Friday Dec, 02 2022 08:39:09 PM

Congress on the Oblate Charism in Context

Breaking News • 20:10 PM Thu Jul 9, 2015
Rey Emmanuel M. Amancio, OMI
Oblates around the world, this three from Mexico, participate in the first ever Congress on the Oblate Charism in Contect via livestreaming. (Photo by Fr. Eduardo Vasquez, OMI)

Good Morning, Good
Afternoon and Good Evening, Oblate World!” Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, the
Superior General of The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, gives this
greeting via livestream to commence the truly original and first of its kind CONGRESS
ON THE OBLATE CHARISM IN CONTEXT(COCC). It was an international event being
held in eight Oblate units around the world synced at an approximately the same
time (Texas, Mexico City, Rome, Kinshasa, Durban, Obra, Colombo and Manila)
from June 30 to July 3, 2015.Each oblate unit hosted a local and an
international session. The international connectionwas made simultaneous,
connected to each other via online livestreaming.

The COCC has as its primary
objective to listen to the opportunities and the challenges of the Oblate
charism from its being lived in different contexts, with a view to give a new
impetus for the entire Congregation, 200 years after its birth.

In Manila,the local sessions were held at
the Our Lady of Assumption Scholasticate (OLAS) in Quezon City. Spearheaded by
Fr. Federico Labaglay, OMI, the person-in-charge for the Manila gathering, the
local Congress on the Oblate charism was enriched by the contextualized reports
of the different delegates coming from the Asia-Oceania region (Japan,
Thailand-Laos, Indonesia, Australia, Vietnam and Philippines). Recognizing the
array of the contextualized reflections and experiences of the Oblate charism
that were shared during the Congress, Fr. Francis Zabala, OMI has this to say
in an attempt for a synthesis of the Congressand

Asia-Oceania, we encountered Jesus not only within—within our Oblate
communities and structures—but also without—among the poor, the indigenous
peoples, peoples of different religions and cultures, amid globalization,
secularization, environmental degeneration, and so on. In that encounter, we dialogued with
Jesus. We dialogued with him not only in
prayer and thru the resources of our faith but in attending to the realities of
our contexts. Then having encountered
and conversed with the Lord, we’re called to be his witnesses to the ends of
the earth.”

The gathering in Manila was to stay connected with the seven
Oblate units from 8PM to 11PM via internet for the international connection.

A second
objective of the COCC is that for the Oblates to become more aware –
especially among the young Oblates – of the richness of Oblate life today,
and to increase the awareness and sense of belonging to one apostolic body. We
are one community in the world. The Congress, in local sessions, was also
participated by the young oblate scholastics. A lay mission partner, Ms. Zone
Narito, was also in attendance to represent and the lay mission partners.

On the fourth and final day
of the COCC (International Connection), Fr. Fabio Ciardi, OMI, Director of the
General Service for the Oblate Studies and the lead animator of the said
Congress, announced that the Acts of the Congress will be distributed in four
issues of the Oblatio , an oblate journal review, and will be made available
beginning December, 2015. Fr. Fabio, in summing up the whole experience,
likened the Congress to a jigsaw puzzle and described that it ”…was an instrument of great communion
within the whole oblate world today. It is as if the world was in a single room
(contextualization). Or maybe the room has expanded throughout the world
(inter-contextualization). It is in these days that we felt like one family.
The distances are no longer barrier.”

At the conclusion of the
COCC, Fr. General Louis Lougen, OMI re-affirms the role of the Holy Spirit in
all of theseand The Spirit is confirming the journey that the Congregation is
making, not just now, not just since 1972, but all along. The Spirit is leading
us, sometimes dragging us, sometimes kicking us in the butt.” He further
described the experience of being in the Congress

We have had
four powerful days. And we did not only speak and reflect about the charism, we
felt it, we experienced it, and we lived it in, and through the context of
technology…We were invited into this context, a new land, technology…It has
been wonderful…Mary smiled on the Founder, August 15, 1822. That blessing stays
with us. That blessing continues. We have much work to do for the Church. And I
say humbly, the Church needs us. The Church needs the Charism.”

Finally, the
Father General invited all of those in attendance—via livestream and in the
local Oblate units—for a cyber-singing”
of the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen, a traditional oblate Marian prayer). Fr.
General intones us the first notes of the chant, then the whole oblate world
connected on line was in unison.

LaudeturIesus Christus! Et
Maria Immaculata!

(Praised be Jesus Christ!
And Mary Immaculate!)

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