From the Vatican, 5 November 2015

Dear Father Lougen,

The Holy Father was pleased to be informed of the bicentenary of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate to be celebrated on 25 January 2016, and he sends prayerful good wishes to all of the priests and brothers of the Congregation.

His Holiness joins you in giving thanks to Almighty God for the many blessings bestowed upon the Institute these past two hundred years, and for the abundant fruits which your labours have borne. So that you may be ever more faithful to the charism of your founder, Saint Eugene de Mazenod, he encourages all of you to deepen your personal commitment to Jesus Christ, and to be men who always witness to the joy of the Gospel, “not only with words, but above all by lives transfigured by God’s presence” (Evangelii Gaudium, 259). In such a way, you will truly be co-workers with Christ and evangelize those who are most in need of his mercy and love.

Commending all of you to the intercession of Mary Immaculate, Pope Francis willingly imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Pietro Cardinal Parolin
Secretary of State