Monday, 6 October 2014
Thirty five confreres from almost all the circumscriptions of the Institute, together with representatives of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, the Comboni Secular Women and the Comboni Lay Missionaries, gathered in Rome for the week in which there occurred the 150th anniversary of the Plan of St. Daniel Comboni, to study this gift from God and allow themselves to be challenged by it. “What is the Comboni response to the missionary challenges of today?” was the theme of this seminar held at the Generalate from 15 to 19 September.
The group commenced its work on the exact anniversary day of the inspiration of the Plan with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Superior General and celebrated over St. Peter’s tomb.
The reflection was guided by Combonis and others who helped in these ways:
1) to situate Comboni in his own time and, at the same time, to see him as a prophet who went beyond the ideas of his time because he allowed himself to be guided in faith and charity by the Spirit, by means of deep insertion in situations and places seen as signs of God; 2) to understand the new ecclesial view of mission, especially as it is presented to us by Pope Francis in his writings, specifically in Evangelii Gaudium, and, above all, by his manner of acting; 3) to understand better the situations of us Comboni missionaries today.
The main points which characterised the work in the groups and in the assembly were: the new views of mission, the missionary style demanded by them, ministries and formation and our prophetic service in the local Church. The groups, firstly, and then the assembly, drew up reflections and working proposals on these themes which will be made available to the members of the Comboni Family and will make up a specific contribution to the process of preparation for the next General Chapter.
“Workshop on the 150 years of the Plan of St. Daniel Comboni”
Rome 19 September 2014
“Blessed be the God and father of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph 1,3)
We who are taking part in the “Workshop on the 150 years of the Plan of St. Daniel Comboni” send you fraternal greetings to express our communion with you but especially to involve you in the journey of renewal that our Institute wishes to make in the light of the intuitions of the Founder himself.
We, confreres from almost all the circumscriptions, came together and lived a week of fraternity and sharing, touching upon themes which are very relevant and important for our personal, communitarian and institutional growth.
We studied the message of the Plan of St. Daniel Comboni, knowing we were in deep communion with him and sharing in his passion for the Mission. We looked at ourselves from the new perspective of the Comboni mission of today, a journey we have already begun and which we shall continue to pursue in the concreteness of our missionary service to the Church and to the world of our time. We reflected on the style of mission necessary today and in the future, with the resulting challenges which require of us significant changes in our manner of being as persons and as communities. We studied the importance of the various ministries that may make meaningful our missionary service. Finally, we studied our active presence in the local Church since we are a living part of it and collaborate with it wherever we find ourselves.
The content of our meeting will be made available to you and, of course, offered to the General Administration as a contribution towards the preparation for the Chapter. We suggest that you use the content of this workshop in your circumscriptions and continue the reflection we have started. This work will be especially important for the delegates to the next General Chapter.
Meanwhile, we greet you all, thanking all who remembered us during these days of work and reflection. We believe we are united in the faith and in the charism of our Holy Founder who, every day, invites us to “dream” of a better world, fixing our lives on Jesus Christ, the only reason for our missionary vocation.
The members of the Workshop on the 150 Years of the Plan