Provincial Blesses New Retreat Center in Zambia.


Photos and captions by Fr. Louis Studer, OMI, U.S. Provincial

Group photo from the assembly

U.S. Provincial, Fr. Louis Studer will be wrapping up a three-week trip to South Africa and Zambia, flying back to the U.S. on Friday, January 13 (obviously he is not superstitious!)

Having Left the U.S. on December 26, he spent his first few days on the African continent in Cape Town, South Africa, where among other things, he met with Archbishop Stephen Brislin and Oblate Bishop Sylvester David.

On January 2, he moved on to Lusaka, Zambia. There joined by Vicar-provincial, Fr. Art Flores, U.S. Treasurer, Fr. Jim Chambers, and Provincial Council member, Fr. Emmanuel Mulenga, they attended the Delegation Assembly held January 3-6, where Fr. Studer announced the appointment of the new Superior, Fr. Chishimba Chibesa, OMI. The Zambian Oblates are now in the process of discerning their choices for the new council that will support Fr. Chibesa.

Daniel LeBlanc (Translator) from Canada now serving at the U.N. New York, USA
Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI

Coincidentally, another U.S. Oblate is also visiting in Zambia. Fr. Studer said, “Oblate Fr. Daniel LeBlanc is here meeting with various Religious ministering in Zambia  who have representatives from their congregations working with him at the United Nations in New York. He is educating them about the progress being made in influencing U.N. ambassadors on issues of justice, peace and ecology.”

On Saturday, January 7, Fr. Studer drove seven hours south from Lusaka to Livingstone, to celebrate Mass with Bishop Valentine Kalumba, OMI, and to bless the new retreat center in his diocese. 25 Oblates attended the Mass and walked around the retreat center with Fr Studer during the blessing.

Back in Lusaka, Fr. Studer will be visiting with Oblates, traveling, planning, and discussing various ministry possibilities. The agenda will also include continuing exchanges of personnel between delegation and province. On Thursday, January 12, his last full day in Zambia, Fr. Studer plans to celebrate Mass at the pre-novitiate for the 30 pre-novices and have dinner there before heading back to the states on Friday.

Below are new photos from Fr. Studer taken during the assembly in Lusaka and his trip to Livingstone. The captions are Fr. Studer’s personal descriptions of the action.

  “Oblates gather to celebrate Eucharist at the Assembly in Lusaka.
Our prayer during the Assembly was celebrated in the beautiful chapel at Kasisi Retreat Center, Lusaka. 
I was invited to preside at Mass and receive the vows of Brother Willbroad
During Mass, Brother Willbroad Kapembwa, OMI, renewed temporary vows as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate. Beautiful drumming and song was provided by Oblates in first formation.

Over the weekend, Fr. Studer traveled south from Lusaka to Livingstone for the blessing and dedication of a beautiful new Oblate Retreat Center. He was accompanied by the Oblate Bishop of the Diocese of Livingstone, Bishop Valentine Kalumba, OMI.

“A view of the retreat center”
Getting acquainted with a bit of humor before Mass: Oblates Louis Studer, Bishop Valentine, Barnabas Simatende.
At the blessing and dedication of the new Oblate retreat center in Livingstone, Zambia, (L-R): New Delegation Superior Chibesa Chishimba, Interim Superior Nebby Mutale, Bishop Valentine Kalumba, Provincial Louis Studer, Pastor Barnabas Simatende.
Twenty five Oblates gathered to celebrate Eucharist together on the Feast of the Epiphany at the retreat center. This was the first Mass celebrated at the newly built facility in the diocese of Livingstone, Zambia.”
Bishop Valentine Kalumba. OMI, Ordinary of the Livingstone diocese presided at Mass, assisted by Fathers Barnabas Simatende, Louis Studer, Nebby Mutale. Chibesa Chishimba.”
Preparing for the blessing of each of the residences of the retreat facility
Father Barnabas Simatende accompanies me as I bless the retreat center.”