Christmas greetings from Turkmenistan!

Beneath Turkmenistan’s star-studded sky, I embraced Christmas alongside the smallest Oblate community in the Congregation. Reflecting on this Christmas celebration with the Oblates and People of Turkmenistan, I contemplate how this journey has left an indelible mark on my heart.

The profound light foretold by Isaiah, destined to liberate a people immersed in darkness, manifested itself in the night as a discreet candle—hidden, noticed only by Mary, Joseph, and a handful of shepherds. Its smallness extends to all, seeking to illuminate our own limitations. Fragile, as it craves the care and shelter of each of us, akin to shielding a delicate candle flame from the wind. Such is Jesus, the light of nations, the prince of peace, aspiring to illuminate the world through our delicate testimony, passing His light from one to another to free us from all violence and bestow upon us genuine peace.

Turkmenistan, a crossroads of paths and cultures, a cradle of religions, now bears witness to the Oblates, sent by the Latin rite Church for a fresh start. Engaging in dialogue with other religions and the local society, they emerge as architects of peace, fostering diplomatic relations and exploring ecumenical avenues to proclaim Jesus.

Just as Jesus did, and in His spirit, they ignite hearts with the radiance of the Gospel, selflessly serving the most destitute for solace, frequently inscribing new chapters in the Acts of the Apostles. A magnificent mission, one for which we express our gratitude to God as pilgrims of hope in communion.

Thus, two Oblates have pioneered novel pathways for the Church in these lands. The unassuming nature of this Church, mirroring the humility of the manger, serves as a poignant reminder of Christmas —Jesus, born vulnerable and among the poor. With the aspiration to inspire additional missionaries to strengthen the Oblate community in Turkmenistan, we extend an invitation to join this unique Bethlehem.

May this reflection post-journey ignite a collective commitment to sow hope and foster communion with unwavering enthusiasm and love.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Suffrages for our Deceased Brothers

I recommend to your prayers the soul of our departed brother:

Fr. William DAVIS, OMI, from the US Province who died on December 18, 2023, in San Antonio (U.S.A.) at the age of 92 and 72 years of oblation. May he rest in peace.

Superior General.