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)