The Asia-Oceania Regional Conference (AORC) meeting was held in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, from March 2-7, 2020. It was the first time in history that the Province of Jaffna has hosted and organized the AORC meeting.

We all arrived in Colombo a day before to make our day-long journey from Colombo to Jaffna. During the journey, we were able to visit several places where Oblates are serving, especially serving the poor.

All Units were represented except Korea, as Korea had imparted travel restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The theme of AORC 2020 was “Challenges of Intercultural Formation in the Asian Context”. Fr. S. M. SELVARATNAM was invited as our resource person. He delivered four very interesting talks (using power point presentations) during the first two days. In the meantime, Fr. Peter Stoll, the regional Councillor, made his report, and each Unit also presented short reports.

From Left to Right: The statue Bishop Stephen Semeria OMI, the tomb of B.A. Thomas OMI, the statue of Fr. M. F. Long, OMI

During the next two days, different Committees presented their reports and updates on Regional Projects. They are as follows:

  • Religious Life and Leadership,
  • Mission to the new faces of the poor,
  • Mission with Youth,
  • The Laity,
  • Formation
  • Finances

On the following day we had a tour of Jaffna city after a special catered dinner at the Provincial house. Friday was the time for elections and reorganizing the AORC Committees.

The new executive committee of AORC 2020 – 2022

  • President: Fr. Charlie Inzon (Philippines)
  • 1st Councilor: Fr. S. Chinnappan (India)
  • 2nd Councilor: Fr. Eko Saktio (Indonesia)
  • Treasurer: Fr. Khan Paulus (Pakistan)

On the last day, Fr. Selvaratnam had a ‘soft’ book-launching ceremony. The title of the book was “Formation: In the Context of the New World View”.  Mgr. Justin Gnanapragasam, the Bishop of Jaffna, was the guest of honour.

The following day the journey back to Colombo began early in the morning, and again the members had a chance to stop at some places of the Oblate missions.

Many thanks to Fr. Edwin VASANTHARAJAH, the provincial of Jaffna, and all those who helped in organizing a successful AORC meeting.