“Testimony to Christ's charity, through works of justice, peace and development, is part and parcel of evangelization, because Jesus Christ, who loves us, is concerned with the whole person.” Caritas in Veritate n.15
To all the Bishops Participating in the Second Synod for Africa – Rome
A Message from the Comboni Missionaries Chapter Delegates
“Testimony to Christ's charity,
through works of justice, peace and development,
is part and parcel of evangelization,
because Jesus Christ, who loves us,
is concerned with the whole person.”
Caritas in Veritate n.15
We Comboni Missionaries gathered for our General Chapter at our Generalate in Rome would like to convey to you, Bishops of the Church in Africa, our greetings and our communion in prayer so that the Holy Spirit may illumine and guide you during the Synod which has brought you together to reflect on the service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.
The theme of the Synod is indeed very important for the future of the African Continent whose population unfortunately has to endure great suffering due to complex, protracted and unresolved conflicts. There are situations of injustice that can only be solved through a sincere conversion of the heart and of the cultures so that in the mutual acceptance and the respect of our diversity, the people may become active protagonists in the construction of a just society that is committed to the search of the common good. True peace is in fact a fruit of the commitment to build the African Church as the true “Family of God” according to the First Synod of Bishops for Africa.
We Comboni Missionaries were born as an Institute in Africa and for Africa and so we take to heart the future of this Continent and especially the future of its Church. Missionaries from various parts of the world and from different Congregations have given their valuable contribution to the growth of the African Church solidly based on the Word of God incarnated in many witnesses and martyrs – our Ancestors in faith who have given up their life for Christ and for the service of the local communities. God’s call to the African Church is that she may continue to be salt and light for the whole of society.
It is this very love we have for Africa, for her peoples and especially for her Church that urges us to pray that your gathering in Synodal Assembly may indeed be a moment of grace and communion for a deep reflection and verification of the role and the mission of the Church as a source of light and inspiration for all. We do assure you that we ourselves presently gathered in our two-month long General Chapter are, among other things, reflecting on how we can improve the quality of our missionary presence and service in order to enhance reconciliation, justice and peace in our contemporary society.
We pray for you so that this special and God-given occasion of the Synod for Africa may help bring about a deep renewal in the Church, thus strengthening her in her important moral and inspirational mission of being a credible sign as well as calling all peoples to a new culture of universal fraternity.
We are all aware of the magnitude and the complexity of the challenges that lie in front of us. We assure you of our prayer through the intercessions of Saint Daniel Comboni, the Patron of Africa, as we invoke the Holy Spirit so that he may illumine you in the exercise of your delicate task as Shepherds of the portion of Christ’s Flock assigned to your solicitous care.
United in Christ.
The Comboni Missionaries gathered in the General Chapter.
Rome, October 1st, 2009