By Sophie Peeters Originally Published by Vatican News
Pope Francis met on Monday with members of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) on the occasion of their 37th General Chapter. The missionary order was founded in 1816 by St. Eugene de Mazenod in the south of France.
In his address to members of the Congregation, the Pope offered his well-wishes to Fr. Luis Ignacio Rois Alonso, who was elected last Thursday as the new OMI Superior General for a 6-year term. He also thanked the previous Superior General, Fr. Louis Lougen, for his service over the past 12 years.
“Pilgrims of Hope”
For the occasion of their 37th General Chapter, the Oblates have chosen the theme: “Pilgrims of Hope in Communion.”
Pope Francis noted that this theme embodies their very identities as disciples of Jesus, who are “called to bring the Gospel of hope, joy, and peace” in a time where wars and conflicts, the struggles of migrants and refugees, and an economy focused on the rich engulf the world in darkness.
“Only the Gospel can keep the light of hope burning,” said the Pope.
He also said the core mission of the Oblates is to be pilgrims who travel the world serving the Church in 70 countries, “always ready to go like Jesus with His disciples.”
“Pilgrims of hope, you walk with the holy people of God, living in fidelity your missionary vocation, together with the laity and young people who share in the Church the charism of your holy Founder and who wish to be an active part of your mission.”