Who would drop by the Archives Office with a greeting, “Buen Dia”? A distinguished-looking and energetic man stood outside the door, making one wonder whether he was introducing himself as Mr. Buendia. Well, the confusion was settled and he was no other than our beloved Oblate, FR. LUIS SABARRE, OMI on a 3-month travel to the U.S.A. and a visit to the Philippines.
Before entering the Oblate congregation, Fr. Luis was attracted to the word missionary and the missionary cross that the Oblates were wearing when he first met them in Midsayap, Cotabato. Fr. Luis volunteered for the Foreign Missions in 1982 and he has been in Argentina for 35 years. He worked in the Philippines for 12 years, first in the parishes of Makilala, Kidapawan, Alamada, Mlang, Pigcawayan (parish and school), Bagong Barrio, Datu Piang and Notre Dame Diocesan Seminary as Vice Rector.
The Oblate in charge of the Missions, former Cardinal Francis George assigned Fr. Sabarre to Mexico. A week before his departure for Mexico, the Provincial of Argentina wrote him a personal letter inviting him to work in Argentina as a visitor for three (3) years because they lacked priests. After three years, the Oblate General, Fr. Fernand Jetteʹ, OMI asked Fr. Luis to decide whether he would proceed to Mexico, his first official assignment or stay in Argentina. He thought for a while before deciding and said to himself, “I have worked for three years in Argentina and I have made my adaptation in my work and language. Besides, I have learned Argentine Spanish. I will stay here in Argentina.”
In Argentina, he helped out in the parish weekday and Sunday Masses, accompanying lay Oblates (Laicos Oblatos), providing pastoral health assistance and visiting sick people/families in their homes. At present, Fr. Luis is conducting worldwide weekend marriage encounters in Argentina and the U.S.A. in different states like Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington State, Texas and Iowa among Spanish communities.
At this stage of his life, at 75 years of age, and nearing his 50th year of priesthood in 2020, he will continue to work according to the Lord’s plan as a committed son of St. Eugene De Mazenod.