Dear Oblate Bishops,
Blessings to you in your episcopal ministry!
As we prepare to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, we have thought of you and your special relationship to the Congregation. While we contemplated a possible gathering with all the Oblate Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinal, it is not possible, given factors such as the ongoing preparation for the General Chapter, the Oblate Congress on Mission with Youth, the Oblate Youth Encounter before World Youth Day and the Congress on Vocations.
I would like to make a special invitation to you. If you should come to Rome in this jubilee period, which the Congregation is celebrating until 25 January 2017, please make a visit to the General House a part of your plans. As most of you know, we are a very lively international community of 70 Oblates from 25 different countries. Besides meeting familiar as well as new brother Oblates here, the General House is a place of pilgrimage for us. I invite you to spend time in the chapel of Saint Eugene where we treasure a relic of his heart, that missionary heart which embraced the world. The altar of obedience where he and Tempier professed vows of obedience on Holy Thursday, 1816, is a shrine of grace and provokes prayer and reflection for every Oblate. In the main chapel, on the altar above the Blessed Sacrament, is our beloved Oblate Madonna before which Eugene had an extraordinarily graced experience on 15 August 1822. The General House is both a place to connect with brother Oblates and a space for prayer where Oblates come more deeply in touch with the charism.
While you know you are always welcome here, I would like to be intentional about this invitation and reinforce that it is our great joy that you grace us with your presence. When you come to Rome we hope you will find time to visit us in order to strengthen your relationship with us. We invite you to spend some personal time in prayer thanking God for the grace of your vocation as an Oblate.
You are always welcome to dine with us (1:00 PM and 7:30 PM). If you are in Rome on a Sunday, I invite you to preside at our community liturgy at 9:00 AM. If this is possible in your schedule, I kindly ask that you please let the Superior of the General House, Fr. Thomas Klosterkamp, (Klosterkamp@oblaten.de) know in advance. We look forward to seeing you here and sharing with you the joy of our Oblate vocation and the charism Saint Eugene left as a heritage for the entire Church.
A most warm welcome!
Your brother Oblate in Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Louis Lougen, OMI
Rome, 8 September 2015