As Superior General of the Missionary Oblates, Fr. Louis Lougen, O.M.I. said God has written an important part of his job description: “The Spirit at work among us will do infinitely more than we can hope for or imagine.” (Eph. 3:20)
Father Lougen is relying on the Spirit, and his brother Oblates, to enrich the Oblate congregation as a global family of effective missionaries. In October Fr. Lougen was re-elected to a second six-year term as the Oblates’ Superior General.
“I firmly believe we have an important mission in the Church,” said Fr. Lougen. “Our simplicity, our availability, our approachability brings us so close to the people.”
Father Lougen was born in Buffalo, New York in 1952 and met the Oblates while in high school. He was ordained in 1979 and spent nearly 17 years as a missionary in Brazil, where he lived and worked among the country’s poorest people. In the United States he worked in formation and as Pastor at Holy Angels Parish in Buffalo before becoming the Provincial of the United States Province.
During the first six years of his tenure as Superior General, Fr. Lougen visited many of the provinces, delegations and missions of the Oblates. He came into his position able to speak English, Portuguese and Spanish. He is now able to also converse in Italian and French.
When asked about the future of the Oblates, Fr. Lougen said that as long as there are poor people in the world, there will be work for the Oblates. He said it is the responsibility of each Oblate to reveal God’s compassionate face to the poor.
“We have many good works in the congregation, but we cannot rest or be comfortable,” said Fr. Lougen. “We have to look for the people who need our help, and get out there with the Good News to them.”
After his re-election Fr. Lougen and the other Oblates who had gathered in Rome took part in an audience with Pope Francis. The following are highlights of a letter written by Pope Francis congratulating the Oblates on their past accomplishments, and encouraging them to remain faithful to their