GENERAL ADMINISTRATIONA new document on the Oblate Mission
The document "Discerning and Sustaining Oblate Mission" is in conformity with the 2010 General Chapter mandate: “That in the framework of a renewed Immense Hope Project, Oblates cooperate with the new Central Government, who will develop a fresh animation for mission and for discerning new missionary strategies and major missionary challenges, in relationship with the local church, in dialogue with other religious, Oblate Associates, and all people of good will.” On Conversion in our Oblate Mission, Nº 1, pp. 24-25. With this Document, the Superior General in Council has revised the criteria and policies related to establishing new Oblate Missions in the light of the 2012 edition of the Constitutions and Rules and recent General Chapters, especially the 2010 Chapter.
The Central Government is grateful for the cooperation it received from members of previous General Administrations who reviewed the work done and offered valuable suggestions during the process. It was very helpful that past General Administrations treated this topic between October 1989 and May 2002 and took decisions concerning the procedures related to founding new Oblate mission.
Its content is intended to help all those in the administrative and leadership service of the Congregation. This document also establishes the policy to both change the status and amend the statutes of a Unit. Because of its nature, it could also be used to discern and evaluate the missionary presence of any Oblate community.
The Superior General in Council was guided by the very nature of our identity, expressed in our CCRR:
The establishing of a new Mission requires a process of discernment in order to make the right decisions in being faithful to our mission in the world today. In the spirit of the Founder, this new document ensures “that the Congregation remains faithful to its mission and to the demands of religious life.” (C 124) “Discerning and Sustaining Oblate Mission” is in line and complementary with the other Central Government administrative documents.
We hope that this document will also help not only Major Superiors but every Oblate and community to discern and evaluate our ministries at the light of the Oblate Criteria contained in this document. The 2010 Chapter invites Oblates to “periodically submit their ministries to the discernment of their local community for evaluation and review.” cfr. Chapter 2010, On Conversion in our Oblate Mission, Nº 3, p. 25.
This document will help us:
As we approach our 200th Anniversary of Foundation in 2016, this document of “Discerning and Sustaining Oblate Mission” will help us to open new missions and ministries; to accompany and support Units in their situation of growing or decreasing.
This Central Government document is available already in digital version in the three languages of the Congregation. (The Internal Mission Committee of the Central Government, 7 October 2014)
The 6th member of our community
arrived on the 20th of August: Fr. Bonga MAJOLA, a young Oblate from South
Africa. We can say that 2014 has actually been the starting year of the EMIC.
Since 2012 the year in which this new community was founded, we have been
living in a temporary situation with the renovations of the property that were
not fully completed and a lot of uncertainties about the members of the
community: Having to change the Superior because of family problems; the
arrival and departure, after 40 days, of Fr. ASODO having to reapply for the
right visa, etc. We hope that the arrival of Bonga will put an end to this
instability of the foundation of our community.
In spite of these initial difficulties, already a number of activities have been initiated. At the end of January we had a very powerful and special time in Rome, with the members of the General Administration, during which we shared our joys and concerns. We also spent time preparing the essentials for the bicentennial of the foundation of the Congregation.
Most of the renovation of the
house was completed in February shortly before the beginning of the session on
the Oblate Charism in view of the bicentenary preparation for the Congregation
(25 January 1816). And this session became a totally new beginning, marked with
a week’s pilgrimage on the footsteps of St. Eugene, by an Oblate group from
Belgium and Netherlands. Shortly after this was a two month “Mazenod
Experience” in Spanish, which was followed by a pilgrimage of the Oblates and
lay people of the Anglo-Irish Province. In July, the Provincial Council of
Poland came for a retreat and pilgrimage. This was immediately followed by a
three week session for those who work in the Oblate pre-novitiates. In August
we had a three week session for the European Scholastics in preparation for
Perpetual Oblation. Currently there is
another Mazenod Experience in English and a number of other meetings are
already on our programme.
Experience” session is being animated by Richard SUDLIK from the United States
Province, Joseph LABELLE from the Aix community, and John O’DOHERTY from the
Australian Province. The participants come from 8 Oblate Units: Wolfgang BOEMER
from the Province of Central Europe, Tshidiso MOLEKO from the Central Province
of South Africa, Adam FILAS from the Assumption Province in Canada, John
MALAZDREWICH, Douglas JEFFREY and Daniel SZWARC from the Lacombe Province in
Canada, Tony RIGOLI and Paul NOURIE from the United States Province, Marius
NIMAL and Ruwan PRASANNA from the Colombo Province of Sri Lanka, Dango SOMOR from
the Bangladesh Delegation, Eko SAKTIO and Andri ATMAKA from the Indonesian Province
and Bonga MAJOLA from the Aix community.