Rome, Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Fr. Josep Maria Abella Battle, 63 year old, superior general of the Missionaries Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians) has helped the 49 provincials and members of the General Administration of the Comboni Missionaries, gathered in Intercapitular Assembly (2-22 September) in Rome, to reflect on the topic of “Mission and consecrated life today.” Fr. Abella comes with a missionary experience of more than two decades in Japan and is the superior general of the Claretian Missionaries since 2003.

From right Fr. Josep Maria Abella Batlle and Fr. Alcides Costa.

The entire day yesterday, September 3, was spent with Fr. Josep Maria Abella, superior general of over three thousand claretian missionaries spread all over the world. This gives Fr. Abella a vast knowledge of the reality of the various continents that challenge today the missionary activity of the Church in general and of the missionary Institutes in particular.

In the morning, Fr. Abella shared with the participants at the Assembly his vision of mission and consecrated life today, starting from his personal missionary experience – he left for Japan at age 20 – and of his experience of 18 years in the General Administration of the Claretian Institute. According to Fr. Abella the two major preoccupations of religious superiors must be to care for the persons and to keep alive its own charism. “There is no doubt that, in an evangelical perspective, the mission of a major superior is the one of taking care of his own brothers, to accompany them in their journey of growth as consecrated persons, sent to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. To this fundamental mission is connected an essential responsibility of a major superior: to keep the charism alive, that of the consecrated life and that of the Institute,” he stated. The most beautiful sentence that he found in order to define missionary life and religious life was, “passion for Christ and passion for humanity.”

Following the lecture by Fr. Abella, there was a timer of dialog, with questions and personal comments, with the objective of deepening the theme of mission and consecrated life keeping in mind the reality of the Comboni circumscriptions. In the afternoon, the provincial superior and delegates gathered in groups in order to contextualize the input of the claretian missionary.

The day concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist, with Fr. Abella as presider.

Attached we will follow with the publication of the text in Italian and Spanish of Fr. Abella (original text in Spanish).

From right Fr. Dário Balula Chaves and Fr. Josep Maria Abella Batlle.

In the afternoon, the provincial superior and delegates gathered in groups.