The Consolata Missionaries (IMC) Pre-Chapter Continental Assembly opened on Sunday January 8, at the Holy Mary Mother of Missions Parish, in Bogota’, Colombia, 2017, with a Holy Mass filled with symbols that recall the mission.
Msgr. Joaquin Pinzon, IMC, Bishop of Porto Leguízamo-Solano in the Colombian Amazon, presided over the Eucharist. “The Epiphany – said Bishop Pinzon – completes the celebration of Christmasit. It is the manifestation of God in his Son Jesus to all peoples, to all nations and to every human being. God could not manifest himself only to one people, but to all, without distinction.”
Then addressing the Consolata Missionaries, who were con-celebrating with him, he added: “Like the Magi, you have come from different countries with the desire to join your effort and together find answers to the challenges of the Church’s mission in this continent. Our hope is that everybody come to know where to meet the Lord today. My wish is that all the work you will be occupied with these days, pondering on the universality of the mission, be done listening to the voice of God that comes from the peripheries. I wish that you be led by the star of the charism that inspired our Founder and that you will not be afraid of looking for and returning through other paths, more in line to the defense of life”.
23 missionaries representing the IMC Regions of Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Canada and the United States attend the meeting. Also present are the members of the General Direction from Rome, the Superior General, Father Stefano Camerlengo, and three of his Councilors. On the first day there will be a meeting also with a delegation of the Consolata Sisters and of the Continent Lay Consolata Missionaries.
The sessions of the Assembly will be guided by a working document on the mission of the Consolata Missionaries in the various contexts of the American continent. The document has been prepared in the last months with contributions from the Regions. The presence of the Missionaries in the Amazon basin, among Indigenous peoples, with African Americans and in urban peripheries are highlighted as the priorities for the Consolatas in the Continent. But topics such as Pastoral Work with the Immigrants and towards Young People, and activities of Missionary Animation and Vocation Promotion, as well as the Formation of new missionaries, Communications and Mass Media, Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation will also be discussed.
The Assembly, that will last until Saturday, January 14, is a step in a process that leads to the General Chapter of the Consolata Missionaries, to be held from May 21 to June 20 of this year in Rome. The aim of the process is the renewal of the Missionaries and of the presences of the Consolatas in the four Continents in the light of a new mission more respondent to the needs of today’s world.
Within this framework, the Missionaries working in the Continents of Europe, Africa and Asia have already held their assemblies. Now America’s turn has come. Father Salvador Medina, General Councilor and coordinator of the Assembly explains the main goal of the meeting: “To define a Project for the Consolata Missionaries in America. In the coming months, the General Direction in Rome will analyze the four continental documents and elaborate a single text allowing for the diversities of each Continental project. This will be the working document for the General Chapter.”
Founded in 1901 by Blessed Joseph Allamano, priest of the Archdiocese of Turin, northern Italy, the Consolata Missionaries Institute now counts around 1,000 members, present in 24 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The Consolatas arrived first in Brazil, in 1937, and then spread throughout other countries in the American continent. In the USA, they are present with two communities of Fathers (in New Jersey and California) and three of Sisters (in Michigan, Alabama and Arizona).
Father Jaime C. Patias, IMC
Bogota’, January 09, 2017.