Rome (Fides Service) – The Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate will hold the 34th general chapter of their institute from 30 August to 28 September 2004. The 97 chapter members will come to Rome from all over the world. Besides members of the general administration and a few guests chapter members from Europe 22, from Africa-Madagascar 18, from Asia-Oceania 13, from Latin America 12, from Canada 10 and from the United States 5. A total of 52 delegates have been elected in the local communities.
The general chapter, which will outline guidelines for the coming 6 years and elect the persons who will put them into practice will take place under the banner of hope. In fact the theme chosen for reflection is “Witnessing hope: a call, our mission”. A vast theme which will be addressed from concrete aspects of the life of Oblates on missionary in the world. Preparation began as long ago as January 2000, when Oblate communities took part in a programme of spiritual renewal focussed on the theme of hope. More immediate preparation started in January 2003 aimed at helping the Chapter members to discern and identify themes requiring attention. Some have already been identified: ministry and charisma of the Oblates; ministry of justice and peace among the poor and with the poor; ministry with youth; demographic changes and their consequences for an ever more multi-cultural Congregation. However the central theme for reflection will be Hope, of which Oblates like all Christians are called to be witnesses to the men and women of our day. (S.L.) (Fides Service 27/1/2004; lines 19; words 276)