Mission work in Africa

De Mazenod House of Theology in Lusaka Receives grant

The De Mazenod House of Theology in Lusaka has received a grant from Serving Hands International.

Since its founding in 1984, the Zambia Delegation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has been blessed with many young Zambians who want to become Oblates.  In order to form them at home as well as to provide them with the possibility to continue bringing the good news of Christ to their own people the Delegation has built a House of Philosophy in an Oblate-owned parcel in Lusaka.  The House was blessed on December 31, 2011.

Although the Seminary has been fully functioning since then, some finishing touches are still in process, one of them being walkways.  Because the several buildings that form the Seminary are spaced apart, there is need to connect them by roofed walkways that protect users from the very heavy rains that affect Lusaka during half of the year.

The building of these covered walkways is now possible thanks to a grant of $8,000 from the Serving Hands International (www.servinghands.org) and its benefactor A1 (www.a1storage.com). Their names will be also entered in the Book of Remembrance placed in the Conference Hall of the House of Philosophy, where it is visible to all visitors.  The book includes the names of all the persons and institutions that contributed to the Formation House and remains open for other donors who still wish to contribute towards any final works of the project.


Most likely you have heard of Lollapalooza, the three-day U.S. concert tour featuring some of the most popular bands in every genre, but thanks to an anonymous Missionary Oblate Partner Oblatepalooza has been created.


Unlike the annual concert, Oblatepalooza is a mission experience for youth that educates and provides a look into the missionary work of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The trip began with two days inculturation and education in Washington, DC by the local Oblates regarding  their approaches to mission.  Following that the four young men went with Fr. Billy Morell, OMI to Zambia.  Fr. Barnabas Simatende, OMI of the Zambian Delegation aids the group while in Zambia where they will travel to Lusaka, Lukulu, Mongu, Kalabo and Kafue Park.

Throughout the trip the boys will visit an AIDS hospice, a radio station, orphanages, a leprosarium and several parishes.

A participant might go to Zambia and experience being a missionary but the hope is that they come home to the US and continue to feel ‘missionary’ in their lives here.

Artie Pingolt – one of the three co-creators of Oblatepalooza

Pingolt says the project took six months to plan. There have been previous mission trips open to Oblate Associates and family members, but Oblatepalooza is the first to be exclusively for youth, this includes men and women.  Although Oblatepalooza 2013 is only men, there are high hopes this will change in following years.

Oblatelooza 2013 7a

“Oblatepalooza isn’t about vocations.  It’s to give younger people a chance to find mission identity.  If they decide that they want to pursue a vocation that is great, but it’s not the main goal,” said Pingolt.

The group is asked to journal their daily experiences and reflect on the activities they have participated in.

“It’s interesting to see what these young men will say about their experiences, while in Zambia.  They are meeting people their own age also and have so many differences in their lives, yet they can connect by just being teenagers,” said Pingolt.

Oblates have missions in 68 countries around the world, so future Oblatepalooza trips could go nearly anywhere.