On April 22, Good Shepherd Sunday, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, seven members of the Central Government of the Congregation went to various ministry sites of the Italian Sector of the Mediterranean Province to celebrate with joy and gratitude the gift of vocation. Fathers Louis LOUGEN, Cornelius NGOKA, Peter STOLL, Warren BROWN, Alberto HUAMÁN, Guillaume MUTHUNDA and Antoni BOCHM went to preach the Good News in Pescara, Pozzilli and Santa Maria a Vico. We must remember also the generous services of Brother Ryszard LOIN, a member of the General House, who guided the three Oblates who went to Pescara.

Welcomed warmly by our brother Oblates and the People of God, we presided at the Eucharist and preached in various forms of the Italian language. The warm welcome of the good people made up for any lack in our ability to communicate in Italian! Our message was inspired by the readings of Good Shepherd Sunday: the vocation to lay down one’s life for others. The recent Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis also served to speak about the vocation of all the baptized: the universal call to holiness.

At each celebration we also shared our own vocational stories and these were very much appreciated by those gathered at the celebrations. In the Cathedral of Isernia we concluded on Sunday night with a prayer vigil for vocations attended by diocesan clergy, religious priests, Brothers and Sisters, married couples and young people. It was a beautiful vigil to conclude this day of prayer for vocations. The bishop of Isernia concluded highlighting the importance of the vocation of marriage and praying for holy couples to raise children of faith.

We were all impressed by the many ministries of the Oblates, their close relationship with the people, the involvement of lay people and the lively Eucharistic celebrations. We give thanks for this opportunity to celebrate and animate the Year of Oblate Vocations!