Having completed its discernment and identified the planning objectives and concrete choices it wanted to make, the Chapter found itself faced with a long list of options. While on the one hand this fact had the advantage of being comprehensive, on the other it risked drawing attention away from choices that might merit more particular attention. For this reason the Chapter – keeping in mind the strategy implied by its wish to propose a kind of Plan – continued its discernment by identifying a limited number of priorities for each of the themes treated. This last exercise in discernment was not intended to lessen in any way the importance of the many other points made elsewhere. More simply it was intended to indicate to the confreres some of the points to which, in the course of the next six years, they might pay more attention, prioritising them so that the objectives outlined may be fully attained. In the process followed, fourteen priorities emerged. We present them below:
1. By June 2010, the GC should nominate a commission that, in collaboration with the SGEV, might undertake a systematic re-reading of the material produced in last few years during the process of the Ratio Missionis. The theological reflection on mission and on Comboni methodology that emerges from it will be presented at the next Intercapitular.
2. In the context of their six-year plan PCs should initiate a reflection on the style of life of our communities in order to offer guidelines and concrete proposals to bring them into line with that of ordinary people and the preferential option for the poor. Furthermore, PCs should favour new proposals for the radical insertion of communities in the local Church after a due process of discernment and dialogue with that same Church.
3. Discernment, which may take a variety of forms, may be understood as a personal and communitarian tool, enlightened by faith, and favouring the union of the Word of God and reality; this comes about in particular during moments of decision at community council and assemblies of various kinds.
4. In order to respond to the request of a renewed spirituality, the Chapter proposes that every year a specific theme be developed for the whole Institute in view of a common journey. We suggest the following themes to the GC:
− Word of God, lectio divina, popular reading of the Bible;
− Comboni, fount of re-foundation today;
− Comboni brotherhood: interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution etc;
− Closeness to the poor as a spiritual journey;
− The Heart of Jesus in today’s language;
− Comboni prayer today;
− The cross as a special time for deepening the faith;
− The centrality of Christ in life and the Comboni mission.
5. Evaluation and requalification of our presence according to stipulated conventions.
5.1. Africa: presence among non-evangelised peoples, nomads, pygmies, inter-religious dialogue, ecumenism, JPIC, immigrants, slums, the formation of leaders, the marginalized youth and MA.
5.2. America: afro-descendants, indigenous peoples, slums, JPIC and MA.
5.3. Asia: first evangelization, inter-religious dialogue and MA.
5.4. Europe: frontier situations in the Church and society, MA, JPIC, immigrants, collaboration with the CLM and revision of material structures.
6. To consolidate insertion in frontier situations
6.1. Within the next six years, those Circumscriptions that have not yet done so, are to ensure that there is at least one activity being undertaken in a frontier situation (slums, nomads, immigrants…), taking into account the criteria of living near to the people, in their environment, in simple circumstances. The same principles pertain in the opening of new communities.
7. The OGF of the formators foresees the application of the integral educative model to the formator himself and to the candidates. In the next three years (2010/12):
7.1. A four-month course on the formative model and the Comboni charism should be organised for promotors and formators beginning their service.
7.2. It should be ensured that formators of the postulants be prepared especially in the fields of human development and personality; that novice masters have a good command of Comboni spirituality; that formators in the scholasticate be able to know how to evaluate the pastoral experience of the candidates.
7.3. An up-dating course on youth culture is to be offered every two years to vocation promoters at continental level.
8. OGF of promotors and formators
8.1. One-month courses for vocation promoters and formators at continental level, as run over the last three years, should continue and be organised, every two years, by the Circumscriptions of the continent, the GSBF and the CCOF.
8.2. The OGF of promoters and formators will favour knowledge of the integral educative model, offering the possibility of having personal experience, acquiring the appropriate tools and means to apply it during the various stages of formation.
9. Continental coordination
9.1. In the Chapter of 2003 indications were given for the favouring of co-responsibility and subsidiarity at all levels and in a particular way for the Continents. The indications contained therein are still valid (CA 2003, 137-141).
9.2. The GC with the PSs should launch a study on continentality in order to clarify its form, function and structures to present at the next Intercapitular.
9.3. The meeting between the GC and the PSs of the continents is seen positively and must be continued. Therefore over the next six years a meeting will be organised after every election of PSs and a third at the Intercapitular. In these meetings there should be an evaluation of how authority and subsidiarity are understood and lived.
10. Continents should continue the process towards clustering begun at the Intercapitular of 2006 and should work out concrete proposals for the Intercapitular of 2012. The GC should accompany and supervise the journey of the continents. All progress made should be evaluated at the Intercapitular, passing on then to the action stage. In 2013 when the new Circumscriptions have been formed, new PSs would be elected. By 1st January 2014 the Institute’s new configuration will become effective.
11. 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.
12. In the medium term all the Circumscriptions, over the next three years, should take the steps necessary to permit the adoption of the TCF: the presentation of the community budget, the distribution of the superavit, accountability to the finance secretariat of the Circumscription, the approval of community projects, etc. The Intercapitular of 2012 should evaluate the progress made and promote the adoption of the TCF in all Circumscriptions in the subsequent three years.
13. The GC, in dialogue with the Circumscriptions that have large centres for elderly confreres, should ensure the provision of personnel and prepare them for a specialised service of accompaniment. This service requires a specific attitude and proper training. The rotation of personnel in care centres for elderly and infirm confreres should be among the priorities of the next six years. The GC should plan it appropriately ensuring that periods of service be respected and ordinarily not exceed five years.
14. Continents should define a continental plan of MA and Circumscriptions formulate their own charter of MA (CA 2003, 45). In every Circumscription plan, the presence of confreres specialized in MA should be ensured (missiology, social communication, journalism, etc).