By Will Shaw
On August 1st, the birthday of St. Eugene de Mazenod, Oblates, friends and relatives from all corners gathered at St. Ambrose Church in Godfrey, IL to witness Musonda Chota, Chomba Kangwa, Brandon Alexis Ontiveros Garcia, Moses Khisa, Marapogu Prasad, Mateusz Garstecki, and Henry Zayamoe take their first vows as Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
The Mass was celebrated by the Oblate Provincial, Very Rev. Louis Studer who also led the young men through their formal vows. The Oblate formators from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate in Godfrey were also present: newly-installed Novice Master, Fr. Frank Kuczera, Associate Director, Fr. Humphrey Milimo and the outgoing Novice Master, Bro Patrick McGee, OMI.
Bro. Patrick commented on the past year and thanked all those who were helpful to the novices during the year. He will be going on a well-deserved sabbatical after several years as Novice master. The new Novice Master, Fr. Frank Kuczera was formally installed by Fr. Studer in a ceremony held at the novitiate on July 31, 2020. Fr. Frank will be over-seeing the move of the novitiate from Godfrey to the new Henri Tempier Pre-novitiate on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in nearby Belleville, IL. The Tempier Pre-novitiate will be Blessed by Fr. Louis Studer on Wednesday August 5, the Feast of Our Lady of the Snows. The temporary move of the novitiate to Belleville was necessitated by major renovations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate in Godfrey which will take place over the next two years.
Of the seven new Scholastic Brothers, five, Brandon Alexis Ontiveros Garcia, Moses Khisa, Marapogu Prasad, Mateusz Garstecki, and Henry Zayamoe will be moving on to the Oblate Scholasticate in San Antonio, Texas. The other two, Musonda Chota and Chomba Kangwa, will continue their studies in their native Zambia.
New Novice Master Installed
On the night before First Vows, during Evening Prayer at the Mary Immaculate Novitiate in Godfrey, IL, Fr. Studer installed Fr. Frank Kuczera, OMI, as Novice Director. Fr. Frank had been serving as Associate Director of Novices the past three years. Brother Pat McGee, OMI had been serving as Director of Novices the past three years and will take a year’s sabbatical. Fr. Humphrey Milimo, OMI, originally from Zambia, also serves as Associate Director.