By Will Shaw with Thanks to Fr. Jim Allen, OMI
On August 1st, the birthday of St. Eugene de Mazenod, Oblates, friends and relatives from the U.S. and Canada gathered at St. Ambrose Church in Godfrey, IL to witness Royd Miyambo of Zambia, Pablo Henning of Venezuela and the U.S., Chileshe Mulenga of Zambia, Etienne Kalemba of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Canada, and Sipho Mukobola of Zambia, make their first profession as Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
The Mass was celebrated by the U.S. Oblate Provincial, Very Rev. Louis Studer, who also received the vows of the vows of the four young men. The Very Rev. Luc Tardif, Provincial of the Notre Dame-du-Cap Province in Canada, was the homilist, and he received the vows of Canadian, Etienne Kalemba. Also present were the Oblate formators from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate in Godfrey: Novice Master, Fr. Frank Kuczera, Assistant Director, Bro. Patrick McGee, and Formator, Bro. George Litiya. Among the invited guests at the Mass was a very special one for Fr. Frank; his mother, Teresa Kuczera, was in for a visit.
At the end of Mass, Fr. Kuczera commented on the past year and thanked all those who were helpful to the novices. Fr. Louis Studer also expressed his thanks to several individuals along with the staff and members of St Ambrose Parish for their support and love for the novices.
Of the five new Scholastic Brothers, three, Royd Miyambo, Chileshe Mulenga, and Sipho Mukobola will be returning home to Zambia and family, after which their local Superior will determine where they will study next. After some time off, Pablo Henning and Etienne Kabemba will both move on to the Oblate Scholasticate in San Antonio, Texas.