US Oblate takes charge

by Dennis Coday

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U.S. Oblate provincial is elected superior general of order

By Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Members of the general chapter of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate elected the provincial of the United States to be their new superior general.

Oblate Father Louis Lougen was elected to a six-year term Sept. 28, his 58th birthday.

The Oblate chapter included 89 delegates, representing the order's 4,000 missionaries who work in 66 countries around the world.

Father Lougen, of Buffalo, N.Y., had served as the U.S. provincial superior since 2005.

He succeeds Father Wilhelm Steckling, who served the maximum of two six-year terms as superior general.

The new superior attended the Oblate-run Bishop Neumann High School in Buffalo and entered the Oblate's juniorate in Newburgh, N.Y., in 1970. He attended the novitiate in Godfrey, Ill., and continued his formation at Oblate College in Washington, D.C., earning degrees in philosophy and theology.

After being ordained a deacon in 1978, he spent six months working in Brazil, and he returned to the South American country after his ordination to the priesthood in Washington in 1979.

In Brazil, he worked in parishes and on the Oblate formation team, eventually serving as director of the pre-novitiate and as novice master. He also served on the provincial council for the Oblates in Sao Paulo from 1985 to 1994.

Returning to the United States in 1996, he served as assistant director of the pre-novitiate and pastor of Holy Angels Parish in Buffalo. He became novice master in Godfrey in 2002 and was named provincial in 2005.

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