Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Southern District OMI

Central Province of South Africa
Chaplaincies & Ministries:
Tertiary (ACTS)
J & P
Prison Chaplaincy


OMI Personnel



Year Plan

OMI Residences

Parish Ministry

Ordo 2008

Photo Gallery

Art Gallery

S Dist Blog



Oblate Assembly 18 - 20 Feb 2008

Archbishop Ndumbukuti Nashenda OMI

Archbishop Ndumbukuti Nashenda OMI

Archbishop of Windhoek, Namibia

Visited our community on his way back from the Ordination of the new Bishop of Aliwal

Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Snow in Bloemfontein!!!!

Today was an experience! It was snowing, not heavily but quite profoundly (see pictures). The Oblate House also hosted the Provincial Council and the Pre-Provincial Assembly Committee. No wonder it was snowing!!!!

Saturday, 23 June 2007
Secretary of the AMR

Visiting the Oblate House this week is Fr Edy Mabila OMI. He is the new full time Secretary of the Africa Madagascar Region. He will have offices in Johannesburg and will help the communication throughout the African Region and liaise with other Regions through the Secretariat.

The Region presently operates as two sub-regions: The Francophone and the Anglophone Sub-Regions and then as an African Region at the AMR Conference held every two years.

Fr Edy Mabila is from the Congo Province - he has taught Philosophy at the Scholasticate and is a keen author of scientific papers mostly in the area of Ethics / Medical Ethics.

Thursday, 21 June 2007
Preparation for the Provincial Assembly

Oblates in the Central Province SA have been meeting in groups this past weeks to evaluate our Oblate Missionary style and vision.
The groups in the Southern District have all met and their reports are being sent to the Provincial Assembly Preparation Committee. This Committee comprises a member from each District under the Chairmanship of Fr Tebogo Jantjies OMI.

Posted by MaOblata - Bloemfontein at 00:00 0 comments

Sunday, 17 June 2007
Fr Dan Corijn OMI appointment

Father Dan Corijn, OMI, President of St Josephs Theological Institute has been appointed rector of the Pontifical College of St Paul in Rome.

Fathers Day in SA

Today Sunday 17th June 2007 is Fathers Day in South Africa, Yesterday was the famous June 16th now called YOUTH DAY and today is also the day of the Comrades Marathon

We at the Oblate House in Bloemfontein received many visitors and messages of good will to all the Spiritual Fathers that serve in the Oblate District around Bloemfontein.

In the picture is Fr Mahara OMI receiving a visit from senior parishioners: Ntate Maitlani and Ntate Thoopa, Also at Sunday lunch in the picture can be seen: Fr Patrick Towe OMI and Br Jeremiah Gama OMI

Happy Fathers Day!

Monday, 11 June 2007
10th Anniversary of the Death of the Late Archbishop Butelezi OMI RIP

The clergy of the Archdiocese of Bloemfontein gathered at the tomb of the late Archbishop Peter Butelezi OMI in the Sacred Heart Cathedral to remember the 10th year Anniversary of his death. Archbishop Jabulani Nxumalo OMI presided at the Mass and the prayers at the tomb, assisted by Fr Kelello Tsoebeane (Vicar General) and most of the Priests of the Archdiocese. May he rest in peace!

Sunday, 10 June 2007
Parish of Emmaus Celebrates Mother's Day

Fr Brian Ievers OMI, Parish Priest of Emmaus Parish in Botshabelo, celebrated MOTHERS DAY with 150 Mothers of the Parish last week at a special lunch after Mass.

This week the Parish celebrated Corpus Christi and the First Communion of 50 children. One of the First Communicants was deaf & dumb and he came with his teacher from their school to translate the ceremony for the child. Another Miracle today on the feeding of the 5000!
The parish is also in the process of building a new Church for the expansion of Emmaus into a new parish in Sections F & K

Wednesday, 3 June 2007
Fr Tom Choeu OMI celebrated his 80th Birthday

Sunday 3rd June 2007 the Oblates of the Provincial House in Kimberley together with members of the Bloemfontein Community celebrated the 80th Birthday of Fr Tom Choeu OMI.

Fr Mahara OMI gave a rousing speech and related how they had first met at the Seminary in Lesotho in 1946

The Community gathered around 12 Noon for a drink and a celebration lunch at which Oblates recalled the wonderful memories experienced around Fr Tom. He himself gave a short history of his 80 years in his family and among his Oblate family. It was a happy day!

Friday, 25 May 2007
Clergy Golf Tournament

The Annual Clergy Golf Tournament took place 21st - 22nd May 2007 in bitterly cold conditions. Bloemfontein had temperatures reaching as low as -6 Deg C in the early mornings. Fr Michael Bracken OMI is this year's Champion followed up in second place by Br Atty Sobayeni CFC. Fr D'Aes was the main organiser and Fr John Nolan the Match Referee.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Province Assembly - Preparation Meeting

Representatives of the three Oblate Districts met at the Oblate House in Bloemfontein to prepare for the upcoming Province Assembly.

They have issued a questionaire to gather responses to emerging themes from earlier Congresses.

The committee hopes that the pre assembly process and the Assembly itself will addresses these issues instead of having them as endless recurring themes.

Mass concelebrated by 5 Priests educated at St Bernards

The Feast of St Eugene De Mazenod was celebrated with the St Bernard's High School on Wednesday 23rd May 2007. Five Priests who had been educated at the school were the main concelebrants. They are Fr Ralph Mothe OMI, Fr Tshidiso Moleko OMI, Fr Selomo Sooli OMI, Fr Papi Mothai OMI, Fr Thabo Lesenyeho. The late Fr Tefo Sefoli OMI was remebered in the mass and a picture was displayed in front of the Altar. The Provincial thanked the Staff for their team ministry and for forming the whole person, not only the mind but the heart as well.

21 May 2007
Feast of St Eugene & New Oblate Community

Today on the Feast of St Eugene we officially opened the new community at St Rose. The Provinical was in attendance to install Fr Francis Masike (Community Leader), Fr Motsiri Mosai (bursar) and Fr Tshidiso Moleko into the new community. Afterwards we celebrated lunch at the Cathedral and later returned to properly wet the roof.
Fr Motsiri has been very active in renovating the old building. The Oblates sat on paint tins and a strange variety of old chairs and stools making it as Fr Pat recalled very similar to the start of the congregation when to first members met for a liturgy in the corridor of the building they were to use as the first residence.

20 May 2007

Fr Claerhout is still speaking and inspiring us through his art ESPECIALLY the big series paintings. Recently we have conducted three retreats using the paintings of the RECONCILIATION BY WOMEN. Fr Rakaki and Fr Bracken lead us in this audio visual prayer experience:
January 2007 - To the Priests and Religious
-----------------Retreat of the Southern Dist OMI
April 2007 - National Council of the Sodality of St Anne
-----------------King Williams Town
May 2007 - Lay Minister's Retreat of the Cathedral
-----------------at CBC Bloemfontein

Fr David Power OMI and Fr Sylvester David OMI visited the District to give us a Spiritual Conference on Friday 18th May. For a long time now it has been suggested that we approach academics like this to give us some inspiration at our Retreats. A big thanks to Fr Leo Roche and Fr John Nolan for organising it and providing a wonderful lunch for all.

Please note our earlier published retreat for the 21 -22 May has been replaced by this retreat day.

Updates May 2007

Fr Adrien Gesse OMI of the Congo Province visited us for a few days. Fr Tshidiso had spent some time with him during his stay there. During his time here he visited the Oblates and even tried to visit the Lesotho Oblates but unfortunately could not get accross the boarder. We are excited about our growing contact with our Oblate Brothers in the Congo.

Members of the Lesotho Provincial Council paid us a fleeting visit while concluding some business in Bloemfontein - they were accompanied by their Provincial Fr Moteaphala OMI - here again we are encouraged by the growing cooperation between our two provinces.

On Monday, on the feast of the Founder, we formally open the New Oblate Community at St Rose Parish Bloemfontein. This community will be the base for a Prison Chaplaincy and a Hospital Chaplaincy. The new community is to be installed by our Provincial at a mass at St Rose at 11am.

Br Gunter Arndt OMI from our Bloemfontein Oblate House Community and Fr Louis Vandenbroeck OMI of the Provincial House Community in Kimberley are representing our Province in Germany at the Unification of the German, Czechoslovakian & Austrian Units. Fr. Thomas Klosterkamp is the first provincial of the new Central European Province. Br Gunter will take his holiday after witnessing these big events.

YOUTH RALLY - Fr Pat Towe and his team of priests, Scholastics & ACTS members have once again hosted an exciting Youth Rally at the Catherdral on the 5th May 2007. The day included a reconcilliation service and Mass.

Provincial Council visit new Oblate Community

05 April 2007
Recent Events leading up to Easter

Fr Lebohang Malemoha OMI, newly appointed Parish Priest of the Catholic Community of Zastron and surrounding towns. Fr Lebohang comes from Lesotho, he was formerly in formation at the Oblate Scholasticate in Roma. He has been in the Province for a while now only I did not have a picture to publish before this. Welcome Ntate Lebohang!

Fr Malemoha also conducted the Annual Retreat for the Matric’s of the St Bernard’s High School together with Sr Patricia of Assisi

Fr Rayappu Mariyanayagam OMI is en route to Lesotho. He is to be the a formator at the Scholasticate in Lesotho. Fr Mari, as he is likes to be called, has been staying at the Oblate House in Bloemfontein while his papers have been processed for Lesotho. He is assisting with the Easter Services in the Archdiocese. We are happy to have had the opportunity to share this time with you and for your help over the Easter Season. Happy Easter!

The blessing of the Holy Oils took place at the Sacred Heart Cathedral last night followed by a festive supper at the Cathedral for the priests. The Archbishop used Afrikaans, English and Sesotho to demonstrate the Unity in the Church.

Today, as it has been a tradition in the Archdiocese, that the Bloemfontein priests have their lunch, on the feast of the priesthood at St Rose Parish.

Fr Bracken Celebrated his Birthday yesterday - but since the day's programme was so full: Archdiocesan Priest's Meeting and Priests Lunch and then the OILS Mass in the evening with supper, it was not possible to specially celebrate his birthday. Happy Birthday from all of us in the District

Fr Tshidiso has been helping the Parish of St Raphael with the HOLY WEEK & Easter Masses and services.

04 April 2007
Easter Road Death Toll

Fr Thabang Molefi OMI, Police Chaplain, together with the Spiritual Services devision the South African Police Services organised special services on the National Roads before the Easter Weekend Traffic.

28 March 2007
Graduation at St Joseph's Theological Institute

Four of our Oblate Students graduated in Philosophy on the 26th March 2007 at St Joseph's Theological Institute in Cedara. From L - R Br Teboho Molise, Br Sixtus Moahloli, Br Jeremiah Gama, Br Mofihli Moalusi and Fr Mosoeu in the middle

They are presently continuing their Regency in the Province. Br Sixtus is preparing to leave for Germany where he will specialise in Philosophy. We are very proud of their achievements.

Fr Mosoeu, our Provincial has a doctorate in Theology he is seen here supporting the members of the Province.

From all the reports we heard it was a really grand occasion!

26 March 2007
Fr Motsiri & Fr Mothe completed 30 Day Retreat AIX

Fr Motsiri writes:
Yesterday we returned from our 30day retreat led by Phil Estrella at Notra Dame de Lumieres. It was a fantastic personal experience for me!
This morning we started a week on Missiology conducted by our 1st Ass.General; he is a practical, clear and amazingly humble-wise man. His insights are very interesting and relevant for Mission in today's World.
Our group numbers 16 and from nine different nationalities. It is a prophetic sign of the demographic challenge that our Congregation is facing which is both very disturbing but also exciting especially for those who come after us. But surely the present is as important for the flow into that future of our Congregation. The Lord is great!

18 March 2007
Happy Birthday Br Günter OMI

Br Günter Arndt OMI celebrated his 74th Birthday today. We wish you health, peace and a happy home visit later this year in August. Mahlohonolo!

12 March 2007
What energy Crisis?
Br Gunter was interviewed today by two young ladies from a Technical School in Bloemfontein about his Solar Cooker. Br Gunter regularly cooks meals, boils water, melts wax to make candles using his solar cooker.

In South Africa the large diameter Solar Reflector is probably too efficient but it helps on cloudy days when it can still easily cook a meal. When I say too strong look, in the picture to see what it does to a newspaper in only 10 seconds.

The young ladies went away very impressed by the Solar cooker but also with the information provided by Br Gunter who has been making these cookers to assist people in the Taung Mission area.

05 March 2007
Priests of the Archdiocese meet the Nuncio

04 March 2007
Second Sunday of Lent

Archbishop Jabulani Nxumalo OMI and the New Nuncio for South Africa opened the Kriste Lesedi la Dichaba (Christ the light of the nations) Church in Turflaagte, Bloemfontein. Fr Alois Ganserer is the parish Priest. The sanctuary of the old church was enlarged and the back wall adorned with a beautiful stain glass window. Stunning!

Tomorrow the Priests of the Achdiocese meet the Nuncio at the Cathedral.

Fr Brian Ievers OMI, note the ash on his forehead, Parish Priest of Emmaus Church, Botshabelo, is building a church in the F Section. The parish has recently completed the Meeting room/classrooms. Now they are collecting money to complete the church. A team of volunteer builders from the parish erected the meeting rooms and are now in the process of building the Church. The steel construction in already up. The parish as a whole contibute by "buying a brick". The brick is symbolic of their contribution. This lent the parish is challenged to donate a days wages to the building fund.

Fr Brian is in hospital today for a small medical procedure tomorrow.

OMI Meeting Postponed! Since the priests of the Archdiocese are invited to meet the Apostolic Nunico tomorrow (Monday) the scheduled meeting for Tuesday of the Oblates of the Southern District will be postponed. (See Year Plan)

Fr Mahara OMI celebrates the Sunday Mass for the Oblate Community in the Oblate House Chapel.

After Mass Fr Mahara sometimes visits his family for lunch.

On Mondays he attends the Monday Lunch for Priests at the Cathedral. Tomorrow will be special because the Nuncio will be there.

03 March 2007
Torch of Peace handed over at St Bernards

St Bernard's High School was chosen by the MEC for Education in the Free State to be the venue for a special celebration of handing over of the Torch of Peace. This torch is traveling through the 9 Provinces of South Africa and was handed over to the MEC for Education of the Free State by the MEC for Education from the Northern Cape. Fr Tshidiso OMI opened the event with a prayer and a short reflection on the Gospel. Fr D'Aes OMI and the Teachers and Students of the School as well as principals and Heads of Departments from other schools in the Free State. Fr D'Aes has been managing the school through 30 years of sometimes turbulant political and educational history.
The theme at the handing over of this symbol of peace was that we should always be on the guard against Abuse to Women and Children

25 February 2007
Please be careful visiting the Graves alone

A lady visiting the Oblate graves at the Old Grave yard, the Memorial grave yard in Bloemfontein, was attacked and robbed. She had just placed some flowers on the grave when she was attacked at knife point, beaten and robbed. It appears robbers lie in wait behind trees and grave stones while you drive up. As soon as your attention is diverted they attack.
Luckily the lady was not badly hurt. Her bag and jewelry was taken. They threw her car keys away which gave them some time to get away while she searched for them. Later she drove to the policeand made a statement.

24 February 2007
A visit from JPIC OMI

Fr. Eliseo Jun Mercado OMI, Visited us today, Saturday, at the Oblate House together with Archbishop Jabulani Nxumalo OMI. Fr Jun has been visiting South Africa since the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya which took place at the end of January 2007.

Br Mike “Oupa” Atoro OMI also attended the WSF representing the OMI Central Province.

A link to Fr Jun Mercado’s JPIC web site can be found at: http://www.omigen.org/jpic/
Or contact him at :EMail: jun.mercado@gmail.com; mercado@omiphil.org; junmeromi@yahoo.com

23 February 2007
Fr Motsiri on De Mazenod Experience says:

We are back from Lourdes, a fantastic faith experience!
We are now on a two day Charism workshop withFr Frank Santucci OMI.
On Monday we will begin our 30 day retreat at Notra Dame de Lumier. This will be a big adventure; We will just take it piece by piece till we get there.
Wishing you all the best to everyone in the Province back home!

21 February 2007
Vows, Jubilees and Congregational Feast

Monday was the big Congregational Feast of the Year. We all gathered in Klerksdorp at the Rabbuni Centre. There were 50 of us at the Celebration at Mass and a festive meal.

Brs Sixtus, Jeremiah, Mofihli, Teboho and Pule renewed their vows (temporty vows) As is the tradition all the professed Oblates renewed their vows as well.

An Exciting experience was hearing the Oblate Associates also making vows or promises to follow in the charism of the founder Eugene De Mazenod, assisting the missionary endevours of the unit where they are living. Their vow formula is challenging and refreshing. There were about 20 members. They also anounced that they would be embarking on a Youth Project in their parish which is one of the big focusses of the Central Province and the Congregation as a whole after the last Chapter.

18 February 2007
News from our Brothers on the De Mazenod Experience

Thank you for keeping us up-to-date with your blog. Enjoy yourselves in Klerksdorp, & happy feast to all the guys there. Tell them always think about them and pray positively for them. I hope they are all well. It was nice to see Wilfred and FW together - they looked like big friends! 2morrow we are early on our way to Lourdes.
Fr Motsiri OMI and Fr Ralph OMI

Burials, Blessings & Oblations

Fr Thabang has had the sad task this weekend of burrying his Grandmother and two other relatives. We pray with you and your family that they may rest in Gods Peace and love.

Fr Ievers at the Emmaus Parish in Botshabelo had a special blessing today for those in the matriculation class in their respective schools this year 2007. There were at least 50 pupils that presented themselves for the blessing today. Earlier in the month he blessed those children entering school for the first time at the Sunday Mass.

Tomorrow, Monday 19th February, the Oblates of the Central Province converge on Klerksdorp to celebrate the Feast Day of the Congregation. Br Jeremiah Gama, Br Teboho Molise, Br Mohihli Moalusi and Br Pule Pitlele renew their vows. The jubilees celebrated this year will also be acknowledged.

16 February 2007
The Parables
A series of paintings by the late Fr Frans Claerhout called the Parables have been reproduced into a limited series print collection. It is hoped that this will allow them to enjoy a wider audience. The Print set was launched at a celebrity packed exhibition in the SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch on Fr Claerhout's Birthday - 15th Feb.
The speakers at the occasion were Nobel Peace Laureate and former President of South Africa, Mr F. W. De Klerk and our own Provincial Fr Emmanuel Mosoeu OMI. Both gave moving tribute to the late Fr Claerhout and went on to describe the contribution he made to reconciliation in South Africa.
Fr Wilfried Joye OMI also exhibited at the launch - his paintings found a very enthusiastic audience.

A special thanks goes to the organisers of the launch - The Sandri family. Mr Mof Terreblanche and his wife and to Dominee Symington and to the OMI.

A quote from Fr Claerhout's own words that stands out on the programme was the following:

You can wait my God! You have a lot of time.. I don't ! Help me live before I die!

12 February 2007
Don't meet by accident!

Today a truck drove straight into the back of the car driven by Br Rex. He was parked at the traffic lights behind two other cars when all of a sudden a big truck drove straight into the back of him. He was launched from a stationary position into the back of the car in front of him. The car was sandwiched between the speeding truck and the car in front. The car was bounced to and fro like a ping pong ball until the truck's speed was brought to stand still leaving the back of his car stuck to the front of the truck.
It was a shocking experience!

Fr Mahara celebrates his 75th Birthday
Sunday was a big day for Fr Mahara and for all of us! A 75th Birthday is a big milestone.

Happy Birthday Fr Maqalaka! from all of us in the Oblate District.

After celebrating the Sunday morning mass for the Oblate House community, he celebrated his birthday with his family.

Monday when all the priests meet at the Cathedral they will celebrate this big event.

08 February 2007
The Big match

Fr Frank Bermingham challenged the reigning champion Lazi "the rocket" Moiloa at the Sacred Heart Cathedral today. Nobody is sure who won it is a closely kept secret but what is sure is that great fun was had by them both. Fr Frank you are always welcome here in our community - enjoy the rest of your holiday and think of us when you are back home

04 February 2007
Announcing our new Novices and Pre-Novices

Last night the first of the new Pre-Novices Morena left by bus for Cleland, Pietermaritzburg.

Morena Mokupi and Jeremea Makau (New Pre-Novices) were introduced to the S. Dist Community at the retreat day.

Jeremea Makau................. Morena Mokupi

We are also happy to announce that Simon Mphana and Khoto Moleko have been accepted to enter the Novitiate. Simon will go to the Novitiate in Namibia and Khotso to Johannesburg.

03 February 2007
Visit from Fr Frank Bermingham

We are happy to be hosting a visit from Fr Frank Bermingham from Bristol in England. He is well known to the Irish Oblates of our District and was in the same class as Fr Mike Bracken. He will be staying for a few weeks and we wish him a pleasant visit.

Monday was the big Congregational Feast of the Year. We all gathered in Klerksdorp at the Rabbuni Centre. There were 50 of us at the Celebration at Mass and a festive meal.

Brs Sixtus, Jeremiah, Mofihli, Teboho and Pule renewed their vows (temporty vows) As is the tradition all the professed Oblates renewed their vows as well.

An Exciting experience was hearing the Oblate Associates also making vows or promises to follow in the charism of the founder Eugene De Mazenod, assisting the missionary endevours of the unit where they are living. Their vow formula is challenging and refreshing. There were about 20 members. They also anounced that they would be embarking on a Youth Project in their parish which is one of the big focusses of the Central Province and the Congregation as a whole after the last Chapter.

Catching up on recent events

30 Jan The Oblates of the Southern District held their monthly retreat at Oliewenhuis Art Gallery. The Gallery had been featuring Fr Claerhout's two series from Christmas till the end of January. The Oblates and some invited guests spent the day in meditation on Reconciliation. Fr Mike Bracken OMI and Fr Emmanuel Rakaki led a guided meditation on Reconciation using the Reconciliation by women series as their focus. By all accounts the retreat was an inspired event.

29 Jan We are happy to welcome Br Jeremiah Gama into the Oblate House Community for his Regency year - Among other things a regent has to do during his regency year is to Live in an Oblate Community, Prepare for final Vows, Learn a new skill and get to know the Oblates where he is sent. The new skill that Jeremiah has been asked to learn is that of Administration. He will be attending a bookkeeping course and helping in the Oblate House Office.

The Province has two other Regents - they have been stationed in the Oblate House in Kimberley - they are Br Teboho Molise and Br Mofihle Moalusi

28 Jan The episcopal ordination of Bishop Stephen Brislin - New Bishop of Kroonstad - Many of the Priests and people attended the ordination at St Domonics Catholic Church in Welkom. The Ordaining Bishop was our own Archbishop Jabulani Nxumalo of Bloemfontein.

Fr Nhlanhla Nkosi OMI had been visiting the Oblate House for the past week and a half. He spent his holidays last year with us and has repeated the experience again this year. We are always happy to have him with us. Fr Nhlanhla and Br Rex celebrated their silver jubilee in the Oblates together on the 26th Jan 2007. Fr Nhlanhla caught the bus for Durban together with two Kenyan brothers who had been doing their pastoral work in Kimberley during their holidays.

27 Jan Fr Tshidiso Moleko arrives home in Bloemfontein from a stint in the Congo to learn French and to build bridges with our Northern Oblate neigbours. He looks well and has many exciting expereinces to relate.

26 Jan St Bernards H. S. Opening Mass - Traditionally both schools celebrate this mass together but since both schools have grown so much in numbers it was celebrated seperately giving each school space to express its own symbolism and character.

25 Jan School Mass at St Mary's Primary School - to open the school year.

22 Jan The Oblates have established a new high speed internet connection in Kimberley at the Provincial headquarters and community to facilitate better and cheaper communication between our Oblate Communities

21 January 2007
Upcoming Events
There are a few interesting dates that we need to take note of:

30th January 2007 Retreat at Oliewenhuis - On Reconciliation led by Fr Bracken and Fr Rakaki

15th February 2007 Official launch of the The Parables - Claerhout Prints - in Stellenbosch

19th February 2007 Feast of the Oblates celebrated at Rabbuni Centre Klerksdorp - starting 11am with Mass followed by Lunch - If you would like to stay a few days or come earlier on Sunday afternoon - Please contact Fr Jef Hollanders tholl@lantic.net

News from France
Fr Mothe and Fr Motsiri arrived safely in France on the 18th Jan and are now fully into the De Mazenod Experience programme. Fr Motsiri writes:

Hi Brothers! we are having a good time here in Aix-en-Provence though I get lost now then around this big house. But the international personalities amazingly make us all feel at home.

19 January 2007
Provincial Visitors & from the Congo
Visitors at the Oblate House - Fr Okim Valère Eko from the Congo together with Fr Nhlanhla Nkosi of Natal and Br Rex of the Oblate House

The Provincial of Lesotho Fr Emile Moteaphala and our own Provincial Fr Emmanuel Mosoeu together with Fr Valere and Fr Nhlanhla discussing outside the Oblate House in Bloemfontein.

On the eve of the Ordination of the new bishop of Kroonstad 27th Jan 2007, Fr Rakaki took the National President of the Sodality of St Anne Mme Nomangesi Saliwa and Mme Nomabaso Ndaki their National Treasure to view the Reconciliation by Women series at Oliewenhuis. They were so moved by the message that they enquired if the same meditation could be experienced by the National Council a their next meeting in Port Elizabeth.

13 January 2007

WYD Cross on Pilgrimage in Africa

Bloemfontein Cathedral was the venue for the Youth Pilgrims from all over the Archdiocese and neighbouring dioceses. They came to paricipate in the the ceremony of the reception of the World Youth Day Cross as it makes its way through Africa to Australia which will host the Next WYD. Fr Pat Towe from the Student Chaplaincy Ministry and Fr Thabo Lenyatsa from the Archdiocesan Youth Department were the main organisers of the event. Other Priests from neigbouring Dioceses took part.

09 January 2007


The District Leadership met at the Oblate House today. This was the first meeting of the new OMI Southern District leadership. They also met the new candidates for the Pre-Noviciate before they completed the final items of their application documentation.
Sefatsa, Kele and Habofane are passing through the Oblate House en-route to the Pre-Novitiate in Rayton for their security shift and for the start of the new Pre-Noviciate year.
Father Pat Towe and the Archdiocesan Youth Chaplain Fr Lenyatsa are preparing for the arrival of the World Youth Day Cross on Friday and for the ceremonies that accompany it. There is a general call on the youth of the Archdiocese of Bloemfontein to attend the programme at the Cathedral which includes an all night vigil.

07 January 2007

Br Günter Arndt OMI - Artist

Br Günter has been very creative in the production of artworks painted in oil on card. Many of his friends have made requests for more of these gems.

06 January 2007

Christmas Message from Fr Schneider OMI

Fr Schneider OMI sent us (Our Province & District) this message for Christmas and New Year

P. A. Schneider OMI Hünfeld, den 6. Dezember 2006
Klosterstrasse 5 ,D-36088 Hünfeld,
Telefon (mein Zimmer:06652/94-163
(Haus: 0 6652/94 536

Republic of South-Afrika
Fellow Oblates Oblate House (+ Eastern Freestate)
Batho basebetsang libakeng tsena
P.O.Box 29583
,,Freut euch, im Herrn,
heute ist uns der Heiland geboren.
Heute ist der wahre Friede vom Himmel herabgesdegen.”

Not too long ago, I think it was this year, there was here at our place a Meeting for Oblate-Experts on the History of the Oblates. I thought I might meet somebody known to me from South Africa. But only Fr. Santucci was around. But I was myself busy with translating Fr. Hubenig’s book “Living in the Spirit’s Fire” into German. Fr. Hubenig used this book for his Retreat he guided during my last year with you under the African sun!
In the Spirit of my German etxt from teh Midnight-Mass of Christmas all the best for all of you for Christmas und for die year 2007!
Yours in Christ and Mary Immaculate,
Fr. A. Schneider OMI

05 January 2007

Getting back into rhythm

Fr D'Aes and Fr Bracken have completed a golf week exercise workout.

Every year after Christmas Fr D'Aes has the habit of taking a few days in Cape Town. That after an intensive 4 month Catecumen Programme and all the pastoral renewal that goes with it, of outstanding marriages and the sacraments. Christmas day is a celebration of Christmas and renewal for many of his new parishioners.

Fr Lazi is attending another series of treatments and is doing well.

We ask that you keep all the members of our community in your prayers: Particularly Fr Lazi, Br Gunter, Fr Mahara & Fr Bissonnette and also Fr Choeu and Bishop Hecht in Kimberley.
Fr Tshidiso OMI who is learning French at one of our Oblate Communities in the Congo... said this in one of his recent communications ...
Happy New Year from the Congo It is good to hear of how you celebrated Christmas and New Year. It is clear that it was nice.The pictures you send are beutiful and our scholastics appears to be happy. God bless Tshidiso

Fr Motsiri and Fr Mothe are preparing themselves for their De Mazenod experience 17th Jan to 8th April. We wish them a journey of renewal in the Charism of Eugene and the Congregation.

Habofane and Lungile will be leaving next week for Rayton and Cleland Pre-Novitiates respectively to do their stint of security at their formation houses.

Professor Louis and Dr Lynn Goedhals are regularly on trips around the world attending conferences in the course of their ministry as doctors and care givers in the interest of better treatment of Cancer. We are always amazed at the workload and commitment that they can fit into their day to participate in new medical drug trials in the fight against Cancer.

03 January 2007

Answering the call in 2007

The Province & the Archdiocese organised Vocations Workshop in July and Dec 2006.
The first workshop was to source interested candidates from all the parishes in the Province and the second was to shortlist those that are really discerning about becoming Priests or Brothers.
This year we are glad to be able to inform you that there are three possible candidates for the Oblate Province and two for the Archdiocese. It is also exciting to hear as we discuss with the young people that they mention by name Priests and Religious that have inspired them by their example.

Today we interviewed the aspirants. We will introduce them to you later when the interview and the documentation processes have been completed


02 January 2007

Irish OMIs gathering including "Fr O'Hara and Fr Mc Leo"

Every year the Irish Oblates gather and host a lunch. This year the Oblate House was the venue for the famous poker challenge. Fr Swords is usually the big fish in the poker. In the picture you may be able to make out two special Irish "Fr O'Hara" (Mahara) and "Fr Mc Leo" (D'Aes)

01 January 2007

Br Fidelis Mufthenya OMI and Br John Mbogo OMI

We are happy to have visitors from our Oblate Community in Kenya over this New Year!

Feast of Mary Mother of OMI

On this feast of Mary and that of New Year's Day - We celebrated Mass at the Oblate House and prayed for a blessing on the new year and all our community all over the world.
We are blessed with visitor Oblates from Kenya Br Fidelis Mufthenya OMI and Br John Mbogo OMI. In the picture taken in our chapel are Br Gunter, Br Fidelis, Br John, Fr Mahara and Fr Pat and myself (Rex) behind the camera. Happy New Year and Happy Feast!

31 December 2006

Claerhout House on Old Year's Eve

We had some interesting visitors today: Eddie Smith of "Ou Greenpoint" Kimberley, and his family, popped in for a very welcome visit. He is now in Pretoria and active in the parish there at a parish run by the Oblates of Francis de Salles.
Eddie and I spent a lot of time together many years ago in the Youth activity in Kimberley. His whole family gives the thumbs up for the Claerhout House Project-they think it is a wonderful idea. (written by Rex)

30 December 2006

End of the Year 2006

The end of a very busy and eventful year.

Today I visited the Oliewenhuis Art Gallery and experienced again the power of the late Fr Frans Claerhout's art. It is on display until the end of the holiday period. A very necessary pilgrimage at the turn of the year - well worth the visit. Please sign the book at the Gallery!

Br Teboho and Br Gunter & Br Rex visited these last few days.

29 December 2006

Oblate Students Gathering

The Oblate Students of the Southern District met at the Oblate House for a braai and a get to know you. Strange but true! The Oblate Students of our Province are being trained at a number of different formation communities around the country and as a result dont necessarily know each other or meet each other in the course of the academic year.
The day was an exciting one and one that most felt should be repeated in the future!
Next year we start with new group joining the Pre-Noviciate after a successful Vocations workshop in Assisi earlier this month. We thank God for the generosity of young men wanting to join the ranks of our congregation and to serve God as an Oblate priest or a brother.

27 December 2006

Christmas at Oblate House

Christmas is always a busy time for a community of Priests. This year was more so because of Christmas falling on Monday. It was like having two Sundays back to back. Christmas however has its own energy and spirit. Emmanuel - God with us!

After all the Christmas ceremonies had been completed in the parishes and outstations of the Archdiocese the Priests gathered at the Oblate House for lunch - CHRISTMAS LUNCH.

We celebrated well, We ate well and we have shared that special time together being together.

May everyone have a blessed Christmas! and a very happy New Year!


20th December 2006 (four days to Christmas)

Vocations Workshop: The Vocations workshop this year (11th - 15th Dec 2006 was conducted by Fr Papi, Fr Motsiri and Fr Putlele - assisted by Br Mofihle and Br Lichie. The Provincial and Br Rex attended on the Wed and Thurs for the interviews. It went very well and there are some promising candidates emerging!

Fr D'Aes' 76 Birthday was celebrated at a gathering of the Priests and Friends at St Rose for a Braai. It was a Great evening!

Oliewenhuis Exhibition: A visit to the Oliewenhuis gallery should be on the agenda this Christmas tide. The two series of paintings by the late Fr Claerhout are on display at the gallery & well worth a visit.


Trefoil: A Catholic magazine is doing a feature on Fr Claerhout in the near future.
Film Documentary: There is also a documentary film in the pipeline on Fr Claerhout - the production crew have recently done some interviews with the Oblate Community .

Fr Tshidiso sends Christmas Greetings: "Happy Christmas! I hope you are all well and alive at home and I miss you all."

Fr Lazi starts his treatment today - We wish him strength! perseverence! and good health!

Fr Mike Toabala - was ordained last Saturday in Tweespruit. Wishing him a fruitful and inspired priestly ministry.

Fr Thabang Police Chaplaincy means being on duty throughout Christmas - He is called out regularly late at night in the course of his ministry often having to comfort families after delivering sad news to them about a loved one.

Fr Roche and Fr Nolan are now on Internet broadband -

Fr Rakaki arrives back from his Sabbatical on Thursday



10th December 2006

Emmaus Catholic Church Botshabelo - Archdiocese of Bloemfontein There has been a quiet revolution in the Emmaus parish. The Parish is now embarking on their fourth major project: the building of a Church in the F Section.
What makes their efforts so revolutionary is that the parish is proud to say that it has done most of the additions by themselves. So far two classroom complexes at Emmaus and the new site in Section F (the new parish in formation) and now presently tackling the construction of the Church in the F's.
In the pictures alongside the steel construction is visible. - We wish the Parish of Emmaus every success in their progress towards building the new church that will eventually become a parish on its own ------ and for fulfilling the former Archbishop Tlhagale's challenge to "drink from our own wells"

Fr Thabang has just returned from Bethlehem to represent us at the Ordination of Fr Mpho Matthias Mona a new diocesan priest from Riverside near Qwa Qwa. It was the 23rd ordination of Bishop Bucher of Bethlehem. Our best wishes to both of them for their continued ministry.

On the 16th December 2006 is the ordination of Michael Toabala from Tweespruit.

Vocations Workshop: A Vocations workshop is being organized to help the young men who are approaching us and the diocese in their discernment of their vocation in life. We present the Diocesan and Religious life options, priesthood and brotherhood as well as the challenge to live good Christian lives in any career they choose. The Vocations Workshop will be held at Assisi from the 11th till 15th December 2006

Our Scholastics arrived from Cedara on Friday evening and the Pre-Novices have also made their way back to the Province from their respective houses of formation. Some of the Scholastics will be staying on for the year as part of their Regency year. We look forward to getting to know you better in the province.



End of November beginning of December 2006

Fr Tshidiso Moleko sends greetings to all from the Congo.
He is visiting the Congo during his University Holidays to learn French and to get to know the French speaking Sub-Region. Fr Tshidiso can be contacted at tshidisomoleko@yahoo.co.uk
We have also heard from the Provincial that he has done very well at his University studies this year. Well done! and lots of success with your new language struggle.
Please send our best wishes to all the Oblates in the Congo. We wish you Hope and Peace after the elections.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception - will be celebrated, for the Southern District, at the Oblate House on the 7th December 2006

Installation of the new Southern District Leadership :
Br Rex Harrison & Fr Raphael Mothe and Fr Francis Masike will be installed to the leadership team of the Southern District OMI

Fr Lazi Moiloa - Thanks all those who sent messages of sympathy to him and his family at the passing of his mother recently. Also to those Oblates that attended the funeral - thank you for your brotherly support.

Vocations Workshop for the Central Provinced will be held on the 11th - 15th December 2006 at Assisi. Fr Mothe will conduct the Workshop together with the Scholastics from Cedara.

Oblate House BFN - 25 Nov 2006

Fr Thabang, Fr Masike and Fr Motsiri and Fr Pat are attending the Funeral of Fr Lazi's Mother today (Saturday 25th Nov) in Lehlabile near Brits.  We pray for Lazi and his family RIP

Fr Thabang has just returned from a Retreat for the Police Chaplains at Modderpoort near Ladybrand.  The interesting thing about this retreat is that it was conducted by Fr Moss Shoke - The police chaplains come from all denominations.  It must have been quite a challenge for the retreat master.

Fr Masike, Fr Papi & Fr Thuso and Br Rex attend a training course for Bursars / Treasurers at Crown Mines from the 28th Nov  -  1st Dec.  New bursars are being prepared for the Districts and as a result suitable training is being invested in.

Br Gunter will be going into hospital for a small procedure on Sunday (tomorrow). The operation will be performed on Monday and he should be out by Tuesday.

The Pre- Novices are all heading home this weekend.  Saturday and Monday see the arrival of Pre-Novices from Rayton .

The Provincial and Fr Remi passed through on Wednesday evening - we welcomed them with a spontaneous braai - Nice evening!

Fr Tshidiso communicated through and email message that he had arrived safely in the Congo.

Fr Mahara attends the first communion of one of his grand nephews at the Cathedral Parish tomorrow (Sunday).  Fr Mahara is managing nicely - he visits his family on sundays and on Mondays he attends the Clergy lunches at the Cathedral.  His health has stabilized and he is walking unassisted.  Mme Nankie regularly helps him to do the prescribed exercises from the physiotherapist. 

October 2006

Fr Lazarus Moiloa has had an operation and is recuperating at the Oblate House in Bloemfontein - Please keep him in your prayers - sometimes he has a lot of pain and discomfort

Fr Provincial is on a visit to Germany and Ireland. Tsela Choueu Ntate!

Br Rex attended the meeting of the Standing Committee for Oblate Brothers of the Congregation. - At the 2004 Chapter it was mandated that each Region send an elected Delegate to the meeting of the Standing Committee for Brothers to give a voice to the issues of the Brothers in the Congregation.

Fr Seamus Finn OMI visited Bloemfontein on Tuesday 17th October 2006. He attended the Oblate District Meeting at the Oblate House and share on the activity of the Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation office. He will also be visiting other Units on this visit to Southern Africa.

Br Michael Atoro OMI will be attending a meeting of the World Social Forum hosted by Fr Seamus in Nairobe in January 2007 together with Oblate delegates from other parts of the world.


Fr Sebastian Mahara OMI has retired to the Oblate House - he has been struggling with his health lately and has come to be closer to Medical Care and to live in the Oblate Community at the Oblate House in Bloemfontein. Fr Mahlomola has been supplying for him until a new priest is assigned.

Trip to Stellenbosch: Members of the Provincial Council and delegates of the Districts within the Central Province traveled to Stellenbosch to investigate plans to promote the work of the late Fr Claerhout as a major South African Artist and to examine ways to spread his work through authorized professional prints.

The Provincial Council met recently at the Oblate House for its September 2006 meeting.

Fr Sean Coleman OMI - traveled to the three Districts in the Central Province from the 18th - 22nd September 2006. He presented a new look at the Oblate Brother Vocation and their formation. One of our Pre-Novice candidates, hoping to be a brother, attended. Each District gathering expressed their appreciation for the enlightened presentation

We had a Visitor staying for three days at the Oblate House, Mr Anil Nauriya a Deli Supreme Court lawyer, studying THE AFRICAN ELEMENTIN GANDHI. He has written a book by the same title. What was not so well known to anyone in our community was that Gandhi spent some time in the Bloemfontein prison.

Fr D'Aes and Fr Thabang both had eye operations in the last few weeks - Both operations were quick and successful -

See Tributes to Fr Claerhout - click here

16th July 2006

Sunday after the Burrial of Fr Frans ClaerhoutOMI

We have received so many calls expressing appreciation for the beautiful Burrial of Fr Frans. Those who attended came from so many walks of life and from different church and Religious traditions. The Catholic Requiem Mass liturgy left a memorable mark in their experience that day.

Some were moved by the symbols that were brought forward by the community he had lived with at the offertory, others by the tributes made at the end of the mass. All seemed to have been moved by the whole experience.

We are going to miss a great presence among us but he has left us much to keep that memory and presence alive in our future.

Tsamaya ka khoto Ntate Frans! (Go in peace)

See Tributes to Fr Claerhout - click here


District Retreat

17th - 18th July 2006 at Assisi - Regina Pacis Retreat Centre.

PLEASE REMEMBER - to bring your voting forms for the election of the District Council for the Southern District of the Central Province of SA

8th July 2006

In Memorium

Fr Frans Claerhout OMI dies in Bloemfontein at 87

Tributes have been pouring in for Fr Claerhout, who passed away at MediClinic on July 4, 2006. Born in Belgium in 1919 Fr Claerhout joined the Oblate Missionaries and was ordained priest in 1944.He came to South Africa in 1946.

Many years as a young priest were spent ministering to the Bloemfontein District (rural areas). He served Thabanchu from 1961 and was transferred to Tweespruit in 1978. Many will remember him for his passion for his missionary work and the people, which is so beautifully reflected in his art. Among the awards he received was an honorary doctorate from the Free State University.

Even in his retirement Fr Frans has continued to be an icon and inspiration to many people. Last year he was declared a Living Heritage hero by the community of Tweespruit and the Free State Archive Project. He is leaving behind not only a message of hope reflected in his many drawings and paintings but indeed a rich spiritual legacy . May he now enjoy his eternal reward

The funeral Mass will take place at the Cathedral on Wednesday, July 12, 2006, starting at 11am. From 9am people will be able to pay their last respects to him

Extract from: The Archdiocese of Bloemfontein Newsletter - July 2006

Memorial Mass in Pittem, Belgium - Sunday 11:30am

Fr Claerhout’s family and members of the Oblate Congregation to whom he belonged, together with friends from the Art world will be gathering in Pittem, Belgium, the town of his birth, for a memorial mass on Sunday 9th July 2006 at 11:30am South African time.  The mass will be concelebrated by Leo D’Aes OMI, Fr Louis Vandenbroeck OMI  and Fr Wilfried Joye OMI, all from his Missionary Province here in South Africa.  Fr Joye is also an artist of renown in South Africa and is presently on sabbatical in Belgium

Sehlabelo sa Missa wa lepato la Mofu

Fr. Frans Claerhout OMI

(Born 15th Febraury 1919 – died 4th July 2006)

Missa wa lepato o tla tswarwa ka
Laboraro la la 12th July 2006 ka hore ya 11am.

Kerekeng ya Sacred Heart Cathedral Bloemfontein

Ka mora Missa tshebeletso ya lepato e tla fetela Mabiteng a kgale.  (Memorial Cemetry)

Setopo se tla bonwa ho tloha ka hora ya 9am Kerekeng
 (Sacred Heart Cathedral)



News - 1st June 2006

Fr Claerhout has been struggling with his health lately. He is still as artistic as ever. He doesn't paint much lately but manages to keep the pastel mixed media drawings creativity going. He also tries to get some exercise in every day when he feels up to it. At 87 years he is an example to all of us.

Br Günter Arndt has also had difficulties with his health. He is on heart treatment - he has good doctors and is trying to keep to a careful health routine. Br Günter is quite prolific in his own art works- See his work in the Oblate Artists section on this site.

Br Michael (Oupa) Atoro was hijacked at gunpoint on Sunday evening in Thaba Nchu. He had attended the funeral of Fr Lesenyeho's mother earlier in the day. He is shaken by the experience but managed the situation courageously .

The AMR Conference - Oblate Africa Madagascar Region Conference is in session this week in Sizanani Centre about 40 kms from our Pre-Noviciate in Rayton. Our Provincial is representing our Province at the meeting.

See our Oblate Artists