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Superior General’s Letter for “Oblate Day,” February 17, 2020 February 12th, 2020
The Letter of the Superior General on the 194th Anniversary of the Papal Approbation of the Constitutions and Rules
Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI Superior General
Dear Brother Oblates and all who live inspired in the Oblate charism,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Each time I hear these words proclaimed or ponder them in prayer, I believe that we are anointed anew for the mission of Jesus. The Trinity is working within and among us: the Father, in an outpouring of love, fills us with the Spirit and sends us to partake in the Mission of the Word made flesh.
Today, we celebrate the Church’s blessing upon the missionary vision of Eugene de Mazenod. Surprisingly, the Church’s approval was granted quickly. Eugene de Mazenod knew it was divine providence that guided him and that moved Pope Leo XII to grant pontifical approval of our Constitutions and Rules on February 17 1826. The Pope desired renewal of the Church, and hearing about the wonders of this band of missionaries in France, he sped up the process of approbation.
Interview with Superior General Louis Lougen, OMI July 10th, 2018
In this seven-minute segment, Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, Oblate Superior General reflects on his visits to Turkmenistan, Cuba and Zimbabwe. He also talks about his perspective on the congregation as a whole.
Sr. Ann Diehl, CSJ Named Honorary Oblate of Mary Immaculate June 6th, 2018
|Photos courtesy of Janice Cooke|
Congratulations to former OMI US provincial secretary and archivist Sr. Ann Diehl, CSJ, for 26 years of service to the Oblates and still counting. On June 4, Sr. Ann received the designation of Honorary Oblate of Mary Immaculate during a Mass and program held at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. The ceremony was officiated by Oblate Superior General Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, assisted by US Provincial Fr. Louis Studer, OMI. Following the Mass, a lunch reception was held at the Oblate residence. Sr. Ann has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 54 years.
Letter of Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, Superior General for February 17, 2018 February 5th, 2018
L.J.C. et M.I.
Among our celebrations of Oblate history, this year is the bicentenary of the first draft of our Rule. Moved by the Spirit to seek companions to start a society whose aim was re-evangelizing the countryside of Provence, the young Eugene very soon felt the need to give this small, young society a code of life, a rule. It would contain norms to help all its members in the twofold objective that he had already outlined in broad terms to the vicars of Aix when, together with his first five companions, he had asked permission to live in community in the old Carmel of Aix, purchased by him for this purpose.
Letter of the Superior General, Fr. Louis Lougen OMI – December 8, 2017 December 4th, 2017
YEAR OF OBLATE VOCATIONS
December 8, 2017 – January 25, 2019
The Joy and Generosity of Oblate Life!
Happy Feast Day to all those who live the Oblate charism! We begin the Year of Oblate Vocations on the solemnity of our patroness, Mary Immaculate. The grace of her immaculate conception fills us with great joy, love and gratitude for all that God has done in her. This is a missionary feast. Mary’s immaculate conception prepared her for the call and the mission which God would entrust to her: to be a worthy dwelling place for the Son of the Most High. Mary’s faith-filled response inspires us to live faithfully our oblation as missionaries of the Kingdom of Jesus. We entrust this special year, the Year of Oblate Vocations, to the care of Our Lady, firmly believing that she will intercede so that God’s grace, in God’s own time and in God’s own way, will bless our efforts.
READ the full letter here.
DOWNLOAD Fr. Lougen’s letter.
Fr. Superior General’s letter for the “Year of Oblate Vocations” August 9th, 2017
L.J.C. et M.I.
Dear Brother Oblates, and all our Brothers and Sisters associated with the Oblate Charism,
Happy feast of the Assumption of Our Lady!
During the course of the past few years, the voices of many young Oblates of various Regions of the Congregation, alive with passion for our future, made it clear to the members of the Central Government that they wanted support and direction in renewing the ministry of inviting new members to join us. They expressed their love for our charism and the desire to invite new members, often in the face of discouragement and criticism from fellow Oblates who simply accept and even justify the lack of young men interested in missionary religious life.
Some senior Oblates, likewise, were calling for a renewed commitment to vocation ministry. They expressed their deep faith in God’s ability to raise up vocations even in the most challenging situations. Remember the rock which Moses struck! They are convinced that the Spirit’s action still draws young people to commit themselves to follow Jesus as Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
In light of these voices, on December 8, 2013, I addressed a letter to the Congregation regarding the ministry of vocations. Oblates felt supported to move ahead in promoting vocational awareness. One of the first fruits of this movement of the Spirit was the Vocational Year 2015-2016 celebrated by the Region of Latin America. This was the first Region, and the only one so far, in our Congregation to sponsor a vocational year and to organize a congress for an entire Region. Congratulations!
Another fruit was the first Congregation-wide vocation congress held in Aix in July of last year with 32 Oblates from all over the world. The theme was beautiful and significant: ” ‘Come and See’ (John 1:39): Focusing on the Joy and Generosity of Our Oblate Life.” The members of this Congress called the Congregation to dedicate a year to the theme of Oblate vocations. This momentum of the Spirit was welcomed by the 2016 General Chapter, and a recommendation was given to the newly-elected Central Government: “Declare a Year for Oblate Vocations during the current mandate, as recommended by the Congress on Oblate Vocations.” (Article 28.4, p. 31 ACTS, English edition).
In response to the call of the General Chapter, I announce the “Year of Oblate Vocations” from December 8, 2017 to January 25, 2019.The theme is that from the Congress of vocations of 2016: ” ‘Come and See!’ (John 1:39): Focusing on the Joy and Generosity of Our Oblate Life.”
This “Year of Oblate Vocations” will both give support to and be strengthened by Pope Francis’ call for a year dedicated to “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.” In fact, his personal message to us at the audience with the members of the General Chapter on October 7, 2016, placed before us the urgency to commit ourselves to vocation ministry in light of the needs of the Church: “The work to be done in order to achieve all of this (a Church for everyone) is vast; and all of you also have your own specific contribution to offer… The current field of mission seems to expand every day… Therefore, there is need of you, of your missionary courage, your availability to bring to everyone the Good News that frees and consoles” (Acts, Address of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, p. 5, English Edition). These words, and his entire message, do not sound like Pope Francis believes we have done our job, that we can retire our Crosses and can now fade into the past. The Church is counting on us to respond to the needs of the poor today, and to “write new pages” in the history of evangelization!
The “Year of Oblate Vocations” is being coordinated by Fr. Cornelius Ngoka, OMI, under his portfolio as Assistant General for Formation. The organizing committee is headed by Father Antoni Bochm, General Councilor for Europe, with the assistance of Father Guillaume Muthunda, General Councilor for Africa/Madagascar. More information will be forthcoming. I ask that each Unit already begin to think creatively and work to make this year a dynamic renewal of our commitment to vocation ministry. The formation of a special committee in each Unit, working together with the Unit leadership, would be a most appropriate way to begin to plan this special “Year of Oblate Vocations.”
On this feast of Mary’s Assumption, we recall the special grace Saint Eugene received while blessing the statue of Mary Immaculate on August 15, 1822. That grace lifted his worries about the future of his little missionary group and gave him the assurance that it was not just his own idea, but truly the work of the Spirit. He was given the conviction that “our dear Society” would be the source of great holiness for us and of great missionary benefit for the Church. We entrust the “Year of Oblate Vocations” to Mary Immaculate, the model and guardian of our consecrated life. May her witness engender in us a deep belief that nothing is impossible with God. Her presence in prayer among us will make this “Year of Oblate Vocations” a Spirit-filled happening, giving us surprising perspectives and filling us with immense hope.
Already I would like to express my gratitude for your generous and full-hearted participation in this “Year of Oblate Vocations.”
Sincerely in Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Solemnity of the Assumption, August 15, 2017.