Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG
For the Second Vatican Council, the mission to work in the vineyard of the Lord (Mt 9: 35-38) is not only given to those who receive the sacrament of Orders; it concerns all the baptized, all of God’s people.
It is precisely with this idea of the Second Vatican Council that twenty-two lay persons, won over by the Oblate charism, committed themselves on the first Sunday of Lent in the parish church of Notre-Dame du Rosaire in Kikwit before Father Abel NSOLO, provincial of the Congo. They have committed themselves before God and the Christian community to live deeply the Oblate charism: that is to say, the calling to live as apostolic men and women, lovers of Christ, the Church and the poor.
Father Provincial exhorted and encouraged the associates to live, to work and to give witness in such a way as to extend the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in their own life situations. He urged them to see how to live in a new way their belonging to the Church, to the Congregation and to the Oblate province of the Congo.
Their commitment came after a year-long formation centered on three major themes, namely: the Founder, the Congregation and its structures, and the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate. Their immediate preparation for this great moment was a retreat preached by Fr. Adolphe VUNGA, pastor of the parish of Notre-Dame du Rosaire. Their chaplain, Fr. Augustin MULELE, their Vice President, Mrs. Florence Baere, and Mr. Onesime, Kukatula, honorary member, gave witness at this event. The statutes were handed over to the coordinator of the district of Kikwit after the Vice President had read the names of the committee members.
After the Mass, everyone, together with their guests, came together to share drinks prepared for the occasion at the former Oblate procure in Kikwit. It was a joyful moment to see the increase, not only in number but also in quality of the members of this Oblate family. Undoubtedly, its holy Founder, Eugene de Mazenod, rejoices over it in heaven. May he intercede for us! (Reported by Fr. Augustin Mulele)