Oblate Scholastic: “Because I’m Happy”

Oblate Vocations

By Mike Viola

Bro. David Chisha, OMI

Brother David Chisha, OMI has a shirt with a simple quote on it: “My vocation is to be a happy man.”  And today he is a very happy man because he is a Missionary Oblate.

“We need to find our happiness in life, and when we embrace God, we become happy,” Bro. David explains.

Brother David has found happiness in God since he was a boy growing up in Zambia.  He is from a family of six children who were active in the St. Charles Luangwa Parish in Chipulukusu.  As an altar server, Bro. David particularly enjoyed going with the priests to bring the Eucharist to the sick.

“The presence of the priest brought much joy to the people we visited,” said Bro. David.  “Our visit brought a smile to their face and that made a big impact on me even at such a young age.”

After high school, Bro. David went to the big city of Lusaka to find work.  He studied auto mechanics and eared a certification.  While in Lusaka, a group of Oblate pre-novices visited his parish and invited him to play soccer.  A huge soccer fan, Bro. David jumped at the opportunity to join in.  Playing soccer with the young Oblates was the beginning of his Oblate journey.

Brother David became friends with the pre-novices and would play soccer and other activities several days a week with them.  Soon, he began to take an interest in a possible vocation as a Missionary Oblate. 

Daily Mass at the Scholasticate

“I was inspired by the charism of the congregation: ‘zeal to preach the Gospel to the poor with their many faces, especially those who are most abandoned,” said Bro. David.

When he told his family he wanted to pursue the possibility of a religious vocation, there ws some apprehension at first.  As the oldest son, it was expected that he would get a job to support his family.  But Bro. David comes from a strong Catholic family and was eventually told by his mom, “If this is what God is calling you to do then who am I to say no.”

Brother David joined the Oblate’s pre-novitiate program in 2014.  He spent four years discerning his vocation, learning about the Oblate founder and attending philosophy classes.  In 2018 he was stunned to learn that he would be doing his novitiate year in the United States.

Bro. David helps with the dishes

“I was both excited and nervous about going to the America,” said Bro. David.  “I had never lived more than an hour away from my family.”

After his novitiate year, Bro. David continued his Oblate journey in the United States, studying at Oblate School of Theology (OST) in San Antonio, Texas.  During the past four years, he has been back to Zambia just once for a short visit.

Today, Bro. Davis is part of an international community of Oblate seminarians studying at OST.  He is popular with his classmates because he is always smiling and in a good mood.

Brother David is truly living his vocation to “be a happy man.”  And in doing so, he brings happiness to everyone he meets, and will continue to do so as a Missionary Oblate for generations to come.