Zambia Delegation Celebrates 40 Years of Oblate Presence

Oblate Delegation of Zambia

Thanks to Fr. Emmanuel Mulenga, OMI and Fr. Billy Morell, OMI

Assembly in session. About 65 Oblates attended the annual delegation assembly

The OMI Zambia delegation recently held their annual Delegation Assembly and the launching of the Ruby anniversary (40 years of oblate presence in Zambia 1984-2024). The theme of the delegation assembly and Ruby anniversary is Pilgrims of Hope in Communion: Following Christ the First Pilgrim and Missionary. The US Provincial, Fr. Ray Cook, OMI, has graced the event with his presence, joining the Delegation Superior and members of the Delegation in reflecting and celebrating.

U.S. Provincial, Fr. Raymond Cook preaches at one of the Eucharistic Celebrations

In all about 65 Oblates gathered at the new Oblate Center in Livingston, the Luxe Countryside Conference Center. The event was 3 full days, bordering on 5. It followed the four-decades-long tradition for the full membership of the Zambia Delegation to gather annually.  This was the first time the Assembly was held in Livingstone. 

Fr. Cook addresses a question at the assembly

The two Oblate bishops in Zambia were in attendance (Bishop Valentine Kalumba, OMI, of Livingstone and Bishop Chinyemba Chinyama Evans, OMI, of Mongu.)  Fr Pat Gitzen, one of the original founders of the Zambia Mission, and currently the Director of Formation for the Zambia Delegation, also was present.  In addition to Fr Ray Cook, Oblates from the US in attendance included Fr. Jim Chambers (Treasurer of the US Province), Fr. Emmanel Mulenga (Member of the USP Provincial Counsil) and Fr Billy Morell (Consultant to Zambia for Sustainability).  

In a breakout session U.S. Treasurer, Fr. Jim Chambers, is in the center of this photo facing camera
Another breakout session finds delegation co-founder, Fr. Pat Gitzen at center, facing camera, and Fr. Raymond Cook on the right
Fr. Emmanuel Mulenga (L) meets with Zambian Oblate Bishops, Bishop Valentine Kalumba (center) and Bishop Chinyemba Chinyama Evans (R)
(L-R) Fr. Barnabas Simatende, Co-founder of the delegation, Fr. Pat Gitzen, first ordained Zambian Oblate, Fr. Joseph Phiri
Fr. Raymond Cook (L) shares a lighter moment with his Zambian brother Oblates