The Consolata Missionaries have been challenged to change the focus of their missionary activities and move from the mission of doing to the mission of being to redefine the style of missionary service in order to embrace co-responsibility of pastoral agents, continuous search for ways to in-culturate the Gospel, choice of simple and poor forms of presence among the people, commitment to promoting dignity of women and family values and being sensitive to issues of justice and peace.
Speaking during the Africa Continental Assembly 0f the Consolata Missionaries in Bunju – Dar-es-salaam, Consolata Missionary Superior General Rev. Fr. Stephani Camerlengo also called on the missionaries to wear the mantle of hope and cast away fear in order to forge ahead towards a total renewal with all the risk’s involved as in many of the parts of work, the Missionaries are still battling with presence of conflict, disorder, negative ethnicity and the need of human promotion oriented activities.
Addressing delegates drawn from among directors of the different commissions that are spearheading the evangelization process in Africa, Fr. Camerlengo assured the missionaries that the general direction will walk along with the council for Africa ensuring that the indispensable risks will not lead to harm but will become a remedy, a medicine which will allow them to give new phase to their lives as missionaries and to the people they work along with.
In his closing message to the delegates, Fr Camerlengo appreciated the work consolata missionaries are doing in Africa. He noted that missionaries working in Africa have done their mission with a lot of selflessness and sacrifices.
He reminded the congregation through the delegates that “Christ must always be the center of the missionary activity”. He further called all to observe the reality of evangelization work with optimism allowing the Holy Spirit to be the protagonist. “These would bring personal and community conversion and indeed help us to be holy, authentic witnesses and evangelizers,” he said.
The commissions are Mission Ad Gentes, Economy of the Missions, Missionary and Vocation Animation, Basic Formation, Ongoing Formation. These form the key running of the institute and assure its faithful continuity in the circumscription of Africa (Kenya-Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa-Swaziland, Mozambique-Angola, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo.) During this time, different superiors presented the reality of their countries of work. The diverse state of the situation of Africa emerged out spontaneously.
During the meeting, the trend of missionary activities carried out across the continent was accepted to be still deeply rooted in the original need for foundation, which mission ad gentes. The great part of the missionary work is a new mode of first evangelization and a strong answer to the message of consolation.
The meaning of consolation today is understood as the task of our presence in the intervention and reconciliation of the scenarios of violence, broken dialogues and neglected responsibilities among other vices in the society. The delegates emphasized the needed to journey closely with Consolata lay groups giving solid formation on the missionary mandate of the church. The Consolata groups; Friends, Lay Missionaries and Youth were identified once more as the right way to go.
All circumscriptions were encouraged to start such groups who will embrace the spirit of the founder, blessed Allamano. The gathering drew out a plan of action for the next 6 years in order to remain faithful to the missionary call of the church and remain credible in the world today. This plan was also partially a response to the call done by Pope Francis when he had addressed them in 2017 having called them to “carry out a careful discernment of the situation of the peoples among whom you are carrying out your evangelizing action. Do not be tired of bringing comfort to populations that are often marked by great poverty and acute suffering, as in many parts of Africa and Latin America”.
The main themes of revitalization, restructuring and reorganization of the continent were identified and marked as utterly important for the operations of Consolata Missionaries across Africa. These would bring a renewal of the missionary zeal and supply new spiritual energies to those who have suffered trauma or deep tears in order to live the necessary conversion.
By AMECEA Online News Correspondent