GENERAL ADMINISTRATIONOrientation Session for new Major Superiors
21 to December 3, fifteen Major Superiors of Provinces and Delegations participated
in the Orientation Session for Major Superiors at the General House in Rome. This
was an intense period of introduction into Oblate leadership for those who have
recently been appointed as Provincials or Superiors of Delegations. The
participants were: William ANTONE from the United States; Lauro DE GUIA from
the Philippines; Marian GIL from Assumption Province; Wenceslao LAGUIDAO from
Japan-Korea; Francis Vusumuzi MAZIBUKO from Natal; Loudeger MAZILE from Haiti;
Francis NALLAPPAN from India; Raymond NANI from Cameroun; Habell NSOLO from
Congo; Antonius RAJABANA from Indonesia; Mokone Joseph RATHOKOA from Central
Province South Africa; Dilip SARKAR from Bangladesh; Joseph SEPHAMOLA from
Lesotho; Rohan Jude SILVA from Colombo; and Luc TARDIF from Notre-Dame-du Cap.
Coordinated by the Vicar General, Paolo ARCHIATI, and closely assisted by Clement WAIDYASEKARA and Andrzej JASTRZEBSKI, the session presented all the aspects of the Congregation’s life and mission from the vision given to us by the 35th General Chapter in its Call to Conversion.
The content was given by members of the General Administration as well as some outside resources in the area of leadership models in governance. The session began with each Major Superior sharing about himself and the Unit which he has been called to lead. This began an experience of sharing and bonding that deepened as the days passed. Each day sought to bring an awareness of the Chapter Calls to Conversion: Community, Mission, Formation, Leadership and Finances.
While the message of the Chapter was constantly the background theme, the new Provincials and Major Superiors came with some hands-on experience from their time in office. There were many practical questions and specific challenges they wished to address and find solutions for, in dialogue with members of the General Administration. The in-put sessions, the shared wisdom among the leaders present and Congregational documents all contributed to make the orientation program a rich experience. None of this would have been possible without the able assistance of Daniel LEBLANC in the translation booth.
The times for meals
together, a trip to Assisi, the prayer and Eucharist celebrated in common each
day made this a renewal experience. Three intense moments of prayer
characterized the session: one was prepared and animated by the community of
the International Roman Scholasticate on the Oblate devotion and love for our
Mother Mary; one was prepared by two Oblates of the General House community and
animated by the community of the Italian Scholasticate on the theme of the
heart of Saint Eugene and his testament to the Oblates; the last one was
prepared and animated by the graduate students that are here in the General House,
on the theme of the Oblate Cross at the heart of our mission. All those present
appreciated the creativity and intercultural expression that characterized each
prayer service. They were real celebrations and profound moments of communion
with God and with each other.
The final evaluation of these two weeks together was highly positive. The content had both theoretical and practical dimensions and especially the practical aspects were most appreciated. Those present mentioned some ways to improve the content for the next time with very concrete suggestions. Perhaps one of the most frequently mentioned suggestions was to begin with a good tour of the General House so that newcomers can find their way around! The evaluation highlighted the fraternal and international spirit that was built up among everyone. Perhaps the greatest value of the two weeks was in the brotherhood that was established among the Major Superiors present and with the members of the General Administration and the sense that together, we are responsible for the Congregation. The sharing together, the prayer and the Eucharist each day created deep bonds of faith that we are one Congregation of brother Oblates. The Major Superiors shared how they witnessed a spirit of joy, dedication and happiness in the warm welcome by the community of the General House. For the community at 290 via Aurelia, we also witnessed in these Major Superiors who were among us for two weeks a spirit of happiness, readiness to serve the Congregation and generosity. We are really so very blessed to be Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate! (Louis LOUGEN, Superior General)
The feast of the Immaculate was anticipated in order to
allow the greatest possible participation. So it was that on Wednesday,
December 7, a good number of the faithful, the local community, and
representatives of the communities of Marseille, Lumières and Nice gathered in
the Church of the Mission, led by Fr. Paolo ARCHIATI, Vicar General; Fr. Luis
Ignacio ROIS, General Councillor for Europe; and Fr. Yves CHALVET DE RECY,
provincial of France.
In his homily, the provincial spoke of Mary’s closeness, her faithfulness to everyday life, and her presence at the key moments in the life of Jesus. He also recalled the enthusiasm of Fr. de Mazenod upon adopting our current name and in taking part in the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
After communion, there was a little celebration meant
to serve as a symbolic transfer of the community of Aix from the Province of
France to the General Administration. By way of thanksgiving, a slide show
recalled the variety of current ministries in the community. Fr. Archiati then
took the floor to compare the present moment to the passing of the baton in a
relay race. He spoke of how important it is to see this action as a service to
the life of the Congregation, but also of the local Church of which the Oblates
have been a part for so long a time.
During this Mass, we also inaugurated the new lighting system in the church; it lights up beautifully the congregation and emphasizes the harmony of the sanctuary with its large, modern cross, as well as the grace of the pillars and the beauty of the oval dome, one of three oval domes in all of France.
The assembly then gathered in the beautiful cloister around a big bowl of hot soup and some cold meats, with a Yule log cake for dessert. It was an opportunity to chat, to get to know one another and to live brotherly and quality time.
Thus, the Founder’s house continues to be alive, to develop and respond to new situations, with the help of the whole Congregation. St. Eugene was probably very attentive to what was happening in his house that day. May his intercession, united to that of Mary, obtain for us a smooth and completely missionary transition. (Jean-Piere CALOZ)
The General Administration is filled with hope as it begins a process that will see the international community in Aix-en-Provence become one of its priorities for the good of the whole Congregation. It is more than appropriate that we express our sincere gratitude towards the Oblates of the Province of France for their service over these many years and for the collaboration with which the province has participated and continues to participate in this project. Through the Congregation’s web page as well as through the Communiqués of the last plenary sessions, we have kept the Congregation abreast of what was happening in this regard. So we are sure that this step comes as no surprise.
We have begun discernment in order to identify the members of the new international community to whom we will try to give the needed help to prepare them for this new mission. During the transition period, the following will remain in Aix: Fr. Jean-Pierre CALOZ as temporary superior; Bro. Benoît DOSQUET who will oversee the work together with our project manager; as well as Fr. Léon KENNEDY who serves as vicar of the cathedral parish.
To facilitate the restructuring work that will extend throughout the year 2012, all of the activities which normally take place in this house will be either suspended or held in another place for the duration of the work. Only regular service in the Chapel of the Mission, along with related activities (e.g. confessions), will continue during the construction period.
Receiving Oblates and other visitors or pilgrims in the house will also be impossible during this period. By the second half of 2012, we hope to be able to give the date when activities and receiving guests can resume at their normal pace. We thank you for your understanding and ask that you bring this to the attention of the entire Oblate family in your Unit. (Paolo ARCHIATI, Vicar General)
Prior to the 35th General Chapter in 2010, Rule 165a stated that: “Any change in existing Rules which is approved by the Chapter is effective immediately. If the subsequent Chapter maintains the decision, the amendment is then inserted into the printed text of the Rule.” On October 1, 2010, the 35th Chapter maintained the first sentence of this rule but suppressed the second sentence.
The rationale for this change was that it would have taken until after the 36th General Chapter in 2016 to permit a newly printed edition of the Constitutions and Rules. Since there were a number of changes adopted in both the 2004 and 2010 Chapters, a new edition was considered appropriate at this time.
The Central Government will soon take up the project of printing this new edition to replace the one published in the year 2000.
In the meantime, Oblates will find the updated version of the CCRR on the Congregation’s website at www.omiworld.org. It is given there in the reserved section (requiring an OMI ID and a password), under the “Documents” link, in English, French and Spanish