Fr. Raymond Mwangala, OMI, First Assistant General

In less than two years, Fr. Raymond Mwangala, OMI, has gone from being a theology student to the third highest position in the Missionary Oblate congregation. At the recent General Chapter, Fr. Raymond was elected the congregations’ First Assistant General.

Prior to being assigned to the Oblate leadership team, Fr. Raymond was the Delegation Superior for the Oblates in Zambia, a mission overseen by the United States Province.

Father Raymond was born August 25, 1975, in Choma, Southern Province, Zambia. He grew up in a Catholic parish run by the Jesuits and as a teenager he worked as a research assistant for Jesuit publications, examining issues such as poverty and education.

The Jesuits sparked Fr. Raymond’s interest in religious life. But he felt more comfortable with the Oblates because of their willingness to live and work with the poorest of the poor.

 Father Raymond professed his First Vows in February, 1998, and was ordained on May 8, 2004.

Father Raymond’s first assignment was as a Pre-Novitiate Formator in Zambia. In 2006 he was assigned as Formator at the Oblates’ scholasticate in Cedara, South Africa, and at the same time served as a professor at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute.

In 2016 he did advanced studies at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, and at the same time served as a Formator at the Oblate seminarian community in San Antonio. In 2021 he returned to Zambia when he was appointed Superior of that delegation. There are nearly 70 Oblates in Zambia, making it one of the fastest-growing Oblate delegations in the world.

Father Raymond has spent much of his time as a missionary priest away from home. Now Rome will be his home for the next six years. Working in formation has been a primary focus of Fr. Raymond’s journey and he expects that formation will continue to be a primary focus of his time on the congregations’ leadership team.

“Educating our future Oblates is a big part of our missions,” says Fr. Raymond. “We must continue to do so. Because ignorance is much more expensive than education.”