Brother Felix Bwalya NYAMBE, an Oblate from Zambia and currently a scholastic at the George Sexton House of Studies in San Antonio, Texas, writes about his experience of Oblate life at the house where the Oblates were founded in 1816.
Each year, Oblate scholastics from international houses of formation from Rome, Poland, Italy and the U.S.A gather for a summer experience in Aix-en-Provence in France. Aix is the birth place of the Missionary Oblates, the “Holy Land of the Oblates” as it is often called.
The Aix experience for scholastics allows the young men in formation to see, to feel and to be touched by our Oblate origins and particularly the life of St. Eugene de Mazenod and his first companions. The experience invites the scholastics to let St. Eugene speak to them in all the events and encounters. Therefore, the Aix experience is the most enriching experience of every Oblate because it embraces and celebrates the richness of Oblate life.
In attendance was the Assistant General for formation, Fr. Cornelius NGOKA. In his homily during the eucharistic celebration, Fr. Cornelius invited the scholastics to carry the heritage of the Oblates over to the next generation. The Oblate heritage can be lived by charity and zeal for souls; community and mission.
In my opinion, this invitation to re-live, enact and reproduce the Oblate Heritage can be extended to all Oblates more especially as we celebrate, “The year of Oblate Vocations”. Led by the Holy Spirit and while responding to the signs of time, “The Church is counting on us to respond to the needs of the poor today, and to ‘write new pages’ in the history of evangelization”. (Letter of Fr. Louis LOUGEN, Superior General, for “The year of Oblate Vocations”). Hence, every Oblate has the responsibility to live and share the OMI heritage.