556 - June 2015
May 9th, 2015 - June 7th, 2015

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GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

Good news from the Vatican

On May 5, 2015, Pope Francis authorized the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree for the beatification of Italian Oblate, Fr. Mario BORZAGA (1932-1960), and his Laotian catechist, Paul Thoj Xyooj, both martyred in Laos 1960. Hopefully on June 2 of this year, the process of the 15 other Martyrs of Laos will come to the same conclusion. Five of the 15 are Laotians, five are priests from France and members of the Paris Foreign Mission Society,and another five are Oblates from France: Fr. Joseph BOISSEL (1909-1969), Fr. Vincent L’HÉNORET (1921-1961), Fr. Louis LEROY (1923-1961), Fr. Jean WAUTHIER (1926-1967) and Fr. Michel COQUELET (1931-1961). Together with Fr. Borzaga, we hope to have six new Oblate martyrs beatified very soon.

On May 9, 2015, an initial meeting took place at the General House in Rome. The Superior General, Fr. Louis LOUGEN, met with the petitioner of the cause of Mario Borzaga and Paul Thoj Xyooj, the Provincial Superior of the Mediterranean Province, Fr. Alberto GNEMMI, and with its Vice Postulator, Fr. Angelo PELIS. Fr. Roland JACQUES, Vice Postulator for the cause of the 15 other Martyrs, representing its petitioners, the Bishops of Laos, as well as the Oblate Postulator General, Fr. Thomas KLOSTERKAMP, also took part in the meeting. The petitioners for both causes suggested having a single celebration for beatification in the spring of 2016 in Laos or at a place in Europe. Thanksgiving masses in Italy and France might be organized as well. A decision about the time and the place of the beatification will be made by the Holy See, hopefully during the coming summer.

Here, in summary, once again, is the story of each of the Oblate candidates for beatification:

- In 1960, Fr. Mario Borzaga went on an apostolic trip to some villages but he never came back.

- In April and May 1961, Frs. Louis Leroy, Michael Coquelet and Vincent L’Hénoret were snatched from their missions in the Province of Xieng Khouang and savagely put to death.

- Fr. John Wauthier was a tireless apostle of the refugees and stood up for justice on their behalf. In 1967, another faction in Laos ambushed and killed him.

- In 1969, it was the turn of Fr. Joseph Boissel, 60, a veteran of the Laos mission. He was ambushed on his way to an isolated Christian community and executed.
(Thomas Klosterkamp, Oblate Postulator General)



A new collaborator in the office

The Secretary General, Fr. Marek JAZGIER, informs us about changes in the Office of the General Secretariat.

As you may know, the Dominican Sisters, who were our collaborators in the Offices at the General House, are leaving Rome upon the expiration of their contract at the end of June, 2015. We are very grateful for their dedication and service in the past years.

At this time, we welcome Ms. Flavia Sollazzo, who started her work at the General Secretariat on May 25, 2015. With the arrival of Ms. Sollazzo, we hope to re-establish a closer collaboration with you as Superiors and with your Offices and Secretaries.

Please, take note that Flavia Sollazzo has all the credentials as the new office assistant at the General Secretariat, and can contact you on behalf of the Secretary General.

The contact information is unchanged:

· gensec@omigen.org - for the administrative issues

· genstat@omigen.org - for the consultations and statistics

· Tel. +39. 06 39 877 283 - for the very urgent matters



JPIC Director meets with ambassadors about Africa

On May 21, 2015, Fr. Kennedy KATONGO, Director of the Oblates’ JPIC office, was invited to join other religious leaders at a special briefing session with Ambassador Phillip Carter, of the United States Africa Command, and Ambassador Kenneth Hackett, United States Ambassador to the Holy See. The meeting was held at the residence Ambassador Hackett.

During the briefing, Ambassador Carter outlined activities of the U.S. government in Africa. In the conversations with the religious leaders present at the meeting, there were discussions about current issues affecting Africa. These included the Ebola crisis and Boko Haram in West Africa; the plight of the Migrants in Libya; the problem of Al Shabab in Eastern Africa; the crisis in Burundi; the xenophobic attacks in South Africa; democracy and good governance and a host of other developmental issues.



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