Fr. Chicho, the Superior General of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, welcomed participants to the Orientation Session for Major Superiors at the General House in Rome.

This session, organized by the General Administration, aims to support newly appointed provincials, vicar provincials, and delegation superiors in their roles. For the first time, mission superiors were also invited, highlighting their vital role within the congregation.

“If Aix is our Mother House, Rome is our Father House”

Fr. Chicho emphasized the significance of the General House, which serves as the headquarters of the central government and its services. It is also home to artifacts of Oblate history and many relics, including the Heart of the Founder and the Oblate Madonna. He remarked, “If Aix is our Mother House, Rome is our Father House. This home contains our roots and offers a chance to connect with those who preceded us in ministry. We have the Heart of the Founder near us, guiding and inspiring us, and Our Blessed Mother who protects us!”

Fr. Chicho Welcomes Major Superiors

The importance of building a strong sense of community

A major theme of Fr. Chicho’s speech was the importance of building a strong sense of community. He pointed to Constitution 91, which states “It is of the nature of a local community to be a prophetic sign that offers grounds for hope to the world in its search for integrity and harmony.  This session emphasizes unity among the participants and with the broader Oblate community.  “By fostering a spirit of togetherness, we show that our mission is both achievable and fulfilling.”

Our mission is not only possible but also deeply rewarding

Fr. Chicho highlighted practical goals for the session, such as overcoming communication barriers and cultivating a supportive community. “Over the next few weeks, we have the chance to demonstrate to the entire congregation that our mission is not only possible but also deeply rewarding,” he said. “This experience is about more than just acquiring new tools for ministry; it’s about living as a local community and spreading hope.”

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Marking the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Fr. Chicho connected this celebration to the Oblates’ mission. He spoke about the founder’s transformative encounter with the mercy of Jesus crucified and the importance of sharing this experience with the marginalized. “The Pope has entrusted us with promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” he noted. 
Fr. Chicho urged participants to approach their time in Rome with an openness to mercy, emphasizing prayer, the sacraments, and a deep connection to Jesus. “This is an invitation to live this time open to mercy, to care for our prayer life, and to experience the sacraments,” he said.

“Live this experience with an open heart”

He stressed that the session should impact both mind and heart. “The things we learn with our minds may be forgotten, but those we hold in our hearts will stay with us,” he said. “I invite you to live this experience with an open heart, allowing yourselves to be transformed.”
Fr. Chicho encouraged everyone to embrace the twenty-day community experience as a unique opportunity for spiritual growth and brotherhood. “Let this be a time for the Lord to teach us how to serve our brothers through leadership and compassion,” he said.

“Welcome to this journey of unity and service.”

As his talk concluded, Fr. Chicho expressed hope that the lessons and experiences gained in Rome would continue to guide and inspire their mission. “Together, we can bring hope and serve those in need with renewed commitment,” he concluded. “Thank you, and welcome to this journey of unity and service.”