OMI (Oblate of Mary Immaculate)
The Oblates from the Zambia Delegation are found at Sancta Maria in Lukulu, St. Michael in Kalabo, St. Leopold in Shang’ombo and Oblate Radio Liseli as well as Jack Joyce Community both in Mongu. In Lusaka, they are found at Mary Immaculate Parish, Centre house, Delegation Administration Office and at the De Mazenod Formation House. In Southern province, they are found in Mazabuka and Livingstone. In Northern Province, they are found in Kasama. In Central province, thy are found in Kabwe. The OMI Zambia Delegation’s main apostolate is Missionary work, which is the reason they came to Zambia in the early 1980s, and celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1999. The Oblates work in areas where life is difficult and most of the people are extremely poor.
The Oblate Centre house in Lusaka was used as a distribution Centre, guest house as well as home base for the Oblates in Zambia. Today, it is the home of the Delegation Superior as the Administration Office has moved to 11 Ng’umbo Road.
The Oblates have a Formation House where a Pre-Novitiate programme is run. This Pre-Novitiate is located off St. Bonaventure Road, plot number 162, Makeni. They attend to philosophy studies for three years at St. Bonaventure University. The formation team is comprised of Frs. Patrick Gitzen, Chola Mumba and Christopher Phiri, OMI. Besides the formal lessons, the pre-novices also go through Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) where the students help out with patients in wards.
The Oblates are also into Mass Media in order to reach as many people as possible in their quest to evangelise and serve Western Province using Oblate Radio Liseli.
A number of programmes have been put in Place for the Youths who have been given a chance to take up leadership roles in the church in all Oblate parishes in Zambia.
Besides Missionary work, some Oblates like the late Fr. Jack Joyce, OMI, went round the country preaching retreats for different congregations. Other oblates worked with refugees while others were involved in educational activities.