In response to the call of the General Chapter, Fr. Superior General announced the “Year of Oblate Vocations” from December 8, 2017 to January 25, 2019. The theme is “‘Come and See!’ (John 1:39): Focusing on the Joy and Generosity of Our Oblate Life.”
This “Year of Oblate Vocations” will both give support to and be strengthened by Pope Francis’ call for a year dedicated to “Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.” In fact, his personal message to us at the audience with the members of the General Chapter on October 7, 2016, placed before us the urgency to commit ourselves to vocation ministry in light of the needs of the Church.
“The work to be done in order to achieve all of this (a Church for everyone) is vast; and all of you also have your own specific contribution to offer… The current field of mission seems to expand every day… Therefore, there is need of you, of your missionary courage, your availability to bring to everyone the Good News that frees and consoles” (Acts, Address of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, p. 5, English Edition).
These words, and his entire message, do not sound like Pope Francis believes we have done our job, that we can retire our Crosses and can now fade into the past. The Church is counting on us to respond to the needs of the poor today, and to “write new pages” in the history of evangelization!
The “Year of Oblate Vocations” is being coordinated by Fr. Cornelius Ngoka, OMI, under his portfolio as Assistant General for Formation. The organizing committee is headed by Father Antoni Bochm, General Councilor for Europe, with the assistance of Father Guillaume Muthunda, General Councilor for Africa/Madagascar. More information will be forthcoming.