The superiors of the International Missions of the Congregation of the Mission, representing every continent, have gathered together in Rome (at the house of the Daughters of Charity on the Via Ezio).
This Encounter was organized by the Superior General and his Council and the other members of the Curia. The first day was marked by an attitude of joy as the Missionaries shared their various experiences. This sharing involved all those present in a missionary journey as we listened to the various ways in which the Vincentian are present on each continent. Our journey began in Latin America, in the Alto Plano and Cochabamba in Bolivia. From there we traveled to Africa, first to Tunis and then Benin, Chad, Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, Cameroon, Rwanda, Burundi and the Isle of La Reunion (administered by the confreres from Madagascar).
From Africa we traveled to the other side of the world, arriving first in Papua New Guinea and the Fiji Islands. Then we found ourselves in Europe, in Albania where our Missionaries from Italy have left this mark and are now beginning to reap the fruits of their efforts with the entrance of some young men into the community.
While recalling the history of the discovery of the southernmost part of the American continent, we were presented with the ministry that is being done in Punta Arenas and the new parish in Tierra del Fuego … and then we moved to the northernmost region of the continent to listen to the ministry that is occurring in the mission in Alaska.
Each presentation gave the participants an understanding of the socio-economic and political reality of the country and revealed the manner in which the Vincentian evangelizing process was responding to the situation of poverty. Each of the Missionaries shared with us the manner in which they minister with the members of the larger Vincentian Family, their hopes with regard to the future, the difficulties that they encounter on a daily basis and the need for more missionaries to reinforce the ministry that is taking place in each of these places.
In all of these missions it is clear that our confreres are faithful to the purpose of the Congregation, that is, faithful in following Jesus Christ the evangelizer of the poor. At the same time our Missionaries reveal the international and multi-cultural dimension of the Congregation and given witness to the realities of solidarity and collaboration among the Provinces.
This gathering has provided the participants with an opportunity to share their experiences and to reflect on the future of these missions while allowing them to engage in a dialogue with Father Gregory and his Council as they enter into the final stages of preparation for the 2016 General Assembly.
List of participants
From left to right (seated)
- Mario Murgia (Albania)
- Javier Alvarez (Vicar General)
- Néstor Gómez, (Rwanda- Burundi)
- Pierre Calvin Tsimangovy (Isle of La Reunion)
- George Gregory Gay, (Superior General)
- Giuseppe Turati, (Secretary General)
- Stanislav Zontak, (Assistant General)
- Angel Ignacio Garrido, (Punta Arenas, Chile).
- Agapit Ebiagena, (Translator)
From left to right (standing)
- Jorge Luis Rodríguez, (Office of Communication)
- Georges Maylaa, (Translator)
- Faiver Mañosca, (Translator)
- David Paniagua Nova, (Cochabamba, Bolivia)
- Andrew Eugene Bellisario, (Alaska – USA)
- Roch Alexandre Ramikijaona, (Chad)
- Justin Eke, (Nigeria)
- Stanislav Deszcz, (Benín)
- Mathew Kallammakal, (Assistant General)
- Filimoni Vosabalavu, (Fiji Islands)
- Marcos Gumiero, (Angola)
- Patrick Issomo, (Translator)
- Babu Mattappillil, (Tanzania)
- Aidan Rooney, (El Alto, Bolivia)
- Firmin Mola Mbalo, (Tunis)
- Yosief Zeracristos, (Assistant General)
- Gary Muller, (Kenya)
- Emmanuel V. Lapaz, (Papua New Guinea)
- Clement Ondoua Kono, (Cameroon)
- Shijo Kanjirathamkunnel, (Procurator General/Translator)
- Eli Chaves Dos Santos, (Assistant General)