521 - April 2012
February 22nd, 2012 - March 24th, 2012

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AFRICA-MADAGASCAR

Provincial Assembly

The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate of the Democratic Republic of Congo have met in a provincial assembly.

For the first time, the assembly was held at two sites. The Oblates from the district of Kinshsasa met at the St. Eugene de Mazenod Scholasticate at Kintambo on Decembere 26-29, 2011; those of the district of Idiofa-Kikwit, at Ifwanzondo, on January 2-8, 2012. Called together by the new provincial superior, Fr. Habell NSOLO, the assembly had as its theme: “Renewing ourselves in the spirit of our oblation.”

For the Oblates, it was an opportunity to re-evaluate their religious life, their missionary activity and their expansion in various missions, notably in the dioceses of Idiofa, Kikwit, Isangi and Lolo, in the archdiocese of Kinshsasa, and in Angola. Together, they considered the ways and means to adapt the formation of their young members to the needs of Congo, Africa and the contemporary world. They also tried to plan their missionary expansion, both within Congo, as well as in Angola and toward new external and far-off horizons. Among the topics mentioned, economic recovery and consolidation of the Unit appear to be some of the priorities the Oblates of Congo included in the agenda of Fr. Habell’s new administration.

If the exchanges and discussions were marked by the specter of the economic crisis that has been hounding us since 2008, the climate of cordiality, as well as the active and constructive participation of everyone, expressed the unity of the Oblates around their new provincial superior, in a willingness to work together to rebuild their province. From this point of view, the assembly itself and its message resonate as an act of growing awareness. By insisting on the spiritual foundation of their consecration, the Oblates have recalled what is essential: “to renew oneself in the spirit and truth of their oblation” is both the condition and the way to overcome the economic challenges of the present times and to ensure a better future. (Didier MUPAYA)



La Réunion: a new mission
August 27, 2011, has become an historic date for the Oblate Delegation of Madagascar. On that date, our Congregation advanced a step by an expansion in the Indian Ocean. We now have a parish on the Island of La Réunion, some 800 km from Madagascar and an overseas department of France.

The Ordinary of La Réunion, Bishop Gilbert Aubry, officially inaugurated the first Oblate community in the Parish of St. John the Baptist.

The relationship and the cooperation between the Oblate Delegation of Madagascar and the diocese of La Réunion had begun some years before. This collaboration began especially with month-long substitutions by Oblate Fathers in several parishes of La Réunion during the summertime. Thanks to the good work of the Oblates and their sincere missionary witness during these periods of substitution, Bishop Gilbert decided to invite the Delegation to take a permanent place in his diocese.

In 2009, Fr. Marek OCHLAK, the Delegation Superior, and Fr. Adam SZUL, the Treasurer, made the first official visit to La Réunion in order to contact Bishop Gilbert. After this visit, the Delegation administration worked hard to get the permission to open this mission. Permission was finally granted, along with a change in the Delegation Statutes and the enlargement of the territory into Madagascar and La Réunion.

St. John the Baptist Parish is located in the eastern part of La Réunion. Canonically established on December 13, 1852, it has a long history and an important place in the hearts of the Christians of La Réunion. Its clock, originally built in 1885, is a symbolic spot for the parish and the people. The building itself has been reconstructed many times.

For now, the parish also includes two affiliated chapels which are visited regularly by the pastor, Fr. Andrzej SERWACZAK and his associate, Fr. Elysée RAHARINIRINA. There are presently some 12,000 members in the parish. (Deacon Marcin SERWIN dans Echo OMI Madagascar, février 2012)



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