Tumisang Paul BOHLOA, OMI

The Superior General, Fr. Luis Ignacio ROIS ALONSO, embarked on a pilgrimage of hope to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, retracing the steps of Blessed Joseph Gerard.

Retracing the steps of Blessed Joseph Gerard

His arrival in the Lesotho Province on December 5, 2023, was warmly welcomed by the Vicar Provincial, Fr. Paul MATLOSA. During his pilgrimage, Fr. General seized the opportunity to celebrate Mass at the tomb of Blessed Joseph Gerard in Roma Ha Majesu, the first Church erected by Fr. Gerard and his companions. Imbued with a spirit of prayer, he visited significant locations in Lesotho associated with the Oblates’ history since their arrival in 1862, including Mary Land Mission, where Fr. Gerard celebrated his first Mass.

To nurture the Congregation’s Charism and foster unity

Beyond paying homage to the tomb of Blessed Joseph Gerard, Fr. General engaged with various groups within the Mazenodian family. In his address to the Oblates of the Lesotho Province, Fr. Chicho underscored that his role as the Superior General is to perpetually nurture the Congregation’s Charism and foster its unity by animating religious life and guiding it in its mission (C.133 & 134). He emphasized that this task could not be accomplished in isolation but relied on the collaboration of all members within local communities.

Faithfulness to the Charism and Mission

During this pilgrimage, the Superior General issued a letter to all Oblates on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2023), titled ‘WITH MARY ON THE SYNODAL PATH.’ In this letter, Fr. General emphasized the importance of Oblates opening themselves to the Spirit and remaining faithful to their Charism and Mission. He urged the community to listen attentively to one another, collectively discern the word of God, and respond to the contemporary cry of the poor.

A legacy of inspiration and hope

As a pilgrim of hope in the Mountain Kingdom, Fr. General graciously allowed us to touch and venerate the Oblate Cross used by the founder, St. Eugene De Mazenod. This special moment was a blessing for everyone, and we express gratitude to God for the graces bestowed upon us. Fr General concluded His Pilgrimage in Lesotho by Celebrating the Holy Eucharist at Regina Mundi Parish, Mazenod.  Having Fr. General among us was an honor that left everyone feeling renewed and ecstatic. He will forever occupy a special place in our hearts, and we assure him of our continual prayers.

Fr. General bid farewell to Lesotho on December 17, 2023, as he departed for Rome, leaving behind a legacy of inspiration and hope.