BEX Meeting in Kokotek, Poland: A Gathering of Fraternity and Vision


Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG

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By Alberto GNEMMI, OMI, General Councillor for Europe

From May 13 to 16, the annual BEX meeting took place in Kokotek, Poland, bringing together 24 Oblates and Mrs. Pauline Thomas, a representative of the Lay Associates.

This gathering included provincials and delegation, mission, and district superiors from across Europe, as well as the presidents of the five regional commissions, and the General Councillor for Europe. Also in attendance were the secretary and bursar of the CIE, and Father Javier Montero Infantes, the newly appointed provincial superior of the Mediterranean Province.

Tackling Restructuring and Mission Challenges

A major focus of the meeting was the restructuring of the Congregation, particularly within Europe. With a backdrop of declining numbers and an aging personnel in many Units, the discussions emphasized the need for strategic changes. The group explored the integration of Oblates from other continents and the need to consider Europe’s unique historical, geographical, and linguistic factors. This multifaceted approach aims to ensure the vitality and sustainability of the mission.

BEX Meeting in Kokotek

Key Updates and New Initiatives

Updates from the five regional commissions on Formation, Mission, Economy, Youth and Vocations Ministry, and Associated Laity highlighted the progress and challenges of the past year. Ms. Pauline Thomas shared inspiring developments about the laity’s role within the Congregation in Europe. Additionally, the General Councillor for Europe outlined ongoing efforts by the General Administration to implement the 37th General Chapter’s directives.

Leadership Changes

One of the meeting’s highlights was the appointment of new leaders within the CIE. Father Renaud SALIBA from the Province of France was named president, with Father Marek OCKLACH from the Province of Poland as vice-president, and Father Angelo CAPUANO confirmed as secretary. The group expressed their gratitude to Father Felix REHBOCK from the Central European Province for his dedicated service as president since May 2023.

Building Unity Through Prayer

Daily Eucharist and prayer moments were integral to the meeting, fostering a strong sense of unity among the participants. A memorable visit to the shrine in Czestochowa on May 15 further strengthened these bonds, providing a spiritual highlight of the gathering.

Looking Ahead

As the BEX meeting concluded, participants left with a clear sense of direction and community spirit. The next meeting is scheduled for May 2025 in Pontmain, France. With a renewed commitment to their mission, the Oblates look forward to continuing their work with faith and dedication.

Pics@Misjonarze Oblaci MN w Polsce