“The One who began this good work in you  will see that it is finished”   (Phil1:6).

A. Introduction

1.  The progress made by the Institute in the last few years through the reflectio­n on the Ratio Missionis has brought to light in a very clear way that OGF is the pivot of our renewal. It has become a determining factor not only for our life and apostolic efficacy but also for the future of the Institute. Only a community that takes OGF seriously can attract, by its inherent vita­lity and fruitfulness, new and authentic vocations.

B. Analysis of the situation

2.  The invitation of the Second Vatican Council to conversion and renewal (cf. PC 18), accepted by our Institute in the RL (cf. RL 99), has led us to rethink formation as a single but conti­nuous process of growth that lasts a life-time (cf. RL 85). This has also signified a new relationship between OGF and BF which are welded together integrating themselves reciprocally in a single global educative system (cf. CL 69). Thus, from a vision of OGF as a supplement or appendix to basic for­mation we have passed, some years ago, to giving first place to OGF and retaining it as the pa­radigm and founding principle of BF.

3.  This understanding has already been expressed in our Chapter documents (cf. CA 1997, 121; CA 2003, 51), but it has struggled to make an impact in the Ins­titute. Then, the intention was to underline the fact that the whole of life had to be viewed under the light of formatio­n. We now notice with a certain preoccupation a lack of commitment in our personal on-going formation once BF is over, and a frequent ten­dency to look outside ourselves for the causes of the problems and uneasiness that we observe.

C. Working premises

4.  OGF has as its final objective our configuration to Chri­st, Missionary of the Father, mediator in a process of continuous conver­sion, lived in harmony with our Comboni charism, which makes us missionaries “holy and able” just as St. Daniel Combo­ni intended (cf. W 6655). OGF becomes an organising principle and impetus for all the dimensions of our life and apostolate, and it brings us a new, more harmonious and integrated style of life.

4.1  Primary responsibility for OGF falls on each of us (cf. RL 100.1; RF 529). Nothing can REPLACE the free and convinced commitment of the person. For this reason OGF is made practical above all through the adoption of a personal project.

4.2  The most favourable place for OGF is the local community (cf. RL 100.2; RF 530). The most effective means for the concrete organisation of OGF in the community is the community project. To this we must add the Circumscription project of OGF that integrates and completes the personal and community projects and offers guidelines and concrete initiatives to the confreres, accom­panying them through particular phases of life and sustaining their “dynamism of faithfulness” (CL 70).

4.3  The privileged context of OGF is mission. Through contact with the people, in particular with the poor, the Spirit of God shapes in us the image of his Son who being rich made himself poor (cf. 2 Cor. 8:9), to grow together with us, sharing everything and accepting everything.

4.4  Even the ordinary events of daily life are occasions of OGF. They require a contemplative approach from us in order to perceive the presence of God in every moment, person and happening (cf. Jn. 21:7), integrating everything into our journey of growth. Such an attitude brings with it the practice of discernment that helps us develop our ability to read and interpret the signs of the times too (cf. RL 82.1).

D. Planning Guidelines and Action Plan

5.  The Chapter has defined four main kinds of objectives for OGF: personal, communitarian, apostolic and structural.

The Person

6.  To promote an attitude of availability and commitment for one’s own renewal and spiritual and human growth in every confrere, deepening the knowledge of being a “man of God”.

6.1  Firstly, we confirm the indications already given by the Chapter in regard to the Ratio Missionis, and in parti­cular about spirituality: personal prayer and the lectio di­vina, the project of life and spiritual accompaniment, the recovery of the RL, the vital relationship with Comboni and Comboni sources.

Annual evaluation by the PC with the local superiors.

6.2  Superiors at all levels should animate the communities to cultiv­ate a brotherly attitude of acceptance towards all, but with special attention to confreres who are going through a difficult time. Furthermore, someone able to offer the help they need should be indicated where possible.

Annual evaluation by the PC with the local superiors.

6.3  PSs should continue to make the Code of Conduct known to the confreres, applying it to the local reality, availing themselves of the help of experts. In particular, they should make provision for the up-dating of the Di­rectories of the Circumscription. The Code of Conduct will be the object of study and understanding during the period of preparation for perpetual profession.

First evaluation at the Intercapitular.

The Community

7.  To sustain community life which should be the place for personal and apostolic growth, reinforcing our identity as “men of communion”.

7.1  Communities should favour and cultivate moments of reciprocal listening and sharing, identifying simple ways to help create a family atmosphere and a sense of belonging. In the community charters they should also plan for fraternal promotion and correction.

Annual evaluation by the PC with the local superiors.

7.2  PSs and local superiors should continue to make communities and confreres aware of discernment as an attitude of life and a method for planning community life and missionary service.

Annual evaluation by the PC with the local superiors.

7.3  The commissions of OGF offer the tools needed to help identify and heal the wounds present in our midst, often caused by prejudice and discrimination, and animate the Circumscriptions to organise seminars or to utilise other already existing programmes for the resolution of conflicts.

Evaluation at continental meetings of the PSs and the Intercapitu­lar.

The Apostolate

8.  To re-qualify the confreres in order to make them able to face the new challenges of mission growing in the knowledge of being “men of mission”.

8.1  PSs should pay particular attention to the accompani­ment of young confreres in their first experience of mission, taking more care over courses of introduction, carefully choosing the communities to which they are assigned and taking an interest in the personal situation of each of them. PCs should entrust the task of accompanying them during the first three years of missionary service to a specific confrere. Each year that confrere should inform the PC of the programme being followed.

Evaluation at the Intercapitular.

8.2  The GC and the PCs should make confreres aware of the chance to have a significant period of OGF after every 10-15 years of service, making the most of courses offered in their respective circumscriptions and continents. The PS in charge of OGF along with the CCOGF should keep the GC and PC informed of progress.

Evaluation at continental meetings of the PSs and the Intercapitu­lar.

8.3  In the six-year plan at General, continental and Circumscription level particular attention should be given to specialisations, guided not only by concerns about responding to our more immediate needs but also the growing need for professionalism in our work and by the need to equip our Institute with a certain number of experts in the various sectors of life and missionary service. PSs should draw up a continental plan for specialisations in view of the priorities of their respective continents. The GC should create a fund to support such a plan.

Evaluation at  continental meetings of the PSs and the Intercapitu­lar.


9.  To review our OGF structures in order to make them more efficient adapting them to the new requirements of the confreres.

9.1  By June 2010 the GC should take the necessary steps to reinforce the CCOGF in its service of animation to the Institute, integrating the CYOF and the person in charge of the renewal course.

9.2  In the context of planning in the Circumscription, PSs should evaluate the efficiency of the OGF commissions in order to strengthen their role in the ani­mation of the Circumscriptions.

Evaluation at continental meetings of the PSs and the Intercapitu­lar.

9.3  The importance of the CYOF and the renewal course is reconfirmed. In line with the discernment made by the CCOGF, the GC should establish a permanent home for OGF at In­stitute level - in Rome at the Generalate – where the CYOF, the renewal course and other OGF initiatives may be held.

Evaluation at the Intercapitular.

9.4  The GC in dialogue with the PSs of the Continents, given the ur­gent issues met with over the past few years, should open during the next six years, at least two communities/centres of OGF and accompaniment – one in Africa and another in the Americas, in collaboration with other Institutes and local bodies.

In order to achieve this it should identify and prepare the personnel responsible, at least one person for each centre, before the Intercapitular. This personnel will also be available for OGF initiatives in the Circumscriptions of the conti­nent, remaining in contact with the CCOGF and the continental groups of reflection.

First evaluation at the Intercapitu­lar.