By Henricus ASODO, OMI, Assistant General
On the Feast of the Epiphany, the entire General House community gathered to be inspired by Father General’s recent pilgrimages of hope.
Since his election, Fr. Chicho has diligently embraced his role in the Congregation, our shared home, inspired by the Constitutions and Rules: “The Superior General is the Congregation’s living bond of unity, and through his example, apostolic zeal, and affection for all Oblates, he catalyzes communities to respond to the Church’s needs with unwavering faith and charity. As the successor of St. Eugene de Mazenod, the Superior General will continue to kindle our missionary zeal, forging new pathways for evangelization.” (C. 133)
In his capacity as a pilgrim of hope, Father General embarked on a pilgrimage to encounter his Oblate brothers across the globe, each destination brimming with love, compassion, and zeal:
Ukraine: Despite the challenging and risky circumstances wrought by war, the Oblates stand resiliently with the people, offering steadfast support to this nation in its time of suffering.
West Sahara: In this locale, the Oblates forge friendships and engage in meaningful dialogue with the local population. Their benevolent outreach extends to migrants seeking a better life, carrying the flame of hope in their hearts.
India: Within the vast expanse of this nation, the Oblates tirelessly devote themselves to serving the poorest of the poor. Father General, in a testament to their shared commitment, visited one of their challenging missions in the North East, personally witnessing the impact of their dedicated work.
Belgium & Netherlands: In this aging unit, where many Oblates were once zealous missionaries across continents, Father General’s visit was a poignant acknowledgment and sincere gratitude for their lifelong service and unwavering commitment to the Church and the Congregation.
Bangladesh: Within this growing unit, the Oblates serve indigenous people in remote areas, embodying the true spirit of missionaries as they share the Good News with the less fortunate.
WYD Portugal: Father General engaged with young people brimming with faith and love. The youth demonstrated their desire for a personal encounter with Jesus Christ to seek community and hope, and Father General’s presence further ignited their spiritual flame.
Cuba: Despite facing numerous challenges, the Oblates persistently and faithfully serve the population, showcasing an admirable dedication and commitment to their mission.
Mexico: Father General convened with the Latin America Region for a joint session and led an annual retreat for all members of the Central Government, fostering a sense of unity and purpose.
Canada: Fr. General’s time with the Innu communities, the parishes we serve, our historic homes for aging or ill Oblate missionaries, the Saint-Paul University community celebrating 175 years of existence with a symposium, and meeting with all the Oblate missionaries and lay people has at every moment reaffirmed that shared Charism that unites us. The Superior General is also grateful to the Oblate missionaries from our three provinces in the Ottawa region of Canada who joined with their three Provincials for a fraternal gathering that filled him with hope.
Lesotho: In this land of joy and peace, the Oblates continue to follow in the footsteps of Ttate Joseph Gerard, serving the people with an enduring commitment that spans generations.
Turkmenistan: Two Oblates dedicatedly serve a small Christian community in this Central Asian country. Father General’s Christmas celebration with them provided a firsthand experience of the vibrant joy emanating from an authentic Christian community.
As we enter the New Year, we extend our deepest gratitude to Father General for serving as the living bond of unity for all Oblates and the Charismatic Family, embodying hope and communion for our shared mission.