Fr. Chicho: “You are the Missionaries of the new Digital world”

Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

Click here to see the Article en Español

The Superior General, Fr. Chicho, met online today with about 60 communication leaders of the congregation.

“You are the missionaries of the new digital world who are learning a new language, in which Jesus also wants the Gospel to be proclaimed. Like the first missionaries, you must let yourselves be moved by the love you feel for Jesus and for the men and women you will meet through the networks to proclaim the Good News.”

During the meeting, sponsored by the General Communication Service, director Fr. Bonga talked about how oblate communication is doing, including the problems and possibilities. This was followed by contributions from Devin Watkins, Angelica Ciccone, and Fr. Hipólito Olea, Members of the Interior Committee of the General Service of Oblate Communications.

The meeting was also addressed by the 1st Assistant, Fr Raymond MWANGALA, who directed it, and the Vicar General, Fr. Antoni BOCHM.

Here’s Fr. Chicho address to the Communication’s Directors:


I want to greet and thank all of you who are making this meeting possible. For me, it is an experience that fills me with hope and joy. When Fr. Bonga invited me to participate, the image of the Founder and his companions came to mind.  That moment, when the Oblate charism was taking its first steps.  These images will help me express what I want to say.

You are digital missionaries.

Let me use these words to define your ministry. You are taking the Gospel to the digital continent, and this is our charism: to announce the Gospel to the most abandoned, to take the Gospel to the places where it has not yet been proclaimed or where the Church sends us.  I see you embodying the spirit of the founder and his first companions: they aimed to bring the Gospel to the people of Provence by speaking their heart-language. This same spirit was evident when missionaries were sent to new and unknown lands in America, Africa, and Asia. They ventured into unfamiliar territories, prepared to proclaim the Gospel to the poorest in their own language, drawing close to the people and serving them with love. It was love translated into apostolic zeal that propelled them, out of love for Jesus, to give their lives in those new worlds.

You are the missionaries of the new digital world, learning a new language through which Jesus also desires the Gospel to be proclaimed. Just like the first missionaries, you must allow yourselves to be moved by the love you feel for Jesus and for the men and women you will encounter online in order to announce the Good News. This proclamation must be done in this new language composed of images, video clips, photographs, writings, interviews, and more.

Certainly, the Founder urged his missionaries to prepare themselves to announce the Gospel. He invited them to study a lot, to be updated, and to be simple and clear in their expression in order to reach the hearts of those who were listening. I want to tell you that you also have to prepare yourselves well to be able to reach the hearts of those who sometimes need clear and direct messages that give them reasons to have hope. Spread the good news of our charismatic family and explore the missionary paths through which to walk, announcing the gospel in the new language and embracing the new digital mentality.

You are webs of communion.

When the Oblate missionaries spread to the four corners of the world, the Founder insisted that they write letters to him to keep the Oblate family united. Eugene asked his missionaries to document everything happening in the missions in order to share with everyone. He also encouraged them to seek his advice before making decisions. What is interesting and even exciting is that there were Oblates whom he never knew personally, yet he addressed them through these letters, expressing his fatherly love. I believe this illustrates the second dimension of his ministry: being webs of communion for our charismatic family.

The beauty of this meeting lies in our ability to be channels of communion and collaborate together. While we may not know each other personally, we sense that we are members of the same family and share a love for our father, the Founder. You have the power to facilitate our growth in communion and charity. You have the ability to foster charity among us and to help us remain united in our shared charism. Additionally, you can play a significant role in encouraging initiatives such as the implementation of the General Chapter and others. Your support is invaluable in guiding us to become an increasingly synodal charismatic family, walking in a synodal Church alongside the poor.

As the successor of St. Eugene, I feel that keeping communion in our family is a responsibility that I cannot do alone. Please let us help each other do it together. I encourage you to walk together synodically, so that our family may be the most united on earth and proclaim the unity dreamed of by Jesus to all humanity.

The Holy Spirit urging us to embrace courage and exert every effort to become more effective missionaries in this digital age

After hearing your insights during this initial meeting, I sense the Holy Spirit urging us to embrace courage and exert every effort to become more effective missionaries in this digital age. It is the Holy Spirit who impels and enlightens us; therefore, let us not fear. Let us, like St. Eugene and his first companions, allow God to guide us and demonstrate how to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus through love and closeness, through the witness of our lives. We can seek the intercession and inspiration of Mary: she allowed the Spirit to transform her and she trusted in God, offering her life to receive and give Jesus. She journeys with us on this adventure; she was the mother of communion in the Church during its earliest missionary moments. I pray that the Lord bless each of you, transforming you into digital missionaries who enable us to live in missionary communion in our modern era. Let us journey together as pilgrims of hope in communion.

Praise be Jesus Christ. And Mary Immaculate.