By Roberto CARRASCO, OMI, Superior of the General Delegation BOLPER
On January 9, 2024, the Superior General Father Luis Ignacio ROIS ALONSO, OMI, with the consent of his Council, officially suppressed the Mission of Puerto Rico from the BOLPER Delegation.
The Oblate Mission in Puerto Rico, started by the former US Eastern Province, Our Lady of Hope, ends its presence on the island. Figures like Fathers Jack KING, Tom COUGHLIN, Paul HUGHES and other American Oblates gave a powerful testimony through their missionary work on the island, “getting their feet muddy” by serving parishes and mission chapels that catered to the poorest of the poor.
In 1999, the Mission of Puerto Rico was transferred to the General Delegation of Peru as part of the restructuring. Initially led by Canadian missionaries, such as Father Neil John MACAULAY MORRINSON, the mission had the support of other Oblates, including Fathers Mariano MARTÍNEZ and Víctor TORRES.
However, over the years, the Oblate presence in Puerto Rico gradually diminished. By 2006, only two missionaries remained: Father Mariano MARTÍNEZ at the Parish of Mary Queen of the World and Father Neil Macaulay at the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 2008, it was agreed, with the approval of the Archbishop of San Juan, that two Oblates would take on both parishes “ad personam.”
With the departure of the last missionary, Father Neil MACAULAY, on January 13, 2023, and the passing of Father Mariano MARTÍNEZ in March 2021, the presence of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate comes to an end in Puerto Rico.
On September 12, 2023, Father Roberto CARRASCO ROJAS, OMI, Superior of the General Delegation BOLPER, informed Archbishop Roberto Octavio González Nieves of San Juan about Father Neil MACAULAY’s return to Canada. In response, the archbishop expressed gratitude for the effective presence of the members of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate over the years in the Archdiocese of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
On January 9, 2024, Superior General Father Luis Ignacio ROIS ALONSO, OMI, with the consent of his Council, officially suppressed the Mission of Puerto Rico from the BOLPER Delegation.