New Way of Being Missionary
A group of Oblates gathered at Gnanodhayam, Mannar for their Annual Retreat, from the 2nd to the 7th November 2015. Fr. Emmanuel Maphoma Mosoeu OMI, General Councilor for Africa-Madagascar Animated the Retreat. The theme of the retreat was “New Way of Being Missionary”. Fr. Mosoeu emphasized that today we are called to go back and rediscover our roots: Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament; Jesus Christ as our model as well as partner who accompanies us in our mission. The General Chapter-35 of 2010 duly placed Community, Mission, Leadership, Formation and Stewardship in the context of Jesus Christ; whereas previously we often placed any mission-talk in the context of Church or the OMI Congregation. Fr. Mosoeu pointed out that we had often forgotten the “god” that Jesus had revealed, as the Abba who loves ALL without discrimination; the Father who forgives and forgets. He cited ample instances from the history of the Church where the Church had been philandering with “gods” of its own creation, and had discriminated and oppressed the nations; often justifying its actions by texts chosen from the Old Testament.
Although his two main talks per day lasted nearly 90 minutes, the audience was kept enthralled; not only because the talks were provocative in substance, but also because they were delivered with gusto and with generous amount of body language and dance, typical of Africans. On the last day of the Retreat the three jubilarians were feted: Fr. P. P. Philip OMI [60 years of Religious Profession]; Fr. Stanislaus Swampillai OMI [25 years of Religious Profession] & Fr. Jeevanadas Fernando OMI [25 years in Priesthood]
There were forty two retreatants in the first group; seven from Colombo Province and the rest from Jaffna Province. Subsequently seven Oblates from Jaffna Province will join the retreat at Tewatta, Ragama, organized by Colombo Province. There will be a third retreat at Gnanodhayam to accommodate those who could not participate in the other retreats. This retreat will be animated by Fr. Stephen C.R., from Rosarian Congregation which was founded by an Oblate priest: Fr. B. A. Thomas OMI.