Superior General’s Newsletter – 13 – December 2011

Father Louis Brisson will be beatified!

"My soul magnifies the Lord,
My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!"

Dear confreres,
We may unite ourselves to the Mother of God, Our Lady of Light, in her Canticle of Praise! Yes, we praise our good God for the wonders of the life of our Venerable Father Louis Brisson, soon to be beatified!

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged today, Monday, December 19, 2011, the miracle attributed to our founder. With this decision, which we were longing for, and with our hearts filled with joy and praise, we may now start preparing the celebration of his beatification.

After a process that began 73 years ago, it has given us the joy of seeing the Church recognize the holiness of the life of our Founder. In 1938 the beatification process was begun in Troyes, the native diocese of Fr. Brisson. After setbacks due to the Second World War, the diocesan process was completed in 1949, and in the same year, was taken to Rome. Now, exactly on the celebration of the 171st anniversary of the ordination of our founder, we have received this wonderful news!

This is a moment of grace! It has been ten years since the canonization of St. Leonie Aviat (November 25, 2001). We now have before us the proximity of the beatification of the one who founded with her the Oblates Sisters of St. Francis de Sales. "Attentive to the signs of the times and in obedience to Your Will", he also founded us, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. We are, indeed, privileged to be witnesses to these wonders that God has brought about through our congregations, the Oblates  and the Oblate Sisters, sons and daughters of the future Blessed Louis Brisson.

Before us now is the joyful task of undertaking the  preparations necessary for the celebration of this great event next year along with the General Chapter, which has been already scheduled for the year 2012.

With the psalmist, let us proclaim the praises of the Lord:
"I will give thanks you, O Lord, with my whole heart.
I will tell of all your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in you.
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." (Psalm 9)

Let us celebrate this special jubilant Christmas gift that the good Lord has given us!

General Chapter

Our 19th General Chapter will be held in Annecy. It is scheduled from July 30 to August 11, 2012. The General Council, meeting in Benin at the end of next January, will set up the General Chapter's agenda.
I am sharing with you the timeline:
- By December 30, 2011: Translation of the Instructions for the General Chapter;
- By January 9, 2012: Instructions for the election of delegates to the General Chapter, and for preparing reports and presentations will be sent to those responsible;
- From 24 to January 27: General Council meeting will formalize the agenda of the General Chapter;
- February 2: Documents and Book of Proposals will be sent to translators;
- March 12: Reports and Presentations will be sent to translators;
- May 1, 2012: All General Chapter material will be sent to delegates and participants;
- July 30, 2012: day of arrival for the General Chapter.

Change in the Certificate of Incorporation

Recently, in August, I sent a letter to the major superiors explaining our need to make a change in the certificate of our “Oblate Generalate, Incorporation”, which was established in the United States in the 1980’s. As you may recall, the original corporate By-laws identified every member of the congregation as a member of that corporation. This aspect of the by-laws has made it impossible for the corporation to conduct business, and so, we needed to establish a quorum in excess of 50% of the congregational membership to reform the by-laws so that congregation business can be more easily accomplished. In order to achieve the necessary quorum, the members of the congregation were asked to submit a proxy to Joseph Morrissey, our General Treasurer. I am very grateful for the generous response of so many of you who made it possible, on October 14, 2011, to make this change. Now, future actions of the corporation can be done by the General Council in a much less cumbersome manner. I would like to express my gratitude to you for your collaboration.

Visits to the Provinces in the United States

Throughout this year, 2011, Fr. Konrad Esser accompanied me on my visits to our two American provinces. During May and June we visited our confreres of the Toledo / Detroit Province, and during October and November our confreres of the Wilmington / Philadelphia Province. We were deeply impressed witnessing to our confreres' dedication to their various ministries. We are well aware that the Catholic Church in the United States is facing many difficulties, especially due to the sexual abuse scandal. Nevertheless, we experienced great joy in seeing so many of our confreres doing so many wonderful things. Often people commented to us, saying: "We love the Oblates." We witnessed the good spirit among our Oblate confreres, and their commitment to grow in unity. We also noticed among them an increasing focus on the spreading of our Oblate Salesian spirit through their various ministries. It was edifying, for example, to see students in Oblate sponsored schools, beginning classes each day with the recitation of the Direction of Intention. Another highlight was seeing the real commitment to the poor through social projects and other such initiatives. Clearly, the high median age of our confreres, and the smaller number of new vocations present us with many questions as to the future. But here too, we noticed a change: there is a growing awareness that each of us is a vocation promoter. And that makes a big difference. May our good Lord continue in our confreres the good work that Himself has started!

School in India

A few weeks ago our DeSales University in Allentown decided to make a donation of $ 500,000 (five hundred thousand U.S. dollars) to help build the DeSales Academy, our school in India. It is already under construction. I have already expressed my deep gratitude to Father Bernard O'Connor, president of DeSales University, for its generous donation. I am glad to see such mutual collaboration between these two entities: on one hand, the University extends a helping hand to the school's project. On the other hand, this school will provide the University opportunities to expand its presence in the midst of the Indian culture.
Updated pictures:


My thanks to those who are keeping up to date statistical data on our website Whenever there are changes in Province / Region statistics, please send this information to Mr. Hans Angleitner (e-mail:, who kindly provides his services to us.


For the time being, two major events need to be addressed: the General Chapter and the Beatification of our Founder. Preparations for both require our commitment. We will need the collaboration and availability of various confreres. Some have already been contacted in the preparation for the General Chapter. Surely others will be asked to help in the preparation of the beatification.
In 2012 we will celebrate 25 years of our presence in Benin. The General Council will meet in Parakou at the end of next January to mark this occasion.
In February, I will be in Brazil for the annual retreat of the South American-Caribbean Province.
In June I will visit the Dutch Province accompanied by Assistant General, Fr Konrad Esser.
From July 30 to August 11, the 19th General Chapter of the Congregation will be held.
Once we have more news on the date of the beatification, I will certainly inform all concerned. May we all remain united in thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. Let us continue to pray for one another. The beatification of our Founder is an invitation to a true spiritual renewal for all of us.

I wish you all, a Merry Christmas and a blessed year 2012!

In St. Francis de Sales, St. Leonie Aviat and Venerable Father Louis Brisson,

Father Aldino J. Kiesel, OSFS
Superior General