When St. Eugene De Mazenod founded the Missionary Oblates in 1816 he gave his men a bold instruction: “Leave nothing undared for the Kingdom of God.” As we begin a new decade, that instruction is being carried out in many exciting ways.
I recently returned from the African nation of Zambia, where the Oblates have dared to be one with the poor for over 25 years. Beginning in 1984 with just four Oblates, the Zambian delegation now numbers 70 missionaries. I am always inspired by the courage and zeal of these men who “leave nothing undared” as they give witness with their lives to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
When I met with Fr. Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, O.M.I., our new Delegation Superior for Zambia, I could see the fruits of our labor come full circle. As a boy, Fr. Evans grew up in our first parish in Zambia. Today he is in charge of the entire delegation.
Here in the United States we re-launched in January the website of the United State Province. This site, www.omiusa.org, provides our friends an opportunity to learn about the many daring ministries of the Oblates around the world. I encourage you to view updates on the situation facing the Oblates in Haiti in the aftermath of the January earthquake.
You have in your hands the first newly-updated issue of Oblate World magazine. I trust you will be inspired and edified by the stories and photographs you find inside.
On February 17 we will celebrate the 184th anniversary of our founding. Please pray for my fellow Oblates and me as we continue to respond to the challenge given us by St. Eugene: “Leave nothing undared for the Kingdom of God.”
Sincerely in Christ,