Rome, Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Having ended the Consulta in Rome, the General Council has made public a program of activities to be carried out during the coming months, including official visits to Comboni provinces/delegations and attendance to a number of meetings.

The General Council (GC) of the Comboni Missionaries, based in Rome, has concluded its 9th Consulta, which took place from March 21 through April 15. Among the decisions on their agenda, the establishment of two commissions: one, for a reflection on the Rule of Life, which will “offer tools that will help us live it as a useful and necessary means for our  commitment as consecrated people and missionaries,” as we read in the General Notes of the final document of the Consulta; the other, will resume the work of the Ratio Missionis, interrupted a year and a half ago, with the aim of gathering all the material produced up to now and prepare a document that will do a synthesis of the reflection already made at the grassroots and will point to a vision of mission for our times.

During the Consulta some Six Year plans were taken into consideration – plans outlining activities of circumscriptions for the next six years – that start from the conclusions of the General Chapter of 2009. According to the GC, more emphasis should be given to the theme of the requalification of our commitments and to the necessary reflection over a balance between personnel, the number of communities, priority commitments and those we are certainly bound to relinquish: “Some Plans seem not to take into account the real situation in which we live today as an Institute and planning seems to be more in line with the idea of a mission in expansion, which for sure does not match our reality at this time,” states the final document.

A concluding reflection which, it seems, we can draw from the Plans is that, besides helping the Institute to “live with daring this historic moment of mission” – as the document states – they seem to “give rise to the conviction that today we are called to move from a generic approach to mission, where there is room for all possible activities, to a new specificity by which we will have to live in a not too distant future.”

At the conclusion of the final document of the Consulta, we read the Easter Wishes of the GC to all the superiors and members of the Comboni circumscriptions. “May the Risen Lord accompany and enlighten our journey and our missionary commitment, so that we may be, each day, witnesses of his life and of his love for all our brothers and sisters.”

The calendar of the next visits to circumscriptions on the part of the Superior General, Fr. Enrique Sánchez Gonzalez, and of his Assistants (Fr. Alberto Pelucchi, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse G., Fr. Antonio Villarino and Bro. Daniele G. Giusti) has also been made public.

The program of Fr. Enrique is as follows: he will visit the delegation of Asia, with Bro. Daniele, from April 28 to May 15; the province of South Africa, on September 3-25, accompanied by Fr. Tesfaye, who will give the spiritual retreat; and the province of Central Africa, on November 4-21, where he will direct the spiritual retreat. He will also attend the following meetings: Comboni Formators, July 9-15, in Palencia, Spain, that will also be attended by the assistants Bro. Daniele (July 24-26) and Fr. Tesfaye (July 10-30); Comboni Bishops, in Jerusalem, from July 24 to August 1; and Superior Generals, in Rome, on November 23-25.

The Vicar General, Fr. Alberto Pelucchi, will visit the German Province (DSP) and, at that time, he will take part in the provincial assembly, scheduled for May 22-26. Following that, from May 30 to June 3, he will take part in the meeting of provincials/delegates of Europe, to be held in London.

The Assistant General, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse G., will visit Uganda on May 18-25, where he will take part in the celebrations of the centenary of the arrival of the Comboni Missionaries in the archdiocese of Gulu, and will then cross the border into the neighboring new country of South Sudan, where he will visit the community of Lomin. In this mission the Comboni Missionaries run two significant institutions:  the Comboni Comprehensive College and the Carpentry Workshop. He will also take part in the meeting of formators in Spain and will accompany the Superior General to South Africa.

Fr. Antonio Villarino, General Assistant and responsible for the American continent, will visit the Comboni province of Brazil NE from April 29 to May 22. Following that, he will attend the European meeting of Comboni Media to be held in Ellwangen, Germany, on May 26-29. The visit to the Comboni Province of North America (NAP) is foreseen for the month of August.

The General Assistant Bro. Daniele Giusti, besides accompanying Fr. Enrique to Asia, will also visit the province of Chad on November 1-20, and will attend the meeting of Formators in Palencia and the meeting of Brothers of the Iberian Peninsula to be held in Granada, Spain, on July 4-5. He will take part in the following assemblies: Treasurers of Latin America in Bogota, Colombia, on August 15-21; French-speaking Treasurers in Lomé, Togo, on September 4-11; English-speaking Treasurers in Cairo, Egypt, on November 21-27.