The Oblate JPIC office is proud to welcome our intern Brother Terence Chota OMI. We are excited to have Br Terence join our staff for the summer. He will be focusing on Human Rights and Integrity of Creation issues. The following is an introduction to Br Terence:
I am Terence Kasonde Chota. I come from Zambia, which is in the southern part of Africa. Upon completion of my High School Education, I trained as a Primary School Teacher. I joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 2003. I did two years of my initial formation in Zambia, followed by a spiritual year and Oblate Charism in Namibia. I then went to study French and Philosophy in Cameroon where I completed with a Bachelor’s Degree. I went back to Zambia for youth ministry in both Education and ecclesiastical circles. In 2010, I went to South Africa to do my Bachelor in Theology. I am currently at the Oblate School of Theology pursuing a Master of Divinity and a Master of Art in theology.
I have had a unique experience of formation. I have been in at least 3 different houses of formation. I believe God provided this opportunity for me, not because I am strong, but because am actually weak and feeble enough to lean on him. Adapting to different cultures is not easy but it is very enriching. With the challenges and joys that I have faced in everyday life experiences I have realized that I have holistically developed in my spiritual life and the Oblate way of Life. I have learnt that to strive for holiness and maturity in my own personal life is extremely important, but it is only half the picture; the other half is our God-given responsibility to the world around us. My areas of interest in issues of justice are in integrity of creation, human trafficking and human dignity. This is very vital for me because the OMI Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) initiative works to promote human dignity and respect for God’s creation through faith-consistent investments principles, advocacy with corporations and governments, educational outreach, and grassroot organizing in Oblates parishes.
I would sum up my experience as an Oblate with constitution 32 of the Oblates Constitution and Rules: “it is as missionaries that we worship, in the various ways the Spirit suggests to us. We come before him bearing with us the daily pressures of our anxiety for those to whom he sends us. Our life in all its dimensions is a prayer that, in us and through us, God’s Kingdom come.”