First Assistant General
The Province of Belgium-Netherlands was host to a recent visit by the First Assistant General, Fr. Raymond MWANGALA, and the Provincial of France, Fr. Renaud SALIBA. The visit which took place from 16 October 2023 to 25 October 2023 was part of the ongoing discernment process of the future of the province.
Fr. Daniel CORYN, Provincial of Belgium-Netherlands, hosted the 2 visitors and facilitated visits to all the members of the province living in Belgium and the Netherlands. The province has 40 members, 3 are in Surinam and 1 each in Peru, France, and Canada.
This is an aging province (average age 79.1 years). During the visit, we took time to introduce ourselves to each other and to share stories of our Oblate vocation. Many of the Oblates of the province have served as missionaries in Congo DR, Chad, South Africa and several countries in Latin America. They cherish fond memories of their time in the missions.
We also took some time to visit the burial places of some deceased members of the province. On the final day of our visit, we participated in the Provincial Council meeting, sharing our impressions of the province and listening in to discussions on the future of the province. As per Oblate tradition, we concluded the visit with a festive meal. Altogether, we were 14 Oblates at the table; almost enough to have a province assembly!
Many thanks to Br. Leo VANDENEEDE for the many hours of chauffeuring, and to all the members of the province for the hospitality and fraternity! This visit will soon bear fruit!