The Superior General, Fr. Chicho, recently visited the Oblate Delegation of Bangladesh to celebrate 50 Years of Oblate presence in Bangladesh. Here is the message delivered by the Superior General at the closing ceremony of the Jubilee Year, on Friday, July 21, 2023 at De Mazenod Church in Dhaka.
Superior General’s Message to the Delegation of Bangladesh
Dear brothers and sisters of the different religious Congregations. Dear laity and my dearest Oblates and members of our charismatic family in Bangladesh.
It is with joy that I join in the jubilee celebration of the Oblate presence and with me our entire Congregation. Celebrating 50 years of presence in Bangladesh is both a cause for rejoicing for us and a challenge to continue to develop that seed planted by the first pioneer Oblate missionaries which has now grown into a flourishing tree. As Pope Francis proposed once ago, I would now like to invite all of you to look at our past with gratitude, to live the present with passion and to embrace the future with hope.
Looking at the past with gratitude
Looking at the past with gratitude: remembering the history of the pioneers, the first steps of the mission, its development, in short, its history, leads us to give thanks to God for all His works and to recognize what God has done in us Oblates for the good of the poorest to whom we serve and for the good of the Church in Bangladesh. Surely not everything has been good and holy because of our weakness or inadequacy and for that we must humbly ask forgiveness. This makes God’s work all the more evident and beautiful when we contemplate all the good that has been done for the Church, for the poor, the life of holiness and missionary zeal of those who have gone before us and the vocations that have strongly incarnated the Oblate charism in Bangladesh. With Mary, we give thanks to God and sing Magnificat !
Living the present with passion
Living the present with passion is an invitation to live our Oblate vocation with enthusiasm. Let us live with passion our love for Jesus, Mary, the Church, the poor. Let us live with passion in community our religious vows by which we commit ourselves to live evangelically. Let us live our mission with passion and let us allow ourselves to be evangelized by the poorest. Let us live with passion our charism, as pilgrims of hope in communion, in a Synodal Church here in Bangladesh.
Embracing the future with hope
To embrace the future with hope is to make an act of trust in God who will not cease to send his grace, as long as we are faithful to the charism we have received. The company of our Oblate saints and blessed Oblates who have gone before us are a source of hope for us and their intercession helps us to be more daring to walk in creating fraternity with all men and women of our humanity, with all believers of different religions and taking care of the most vulnerable and of all the creation. We must try everything, our founder would say, to extend the Kingdom of Christ and the saints show us the way. With St Eugene de Mazenod I dare to say to my Oblate brothers and the lay people member of our charismatic family: In the name of God, let us be saints for the good of the Church and for the good of the poor. May Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Patroness, accompany us on this pilgrimage of hope in communion. Thank you and God bless you all.
Luis Ignacio Rois Alonso, OMI (Superior General)