The General Mission Committee, which was established last year by the Superior General in Council in response to a recommendation from the 36th General Chapter, met for the first time last February 25—March 1, 2019 at the General House in Rome.

All six members of the Committee were present—

  • Antonio MESSERI from Cruz del Sur Province, representing the Region of Latin America;
  • Jaroslaw RÓŻAŃSKI from the Province of Poland, representing the Region of Europe;
  • Romeo SANIEL from the Philippine Province, representing the Asia-Oceania Region;
  • Marcel THIAW from the Delegation of Senegal, representing the Africa-Madagascar Region;
  • Fernando VELAZQUEZ of the United States Province, representing the Canada-US Region; and
  • Ramon BERNABE, the Assistant General for Mission.

Having to work in English, Spanish, and French, the committee was assisted by three translators—Bonga MAJOLA, Jean Marie SENE, and Joseph IRUDAYA RAJ.

From left to right – Jean Marie SENE, Bonga MAJOLA, and Joseph IRUDAYA RAJ

The main items in their agenda, as approved by the Superior General in Council, were about

  • getting to know each other and the mission contexts where they were coming from;
  • surfacing expectations;
  • familiarizing with the Statutes of the committee and establishing arrangements for their communication and collaboration;
  • getting an overview of realities in the Congregation; and reflecting and sharing missiological insights on four issues—inter-religious dialogue; mission in a “post-Christian” context; promoting missiology and missionary formation; and promoting inter-culturality in mission.

From left to right (Above) : Marcel THIAW, Ramon BERNABE, Romeo SANIEL (Below) : Fernando VELAZQUEZ, Jaroslaw RÓŻAŃSKI, Antonio MESSERI

To achieve their objectives for this meeting, the committee developed four “working papers” on the main issues and reflected on them.  They also decided that the papers will be shared with the Regions, other Oblates, and with the Superior General and Council, in order to enrich the reflections further, and then to identify areas about which discernment and animation tools will be designed to help Oblate Units in moving the mission forward.

The committee also discussed some ideas on how the Congregation can celebrate the Extraordinary Mission Month this coming October 2019.