An experience of a great event: International congress for religious, 2017.

“Come and see!”


Vocational pastoral and consecrated life – Horizons and hopes

An experience of a great event

Starting the year of oblate vocations I want to share with you an experience of a great event, an opportunity given to me at the beginning of Advent, only one week before the solemnity of Immaculate Conception.

The Congregation for the institutes of consecrated life and the societies of apostolic life had organized a big international congress for religious, working in the campus of vocational pastoral from the first to the third of December at the Regina Apostolorum University in Rome. The main idea was to give religious people working with young people the opportunity to listen to each other and to brainstorm about new horizons and hopes for their work with regard to the upcoming synod of bishops next year which will have the theme: “the youth, faith and vocational discernment.” So more than 750 consecrated woman and men took the opportunity given by the Vatican to join this great event with the programmatic title: “Come and see! Vocational pastoral and consecrated life – Horizons and hopes”. Apart from me, three oblates were also participating, two from Italy and one from Poland, all of them working for vocations in their units.


But what was a scholastic of the International Scholasticate doing there? That is a legitimate question! As I am studying consecrated life since two months at the Theological Institute Claretianum here in Rome, I was asked by the authority of the University to take part in this special event together with another young religious man from the Philippines and a young Bolivian sister. As young consecrated people we had a very simple but important task: Listening attentively, summarizing the main points and then giving an overview about new horizons and hopes. That was quite a serious job! So we had two days of listening to the Prefect and his Secretary, former Superior Generals, priest and sisters working in vocational pastoral from all over the world, discussions, summarizing, sleeping a little less and on Sunday we had to present our results to the whole assembly. Climbing the stage our knees were shaking a little, of course we do not get to every day talk in front of more than 750 people. But everything went well and we were happy to receive an applause from the assembly!


I just want to share with you some of the main points that we highlighted during our talk which could be a stimulus to us as Oblates starting a year of vocations. Obviously our results are neither complete nor the only thing to say about vocation and how we can help young people today to find it. We just put everything that seemed important to us for a future pastoral work for vocations.

Here some of our results:

  • Vocational pastoral has to lead young people to a personal encounter with Christ
  • We have to create personal relationships with young people, listen to them, accompany them, love them
  • We have to go where they are to understand who they are
  • We have to be rooted in the Word of God and we don’t have to forget that the gospel of the vocation is demanding
  • Our community life has to be a reflex of the Trinitarian life, that means creating fraternal communities, for that it’s necessary to humanize our community life
  • The importance of welcoming cultural and spiritual differences
  • Living with hope and joy
  • Walking in the footsteps of Christ
  • Living our own vocation with passion
  • Showing the beauty of our religious vocation
  • Unify vocational pastoral and youth pastoral
  • Reinforce pastoral for families
  • Collaboration of charisms and inter-congregationally
  • Change mentality (metanoia) and vision
  • Open ourselves to an attitude of trust
  • Challenge the young people and let us be challenged by them
  • Young people have a huge thirst of God
  • Our charisms testify and charm

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We have an immense hope that there will be a future for religious life in all our countries and we believe that God is still calling. May we be his collaborators!

brother André Kulla omi


Year of Oblate Vocations!

Choose your Facebook Frame!!!

Oblate vocation FB frame English

The Oblate vocation year was inaugurated on 8th of December 2017. We have planned many spiritual and pastoral activities relating to this year. We are also taking our effort to reach the world thorough the social media to share our charisma. The vocation year Facebook frame is one of the new efforts of such. Now you can add ‘Oblate Vocation Facebook Frame’ to your facebook profile. As these frames are in many different languages you can select the language you want to use.  The languages are: English, Italian, French, Spanish, Polish, German, Vietnamees, Sinhala, Tamil, Bengali, Chinees, Tai, Korian and Malgasy. (And will be more)…

We are translating to other languages also. Let’s change it in to your language also… please send us the text in your language via Messanger, Facebook to ‘IRS Oblates’.

The way to add a frame to your Face Book Profile:

  1. Go to the time line, take the mouse pointer on to your profile picture
  2. Click on Update Profile Picture
  3. Click on add frame
  4. Then in the search Bar type “OMI Vocation (language)”  – eg. OMI Vocation English
  5. select the frame and click on use as profile picture (below the Picture)
  6. done!

Thank you very much for using the OMI FB Frame!

Happy Ordination Anniversary dear Fr. Callistus Khathali, OMI

Today 6th of December Fr. Callistus Khathali, OMI celebrates his 20th Ordination Anniversary. Let’s ask God’s continuous blessings upon him to continue his journey with Jesus His Son and with poor.

Episode 6 – Two Sentences

Fr. Callistus has shared with you all many of his experiences as an Oblate for 25 years and as a religious priest for 20 years. Today concluding this series of inspirational experience sharing, Fr. Callistus summaries this way of life in to two sentences (and few more). Let’s listen to our friend, brother and Priest Fr. Callistus OMI

Dear friends,

we thank you for being with us listening to Fr. Callistus and sharing your thoughts and comments with us. Continue to be with us and be our strength! God Bless you!

Episode 5: Pope Francis speaks to the Oblates

What St. John Paul II and Pope Francis said about the Oblates?

Fr. Callistus shares his experience in Rome. He was blessed to participate in the Canonization of the Founder of the Congregation: St. Eugene de Mazenod. And he was here in Rome for the 200th Anniversary of the Congregation. Let’s listen to his Roman Experience…

See: He was there at the Canonization of St. Eugene de Mazenod, the Founder of the congregation on 3rd of December 1995.

upcoming: Episode 6 – Two Sentences

Episode 4 – The temptation of Fr. Callistus

The challenges of being a priest

Fr. Callistus Shares the challenges he faced as a religious priest.

His thoughts reflect the unseen beauty of a priest who faced very many challenges and who overcame certain temptations.

Let’s listen to Fr. Callistus, a priest, a human challenged and tempted…

Upcoming: Episode 5 – What Pope Francis said …?

Episode 3 – Meeting the Beloved

The love lived in the periphery…

Fr. Callistus Shares his experiences on his mission to the poor, to the abandoned in the periphery of South Africa. His great love for those downtrodden has transformed those neglected communities in to more active and cared communities.

What do people expect from a Priest?

What is the true identity of a Priest?

Let’s listen to Fr. Callistus’s experience and inspiring thoughts on his mission to the poor

Upcoming: Episode 4 – The temptation of Fr. Callistus

Three things that should be in every Catholic home – How many do you have?

DSC_5665 S. James Suren OMI

(Currently studying Sacred Liturgy at the Holy Cross University, Rome for his Licentiate)
Recently I read an article about three fundamental liturgical symbols that enhance our Christina faith. This would be helpful to see how our families are built on the faith – sharing community.
One of the most enjoyable features of a home is that you get to decorate it. It doesn’t matter if your home is a room, or a tiny apartment, or a 100-room mansion. What matters is that it’s your space and you choose what happens there, including how to decorate it.  It is a curious fact of history that the Catholic Church permeates every aspect of life. There are secular ways of doing everything, then there are Catholic ways. This is because the Catholic Church has a long tradition stretching back over 2,000 years.

Despite differences, most Catholic homes have at least three things in common, not found in other homes.

1. A small font

The first is a small font, usually filled with holy water positioned at the entrance to a home. Mounted by the door, these fonts are similar to those found in the vestibules and doorways into your parish church. Upon entering and leaving the home, you and your guests may bless yourselves with holy water.

The blessing gesture, typically made by performing the sign of the cross, serves as a reminder that the home is a holy place, consecrated to God and that those who bless themselves ask the favor and guidance of God in all they do. Guests may not immediately know the purpose of such a font, but it’s easily explained and even non-Catholics can get excited about holy water and blessing themselves. It’s a beautiful tradition and one that is common in Catholic homes around the world.

2 . the presence of crucifixes

The second predominant feature of a Catholic home is the presence of crucifixes and statuary throughout the house. Usually a cross or crucifix is present in the living room and in every bedroom. The living room crucifix is commonly above the door.

In ancient Roman tradition, people did not have addresses, so they would indicate who owned the home with a plaque above the door, known as a “titulus.” Today, this practice has become extinct, in favor of numbered addresses, which are incredibly impersonal. However, Catholic homes will commonly post a crucifix above the doorway to indicate the primacy of Christ to the family. It means the residence belongs first to Christ, and his sacrifice is accepted by those who live within. It is also a reminder that Jesus is welcome in the home.

In bedrooms, the crucifix is placed on an available wall, or for children, a tiny crucifix can be pinned to a curtain over a window. There is a Catholic tradition usually reserved for those who work in very dangerous jobs, such as mining. Before the worker departs, he would remove the crucifix from the wall, kiss the icon of Jesus, and lay it gently on his pillow until his return. The presence of the cross in the room is a powerful reminder of the faith and provides a focal point during private prayer.


3. The statuary, the shrine

The use of statuary is also common, but can sometimes be reserved for the third, distinctive feature of the Catholic home, which is the altar or shrine.

Throughout much of the world, Catholics maintain a space in their home as a focal point for religious activity. Typically it may be a decorated table or dresser, or perhaps even a shelf, but in all cases there is one space reserved for God and the saints. Those spaces are commonly decorated with a state or icon. At least one candle is present to signify prayers and serve as a form of offering. During occasions when the family, or even just the individual needs to make a special petition to God, the shrine is used as a place of exceptional devotion.

These places provide you with an opportunity to share your faith with others, should they express an interest. The spaces of your home are yours and they represent you. If your faith is important to you, then those spaces should reflect that. One should be proud of their home, no matter how humble it may be.

Reference: Catholic Online (

Fear of oppression in formation…

Episode 2 – Fear of oppression in formation

(3.5 mins)


Fr. Callistus Shares his experiences on his initial formation…

The famous slogan of youth: The fight against the oppressors…

Can it be applied in the initial religious formation… Are the formandees oppressed by the Formators? What do you think?

Let’s listen to Fr. Callistus’s experience and inspiring thoughts on initial formation

Upcoming: Episode 3 – Meeting the Beloved


The free trip of young Callistus…

Today we bring you a beautiful vocation story written by God.


We will bring you this beautiful story in episodes for a week. Every day, starting from today you can follow this amazing vocation story for 7 days. At the end of these seven days on the 6th of December let’s wish him for his 20th ordination anniversary and thank God for this wonderful person and the vocation. So… stay with us…

Rev. Fr. Callistus Khathali, OMI, from South Africa has completed 25 years of religious life in the Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate this year. At present he is a formator at the International Roman Scholasticate, Rome.

Birth : 30th May 1968 (Durban, South Africa)

First Profession : 05th February 1992

Ordination : 06th December 1997

Episode 1: The free trip of young Callistus…

(4 mins)

Question 1. When did you hear God’s calling and how?



“Oggi per questa casa è venuta la salvezza”.

Thembo Zhuva


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Luca 19:1-10

Ecco fratelli, le parole di Gesù che  ho scelto come il tema sul quali voglio basare la mia riflessione sul vangelo di oggi. Il brano in cui Gesù incontra Zacchèo. Guardiamo un po’ la figura di Zacchèo, che mi appare aveva tante giustificazioni per non vedere Gesù: Era un uomo ricco quindi non aveva bisogno di nessuna cosa materiale da Gesù, era il capo dei pubblicani, e come sapete, i pubblicani erano furbi, ladri, nessuno li amava. E poi, il vangelo ci dice che Zacchèo era piccolo di statura e c’era una grande folla, si può aggiungere, una grande folla che non amava le persone come Zacchèo. Di fronte a tutte queste ragioni, Zacchèo potrebbe dire, “ma che mi frega vedere Gesù, lasciamo stare”. Invece, lui aveva un cuore grande; il desiderio di vedere Gesù, lo spinge a fare di più.

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È la stessa cosa nella nostra vita religiosa. Ci sono sempre le giustificazioni che ci bloccano a essere con Gesù; nella preghiera e nella sequela quotidiana di Gesù. Magari sia la stanchezza, siano le cose materiali che noi abbiamo come l’internet per esempio, forse dei problemi con la vita comunitaria, non ci sentiamo amati, forse siamo orgogliosi, o magari, sia la piccolezza nella nostra struttura umana.

Allora, preghiamo fratelli per il dono di conoscerci meglio, di sapere le cose che ci bloccano da essere con Gesù. Purtroppo, a volte non sappiamo i problemi che ci disturbano. Preghiamo anche per la grazia di un grande cuore e un grande desiderio come quello di Zacchèo. La grazia di andare avanti nonostante delle difficoltà.

Il secondo punto; più breve ma più importante. Guardate che cosa fa Gesù a Zacchèo; lo guarda con amore, lo invita di essere insieme, gli porta la gioia nel cuore. Gesù non guarda i peccati di Zacchèo, neanche i pensieri della gente. Gesù mostra solo amore, amore gratuito e incondizionato.

Che dice la folla davanti a questa manifestazione dell’amore? Il vangelo ci dice, “Tutti mormoravano…é entrato in casa di un peccatore”. In qualche parola, la gente vuole mettere o aggiungere le condizione nella amore incondizionato di Gesù.

Ecco fratelli, la realtà del mondo dove viviamo. Ci sono sempre le condizione prima di amare. Si deve essere bravo per essere accettato. Siamo dei bravi giudici come la folla nel vangelo di oggi. È molto facile vedere solo i negativi e le debolezze degli altri. Perciò, di solito, è molto difficile capire e accettare l’amore gratuito di Dio. Lo prendiamo di solito come una cosa da guadagnare da lui.

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Preghiamo fratelli per il dono di essere aperti a questa grazia e all’amore gratuito di Dio. Preghiamo anche per la grazia di condividerlo con gli altri. Il coraggio di portare Gesù gratuitamente, a tutti coloro che siamo chiamati a servire. Albert Nolan, un grande teologo dal Sud Africa scrive, “Se il vangelo non tocca i poveri, non è ancora il vangelo; una buona notizia deve farci disponibili a servire gli altri, soprattutto i poveri”. Zacchèo ha dato la metà di ciò che aveva ai poveri. La domanda è…Noi religiosi, che cosa stiamo facendo? Gesù ci sta dicendo, “Oggi per questa casa è venuta la salvezza”. La grazia e l’amore di Dio sono sempre presenti..Che cosa stiamo facendo con questa grazia. Una sfida per tutti noi. Amen

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate