by Teresino Serra
A year away from the General Chapter, we have to thank God for the confreres’ commitment in the process of the RM: Anyone who has been sowing, will also gather.
Rome, 15.08.2008 – Assumption of Our Blessed Lady
To Fr. Enrique Javier Rosich Vargas, Comboni Missionaries - Rome
Dear Fr. Enrique,
Let my sincerest greetings be also a wholehearted thank you to you and to all, in particular to the core and enlarged commissions that are engaged in the process of the Ratio Missionis (RM). I wish to share with you a few thoughts and words of gratitude for the work you have done so far.
1. Exactly one year away from the General Chapter, we have to thank the Lord for the commitment of the confreres in the process of the RM: Anyone who has been sowing, will also gather. Those who did not wish to enter into this process, let’s say it straightforwardly, have remained distant from the Institute’s journey. We thank the Provincials and Delegates for their efforts in encouraging the process of the RM, notwithstanding their many commitment s and difficulties.
2. The process of the RM has been going on for the past five years and we can say that it has been a grace for the Institute. The RM has taken us to the freshness and richness of our charism; it has made us appreciate the grace of being Comboni Missionaries; it has helped us to meet and better know one another as a missionary family; it has revealed to us our strengths and weaknesses. Above all, it has given us courage and confidence for the future.
The process of the Ratio Missionis and the final synthesis will, therefore, give a special Comboni quality to the General Chapter.
3. The commission for the RM will have a special role during the General Chapter for the very reason that the RM reflects the journey made in these past five years and because we have become aware of what we are and of what we do as Comboni Missionaries.
We must also say that the methodology of discernment, adapted to the process of the RM, has provided an idea for the methodology to be used in the next General Chapter and to be considered for our Statute.
4. The RM is not only a written exercise, but also an exercise lived by the confreres: it is the feeling of the base, it is a voice that arrives from the Comboni mission. This feeling and this voice will be a source of richness during the Chapter and also a guiding line in order to reprogram the Institute, to redesign our presence and to re-qualify our being missionaries in Christ’s Church.
5. The process of the RM will not be concluded with the Chapter: We may compare the RM to a tree which we have cultivated, in spite of the difficulty of the diverse climates, wind or, at times, shortage of rain. The tree has grown and has produced its first fruits. We must continue to cultivate such tree, to feed it and prune it, so that it may give more fruits. Even the General Chapter, while enjoying the fruits of the RM, will point out for us the what and the how the Institute has to continue in its reflection, precisely through the process of the RM.
6. Let us face the future with faith and courage. In this moment we cannot have all the answers to the questions which spontaneously come to our mind. Let us allow ourselves to be led by that Good Shepherd who knows the way. Let us allow the distinctive confidence of Comboni to accompany us, a confidence which helped him face the mission with courage day after day. “The work belongs to God and He too is interested in the good outcome of this work. As the work is His, God in involved and interested in it”.
Thanks again to all the confreres and to those who, at various stages, have worked in the commissions for the RM at the level of the Institute and of circumscriptions.
On behalf of the General Council
Fr. Teresino Serra