegation Superiors of the Region as provided by article 147a of our Constitutions and Rules.

Fr. Mosoeu was born in 1957 in Westminster, South Africa. A graduate of Mariasdal High School Tweespruit, he began his novitiate in Germiston in 1980, and following first profession continued his formation with philosophical studies in Cedara. From 1983-86 he studied theology in Rome as member of the International Scholasticate community. In 1988 he made perpetual vows in Bloemfontein and was ordained priest in 1989 in Botshabelo. After receiving his first obedience for the then Kimberly-Bloemfontein Vice-Province, he was engaged in pastoral work, particularly with youth and was elected Provincial Councillor. During the years 1992 to 1995, he was engaged in philosophical studies in Louvain. Upon his return to South Africa, he continued his pastoral work first in Bloemfontein and then in Botshabelo, serving also as District Superior. In 2002 he was appointed lecturer at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, Cedara. Fr. Mosoeu served as Provincial Councillor from 1996 to 2002 and was a member of the Preparatory Commission for the General Chapter of 2004. He holds a doctorate in theology from the University of the Free State. He was appointed provincial of the Central Province of South Africa in 2005 and again in 2008.

Communications from the plenary session

During the first week of the current Plenary Session, Fr. General with the consent of his Council, made the following appointments: Fr. Mariampillai Paul Nadchethiram to a second term as Provincial of the Province of Jaffna, Fr. Marian Gil to a first term as Provincial of Assumption Province, Fr. Yves Chalvet de Récy to a second term as Provincial of the Province of France, Fr. Loudeger Mazile to a first term as Provincial of the Province of Haiti, and Fr. Terrence Barnard to a second term as Provincial of the Northern Province of South Africa.

With the consent of his Council meeting in Plenary Session, Fr. General has appointed Fr. William Antone as Provincial of the United States Province and Frs. Louis Studer and Gregory Gallagher as his Administrative Councillors. The other members of the Council will be appointed later in the current Plenary Session.

Father General and his Council also examined and approved the audited financial reports of the General Administration for financial year 2010.

Promulgation of the decree of martyrdom
VATICAN: “Today, 2 April 2011, the Holy Father Benedict XVI has received in a private Audience His Eminence, the most Reverend Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation of Causes of Saints. During the Audience, the Sovereign Pontiff authorized the Congregation to promulgate the Decrees concerning… (there are 13 of them and the 7th one says:)

  • The martyrdom of the Servants of God, Francisco Esteban Lacal, a professed Priest, and 21 companions from the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, as well as that of Cándido Castán San José, a layman, killed because of hatred of the Faith, in Spain in 1936.”

This is the official notice. It is the final step prior to the celebration of the Beatification which will take place in the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena in Madrid, during the month of November 2011, anniversary of the martyrdom of the 23 and for the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the “dies natalis” of St. Eugene de Mazenod.

To understand the emotions of all of them, here is the testimony of one of the survivors, Fr. Felipe DIEZ, for many years a missionary in Argentina, and who died recently:

“When we were ‘enjoying’ the moment that we were going to be killed (at gunpoint, arms up, facing the wall, crammed into a small compartment), we wanted to say a prayer but we could not manage it; nevertheless, what did come forth spontaneously were our feelings of love for God, affection for our brothers and forgiveness toward those who were going to kill us, as well as seeking pardon for our sins and weaknesses.” 

For more information, go to the BLOG: http://martiresomimadrid.blogspot.com and/or get in contact with the General Postulator by e-mail: martinez@omigen.org.

New version of our Oblate web site

Beginning on 31 March 2011, a new version of the official web site of the Congregation is on line, still at the same address: www.omiworld.org.

Besides its new look which is decidedly more attractive, there are some innovations. Right now, we would like to point out two of them:

1. A new set-up for the OMI Personnel; this will make frequent updating possible.

2. Access to the reserved area: it will no longer be possible to open it with the old login and password which were the same for all Oblates. Every Oblate who wishes to access this area will be asked to fill out a form in which he will need to give his oblation number, his name and surname, and his e-mail address. Only if his oblation number coincides with his name will he be given access. From now on, one can change his password whenever he wants, but the login will stay the same and will be unique for each Oblate.

There is much material to transfer to the new site and we will need several months to complete this task. For this reason, we have considered it useful to leave open the possibility of consulting the old site by clicking on a banner at the bottom-left of the Home Page.

Obviously, we are hoping for a good reception of this new web page which has been in construction for a year. Our intention is to enrich the site with ever new material, in service of the whole Congregation and the Oblate Family. (Nino BUCCA, Director of Oblate Communications Service and Webmaster)

The cause of Brother Anthony Kowalczyk moves forward
Some months ago, the new Relator General for Causes of Saints told Fr. Joaquin MARTINEZ, our postulator, that according to a note left for him by his predecessor, the Oblates had abandoned the Cause of our humble and pious Brother “Ave Maria,” Anthony KOWALZCYK. After hearing the surprised reaction of the Postulator, who told him that at that precise moment, he was studying a presumed miracle attributed to Brother’s intercession, the Relator went to the records to verify the status of the Cause; he noted that the cause was neither dormant, much less abandoned by the Oblates.

Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II), in September 1969,
was at Saint Albert to pray before the grotto of the Virgin
constructed by Brother Anthony.

The Postulator recently received a call asking him to send as quickly as possible to the Congregation for Saints ten copies of the “Positio” on Brother Anthony. His was the first cause on the waiting list and the theologian consultors would proceed to study it in order to give their verdict on his heroic virtues so as to proclaim him “Venerable.” It is a crucial step in the journey to canonization. Let us ask God for a miracle through the intercession of the Servant of God, so that we achieve soon the beatification of an Oblate who is not a priest. This will help us understand that our religious consecration goes before ordination and not just chronologically. (Joaquín MARTÍNEZ, General Postulator)

“Missions” at the click of a mouse

It was a dream that St. Eugene cherished for a lifetime: to bring together at the center of the Congregation the testimony of the missionary work of the Oblates in order to communicate this to all the members throughout the world, so that everyone could be inspired and encouraged to move forward in spreading the Gospel.

This dream was realized immediately after his death, thanks to his successor, Father Joseph FABRE, who began a quarterly review: “Missions of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.” From its beginning, together with stories from the missions, the review published documentation about the origins of the Institute, the Acts of the General Chapters, and studies on the history and works of the Congregation. There are over 100 volumes that make up a precious and unique patrimony for knowing the life of the Oblates.

Begun in 1862, in 1971 there was a name change: it took the Latin name “Missio.” Publication ceased the following year, in 1972.

Today, thanks to the work of Fr. André DUBOIS at the Deschâtelets Archives, the digitalization of the texts has begun. The first volumes can be found at the click of a mouse on OMIWORLD:

An international community at Aix

On April 11-15, 2011, there was a meeting in Aix-en-Provence to continue the dialogue regarding important decisions that need to be made in the coming months concerning the future of the house and the international community at Aix.

Taking part in the meeting were representatives of the various bodies that have been dialoguing on this subject for some time now: the General Administration (the Vicar General, the General Bursar, and the General Councillor for Europe); the Province of France (the Provincial and the provincial bursar); the International de Mazenod Centre (the director) and the local community (the superior and the house bursar who is also bursar of the Centre).

The participants of the last General Chapter were brought up to date about this project which is in the process of being realized and which essentially impacts the house and the community at Aix. As far as the house is concerned, we spent a morning working with Mr. Eric Ferment, the project manager who is working on a plan to remodel our building, in order to discuss with him several matters relating to the work being considered for restructuring the house. Concerning the total project and the future international community, we worked a whole morning with three other experts (an accountant, a member of the Province of France`s finance committee and the lawyer of the General Administration) to discuss the juridical aspects involved in this project.

As was already communicated during the last General Chapter, the international community of Aix-en-Provence will be the responsibility of the Superior General while the location will remain the property of the Province of France; this facilitates the legal questions and other issues related to the civil authorities.

The “new” community will be made up of five members “coming from different places in the Congregation and having a clear communal and missionary identity.” Its main objective will be “the service of formation and animation about the charism for the entire Congregation and the mazenodian family.” An integral part of this objective will be ministry at the Church of the Mission, as well as other activities that will be better defined in the future, always keeping in mind the preference of Eugene for youth and the most abandoned.

The recent meeting also continued the process of studying the arrangement of the house so that this structure will allow the Oblates who live there to “consecrate themselves entirely to the mission that will be given them and to achieve a level of self-sufficiency so as not to impose an added burden on the Congregation.”

As was emphasized at our last Chapter, this project cannot happen without the solid commitment of all Oblates and all Units of the Congregation. That is why we think it is important that information concerning this project reach all Oblates and that each Oblate feel that he is involved in making it happen. (Fr. Paolo ARCHIATI, Vicar General)

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