Rome, Tuesday 18 September 2012
The last week of the work of the Intercapitular of the Comboni Missionaries, which is taking place in Rome till Friday, September 21, began yesterday with the sharing of Fr. Venanzio Milani (pictured) on the activities of the Commission for the Rule of Life, which he co-ordinated. In the afternoon, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie, assistant general, briefed on the current situation of the personnel in the Institute and in particular on the criteria for its allocation. After the two talks, there was a time for group work followed by a presentation of their views in the Chapter hall.
Fr. Venanzio Milani, on behalf of the Commission for the Rule of Life (RL) – appointed by the General Council in March 2011 – informed the Intercapitular Assembly of the work done by the Commission which has completed the request of the XVII General Chapter of 2009 (n. 31 0.1 to 4): “In the first three years of its mandate, the General Council should choose confreres to whom it might entrust the task of a qualified reflection on the RL, in order to familiarise us with it as an instrument of growth in faithfulness to the Comboni charism” (AC ’09 , n. 31.4).
Fr. Milani went through the history of the Rule of Life from 1979 to 2009 – especially since the RL has appeared with the two parts merged into a single text: the constitutional part with 175 articles (to change these the approval of the Holy See is required) and the directory part with 529 articles (to change these the approval of the Chapter suffices) – and made known the proposal made by the Commission to the Superior General and his Council “for the purpose of animating the confreres to a better understanding and implementation of the Rule of Life.” Fr. Milani called the proposal “essential to respond to the desires of the Chapter and the needs of the Comboni Missionaries’ life.” Bearing in mind that in the year 2013 it will be the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the definitive edition of the Rule of Life, Fr. Milani made several proposals that will be evaluated later by the superiors of the circumscriptions.
In the afternoon, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie – the assistant general who is responsible of Basic Formation and of the Provinces and Delegations of Anglophone Africa (except Eritrea) and Mozambique – spoke about the situation of the Institute’s personnel, in particular of the criteria for appointing them in the different phases and circumstances and, finally, of the quality of dialogue with the confreres.
Fr. Tesfaye quoted several times the Chapter Acts, emphasizing the importance of taking into account the main indication of the last Chapter (AC ’09, 125.6): “There should be a balance between personnel and commitments in order to re-qualify mission according to priorities; to this end, if necessary, the number of communities and Circumscriptions should be reduced (clustering-fusing-union).”