537 - October 2013
August 26th, 2013 - October 1st, 2013



A new superior at 290 via Aurelia

Father General has appointed Fr. Thomas KLOSTERKAMP as the new superior of the General House; he succeeds Fr. Roberto SARTOR, who is also General Procurator to the Holy See.

The new superior has the distinction of having served as provincial of two different provinces. In 2003, he became superior of the German Province. In 2007, at the inauguration of the new Central European Province, he was appointed its first provincial; he served in that capacity until 2013. The new province was a merger of the Oblate communities in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.

Born in Monheim, Germany, in 1965, Thomas professed his first vows as an Oblate in 1988. After philosophy and theology studies in Mainz and Rome respectively, he was ordained a priest in 1994 at Hünfeld. After ordination, he worked in secondary education and obtained a Doctorate in Church History from the Erfurt Institut of Higher Studies.

Installation of the new superior of the IEMC

Father Paolo ARCHIATI, Vicar General of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, presided at the 30 June 2013 installation of Father Krzysztof ZIELENDA, new superior of the Oblate community at IEMC. At the same time, he gave Father Henricus ASODO a letter of obedience for the same community. On this date, the renewed community in Aix officially began…

Father Krzysztof Zielenda, the new superior of the IEMC community, is of Polish nationality. Up till now, he belonged to the Cameroon province where he was, for several years, the superior of the scholasticate and rector of the Philosophy Institute of Saint Joseph-Mukasa at Yaoundé. Father Assodo Istoy, of Indonesian nationality, was superior of the OMI scholasticate in Indonesia. The two new members of the community were welcomed by Fathers Jo BOIS from France; Joe LABELLE from the USA; and Brother Benoît DOSQUET who is Belgian. (www.centremazenod.org)

Soaking up the charism of de Mazenod

200 years after Saint Eugene and his association, the Carmelite cloister of Aix-en-Provence still resounds with joyful sounds of young people soaking up the charism of de Mazenod.

34 young adults from Italy, Spain, Poland, Ireland, Wales and France gathered on August 12-18 around the theme: “Passionate for Christ – Eugene, in his family and his youthful experiences and our own experiences today.” In a virtual tour of Europe, they presented on the walls of the cloister their groups’ missionary commitment with the sick, with the poor in the world and with young people distanced from the Church in their area.

The menu of the week: in the morning, formation on the topic by Father Fabio BASTONI from Rome; organized pilgrimages to Aix, Meyreuil (a 16 km round trip) and Marseille with Father Joe LABELLE, who arrived in Aix from the USA this year; times for prayer, the Eucharist and liturgies around unity, the cross and baptism; on the Assumption of Mary and missionary commitment by Sister Inma PEREZ CASTILLO, an Oblata from Cadiz and Ileana CHINNICI, from Palermo and the COMI secular institute; meals and service thanks to Brother Benoît DOSQUET of the local community; time for personal meditation and discussion in small language groups. All this was under the watchful eye of Oblate Fathers Peter Clucas from Dublin and Vincent GRUBER from Strasbourg, the organizers of this meeting on behalf of the European Commission for Youth Ministry and Vocations.

With the good will of each and every one, the group established fraternal and international momentum toward a European network of young missionaries, buoyed by the charism of St. Eugene. Many of them were touched by the memories of this original Aix foundation and the mission embodied in this spot (the Chapel of the Mission, the welcome, the confessions). The next meeting: the 2016 Jubilee of the 200 years of the OMI Congregation and WYD in Krakow, Poland. (Vincent Gruber dans www.centremazenod.org)

Session for Oblate scholastics

A formation session for a group of Oblate scholastics preparing for perpetual vows took place at the IEMC on 09 to 27 July. They came from four Oblate formation houses to create, during the session, an international community of 10 nationalities, a tangible sign of the growing internationality of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Coming from the International Scholasticate in Rome; the scholasticate at Obra, Poland; the scholasticate at Vermicino, Italy; and the one in San Antonio in the United States, they formed a community where 10 nationalities were represented: Canada, the United States, Mexico, Italy, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and Zambia.

The session allowed participants to review the theology of the vows and to realize more deeply the scope of the oblation for which they are preparing. The presence in the motherhouse of the Congregation, as well as visits to places significant to its history, such as the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde in Marseille, enabled the young men to discover the origins of their religious family, until now studied through courses in Oblate history.

Their meeting with Father Cornelius NGOKA, first assistant of Father General, in charge of the Congregation’s formation portfolio, was an important part of the session. Others making presentations during the session were Fathers Frank SANTUCCI, Bernard DULLIER and Joe LABELLE from the IEMC community. In charge of the session was Father Genaro ROSATO, teamed with other formators: Antoni BOCHM, Piotr PIASECKI, Edouard DAGAVOUNANSOU and Raul SALAS. Translations in English, Italian and French were provided by Father Richard WOLAK.

The lessons alternated with times of personal and community prayer and moments of conviviality and relaxation.

The IEMC community wishes their young guests a beautiful celebration of their perpetual vows. (Krzysztof ZIELENDA, www.centremazenod.org)

Retreat and meeting in Aix

Having been entrusted with the JPIC ministry, we, the JPIC General Committee, wished to renew ourselves in our lives and in our work, in preparation for the 200th anniversary of the Congregation in 2016. First of all, we began with a shared retreat led by Father Raymond WARREN, to make us more aware of our Oblate JPIC spirituality, based on the passion of St. Eugene for Christ and for humanity.

We spent time reading the words of Bishop Bourget, who, upon De Mazenod’s sending six Oblates to Canada in 1841, described St. Eugene as “a man whose heart is as big as the world.” His love, his heart, are still with us, we said, because they cooperate with Christ in his Kingdom. With Brother Benedict DOSQUET and Father Krzysztof ZIELENDA, we visited the birthplace of the Congregation and the major Oblate sites in Marseille. This helped us to see the most concrete dimensions of the spirituality of St. Eugene and how it colored his priestly ministry (by his visits to prisoners, his work with young people, his taking on parish missions...) and his ministry as Bishop of Marseilles (the creation of charitable institutions in his diocese).

During our three days, our group began a process of reviewing the Vade Mecum of the JPIC Committee of 1997. We were very grateful for the major revision of the language already undertaken by the Anglo-Irish Province which has added a more than necessary touch in support of creation, reminding us of the words of Pope John Paul II at the World Day of Peace in 1990 about “the grave obligation to take care of all creation” and telling us that “education in ecological responsibility is urgent and necessary...and requires a genuine conversion.”

We then prepared four sessions for prayer and faith sharing on apostolic community, to be used for local, provincial and regional Oblate communities, as a contribution to apostolic community in the first year of the Oblate triennium. We will also propose a JPIC workshop to be offered in each of the five regions in the next three years. The whole retreat and meeting alternated between moments of prayer and personal sharing. We also had the opportunity to meet the young and dynamic "Oblatas", also on retreat at the International de Mazenod Centre, including Teresa from Peru and Lisa from Germany who renewed their vows. Still today, the Oblate charism inflames hearts. (Camille PICHÉ in www.centremazenod.org)

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36th General Chapter 2016
36th General Chapter 2016
Oblate Triennium
Oblate Triennium
OMI Vocations
OMI Vocations
Links to Other Oblate Sites
Links to Other Oblate Sites