A Brief History of the Delegation
The Oblates of Mary Immaculate arrived in Zambia in 1984, and started the mission with four pioneers from Texas, namely: Fr Pat Gitzen, Fr. Paul Duffy, Fr. Jack Joyce, and Bro. Joseph Kaplinger. Fr. Pat Gitzen is currently the member of staff at Our Lady of Peace Novitiate in Dobra - Namibia. Fr. Paul Duffy is the current Bishop of Mongu Diocese, Fr. Jack Joyce and Bro. Joseph Kaplinger past past away; May their souls rest in eternal peace.
Oblates of Mary Immaculate are currently working in three missions in Mongu diocese, namely, Kalabo, Limulunga and Lukulu. There is also a recently started parish - Mary Immaculate in Lusaka. Within the context of these parishes, we also run the youth ministries. We are also involved in mass media, specifically the commiunity radio station Oblate Radio Liseli in Mongu. This radio station which will be officially opened in June this year covers the whole of Mongu and most of the Western Province for which Mongu is the provincial capital.
The membership of the Deligation is growing, as the Lord blesses us with more vocations. At the moment membership totals 45. Among our ranks, we have 1 Bishop, 15 priests, 1 brother, 28 scholastics. We aslo have 13 Novices and 25 pre-novices. Our formation process starts starts in Lusaka at the formation house called pre-novitiate. Then the candidates go to one of the three Novitiates: Our Lady of Peace in Dobra - Windhoek, Namibia; Our Lady Hope, Johannesburg - South Africa, and Our lady Hope Novitiate, Illinois U.S.A. Our scholastics are also found in most of our international scholasticates with the majority being sent to St. Joseph's scholasticate near Piertermaritzburg in South Africa. Others go to San Antonio, Texas, Chicago in U.S.A. and Rome.
The leadership of the delegation is such that we now have a locally born superior - who is also the first Zambia Oblate to be ordained priest in 1998.