Dear Confrères, A warm greeting in the Heart of Christ, the Good Shepherd, in whom we are rooted as humble and joyful witnesses in the world of a fraternity without frontiers or borders.
Gathered together for the XIX General Chapter, we want to join each one of you and each one of our Communities in the celebration of this extraordinary ‘feast of love’, which as the Rule of Life reminds us our Founder received from the fountain of the Pierced Heart of the Good Shepherd:
“The Founder found in the mystery of the Heart of Jesus the strength for his missionary commitment. Comboni’s unconditional love for the peoples of Africa had its origin and model in the saving love of the Good Shepherd, who offered his life for humanity on the cross: “And trusting in that most Sacred Heart … I feel much more ready to suffer … and to die for Jesus Christ and for the salvation of the unhappy peoples of Central Africa” (RL, No. 3).
The contemplation of the Heart of Jesus gives us our true identity and status as Missionaries: born, nurtured, cared for, energized, inspired, supervised, and sustained by this Sacred Heart, and enables us to lead people to this Heart and to assist our placing Jesus at the heart of each person.
The authentic Comboni Mission can only be lived through a vibrant relationship with the Pierced Heart of Jesus which reaches its climax on the Cross. No wonder that our Founder invites us to keep our eyes fixed on Christ crucified, pondering on the meaning of a God who died on the Cross for the salvation of people.
This Chapter is experiencing that, despite our weaknesses, the charism given by the Spirit to St. Daniel Comboni is still very much alive and strong. This is shown in the growing number of vocations, in the passion with which many Comboni Missionaries give themselves to the Mission, in the witness of life of our sick and elderly, in the Communities that live close to the poor, in inter-culturality shared with joy and mutual enrichment, in the respect and the care for our common home, and in many other ways.
We are sure that the Heart of Christ, who has kept us faithful and united for so many years, is preparing for us a new missionary era for our Institute, full of life and vitality. If we allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit, it will be a Mission more faithful than ever to the desires of the Good Shepherd and to those of our Founder, a Mission that will not be “German, French, Italian or Spanish”, but truly a Catholic and fraternal Mission for the betterment of humanity.
So we invite you to celebrate this Feast of the Sacred Heart with an attitude of thanksgiving and with a humble but committed response to Gods´ love.
We ask for your prayers so that all of us, in the Chapter and beyond, may allow ourselves to be moved by the Spirit of God and renew our covenant in the charism of Daniel Comboni for the good of the people we work with over four Continents.
May the contemplation of the Heart of Jesus help us to renew our consecration and our missionary passion.
Cordially yours, All the Capitulars of the XIX General Chapter Rome, June 24th 2022, The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart