General Councillor, Asia-Oceania

Fr. Eugene BENEDICT, General Councillor for Asia-Oceania, recently visited Hong Kong and Australia, where he was inspired by the Oblates’ dedication to serving others and living out their faith in practical ways.

Landing in Hong Kong after a long flight, I was both exhausted and excited. I was here to learn about the ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in this part of the world. As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by Fr. Mark SERNA, OMI, and his community. Their warmth and hospitality were immediately evident, setting the tone for the incredible experience ahead.

The Heart of the Mission
The Oblates arrived in Hong Kong in 1966, and their work has grown to include a wide range of ministries. I visited their schools and saw how they are providing quality education to children who might otherwise have no access to it. They also run programs for prisoners and support migrant workers from countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
One of the most striking parts of their work is their outreach to drug addicts. The local government has recognized their efforts, which shows just how impactful their work is. Meeting the people they help and seeing the changes in their lives was truly inspiring.

Next Stop: Australia
My journey then took me to Australia, where the Oblates have been active since 1967. The Australian Oblates are involved in numerous ministries, and I got to see their impact up close. They run several boys’ colleges, providing education to disadvantaged youth. I visited Iona College in Brisbane and Mazenod College in Melbourne, and it was wonderful to see the dedication of the teachers and the enthusiasm of the students.

Youth Engagement
One of the highlights of my visit was learning about the Oblate Youth Movement, which started in 2000. This initiative connects young Catholics and encourages them to get involved in their communities. I attended a youth meeting and was blown away by the energy and commitment of the young people there. They are passionate about their faith and eager to make a difference.

Community and Lay Support
The Oblate work wouldn’t be possible without the support of the laity. The De Mazenod Family Association is a great example of this. They help promote vocations and provide financial and moral support to the Oblates. It was heartwarming to see how a community can come together to support such a meaningful mission.

Reflecting on the Journey
My time with the Oblates in Hong Kong and Australia was inspiring. Their dedication to serving others and living out their faith in practical ways is something we can all learn from. For young Catholics looking to make a difference, the Oblates offer a powerful example of how to put faith into action.  Witnessing their work firsthand reminded me that we all have a role to play in building a more compassionate and just world. Whether it’s through education, supporting the marginalized, or engaging with our communities, we can all contribute in meaningful ways.