Comboni Missionaries General Chapter XVIII and General Council
The Comboni Missionaries top brass are assembled in Rome for their General Chapter XVIII. This is a vey important event for them. At the end of the Chapter the GeneralCouncilwill elect a new leader, the new Superior General.The current one, Father Enrico Sanchez will step down. Others who have held the role include the UK Province’s Father David Glenday. The General Chpater is taking place from Aigust 29th to October 4th.
Frs Martin Devenish, Provincial Superior and Tesfamichael are representing the UK Province in Rome at the General Chapter along with Comboni delegates from around the world.
Pope Francis and the Comboni Missionaries
The European Delegates put out the following statement: “We welcome the invitation of Pope Francis to become more and more a missionary Church, and for ourselves as Comboni Missionaries, to re-discover the joy of being missionary disciples in this Europe that is changing rapidly, and to overcome a certain pastoral tiredness and the temptation to withdraw into sterile pessimism.
“Aware that today missionary activity still represents the greatest challenge for the Church and that as Comboni Missionaries we are called – as was already said in the last Chapter of 2009 – to get out of our ‘comfort zone’ and have the courage to reach all the margins that need the light of the Gospel.
The Gospel According to Pope Francis
“We put ourselves in an attitude of searching to understand how to be missionary disciples in Europe today. In light of the call of Pope Francis, we wish to live the dream of God for the world, and be missionaries who go forth, ready to take on a new style beyond the soulless cliché of “We have always done it like that” (EG, No. 33), in order to open ourselves with confidence and courage to the challenges that come from the world of today, to read the Gospel starting from the margins, from the least and the excluded, and really have the “smell of sheep” (EG, No. 24).
“There is a people that awaits us and this requires a continuous ‘going out’ afresh on our part, and demands that we are bold and creative, and that we find new ways of proclamation, of closeness to the poor, of openness and of creativity in catechesis, in Missionary Animation and in the proclamation of the Gospel.”
Fr Martin Devenish, the General Counicl and General Chapter
IFr Martin Devenish, the UK Provincial Superior, wrote a letter to all the members of the London Province. It said: ‘The General Council earnestly invites all the Confreres to pray in a special way over the coming weeks for the forthcoming General Chapter so that the very important moment in the life of our Congregation may become an opportunity for each of us to live our missionary vocation more intensely.
“And the members of the Chapter may truly discern what the Lord wants of us today as his missionary disciples following in the footsteps of our Father and Founder, Daniel Comboni.
“During the deliberations in Rome a new General Council is elected. Our belated congratulations to the newly-elected team”.
Elect a Superior General Untainted By Sexual Abuse of Minors
Let’s hope that the new leader of the Comboni Missionaries, the new Superior General, will be untainted by the sexual abuse scandal of the past or the cover ups which have cointinue dto this day.
Let’s hope that he takes a new broom approach and acknowledges that the abuse took place, apologizes for it like Pope Francis has done, and will work with the abused to put in place processes which will both prevent this happening again and pursue those who took part in the abuse or covered it up.