Thursday, September 3, 2015
During this week of preparation to the XVIII General Chapter of the Comboni Missionaries, which will officially begin next Sunday, the Chapter members devoted two days of reflection on the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, which is the inspiration of the theme of this Chapter “Comboni missionary disciples called to live the joy of the Gospel in today’s world.” The two days were led by Mgr. Marcello Semeraro [in the picture], bishop of Albano and secretary of the group of cardinals whom Pope Francis chose as his close advisors.
Pope Francis renews the paradigm of evangelization, strongly reaffirming that the whole Church is essentially missionary, called ‘to be outgoing’. “This challenges us to radically redefine our identity and our understanding of the mission that is specifically Comboni”, one of the Chapter member remarked.
The two days were led by Mgr. Marcello Semeraro, bishop of Albano and secretary of the group of cardinals whom Pope Francis chose as his close advisors, to help him in leading the Church and in revising the Roman Curia.
In this way, the preparatory week to the Chapter is offering tools to study and discuss in groups on the need for a revision of the structures and the importance of the social dimension of evangelization (EG 4).
The second day of reflection, yesterday, was devoted to a time of listening and prayer, inspired mainly by the “spiritual pleasure of being close to people’s lives” (EG 268). As the Apostolic Exhortation says, “Mission is at once a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people (...).Without this sense of belonging we cannot understand our deepest identity.”
“The odour of the sheep” – an expression so often reiterated by Pope Francis – that each missionary brings to the Chapter from the different parts of the world, must impregnate the discussion and inspire the pastoral work of the Comboni communities.
The preparatory week continues now with the study of the Statute and the Summary for Discernment, tools that will guide the work in the next few weeks.