The last day of the historic Conference of the IMC region of Asia began with an early morning Eucharistic celebration presided over by Fr. Godfrey Msumange, General Councillor in charge of Africa. In his homily, he underlined the hope and zeal with which St. Paul evangelized the first Christian communities -while on many occasions demonstrating that faith and reason do not contradict each other but rather, as gifts of God they complement the proclamation of the good news. Fr. Godfrey also exhorted the missionaries to follow this noble example of St. Paul in their missionary endeavour, at the same time seeking that every effort and sacrifice be in self-giving service and love for others, and for the glory of God. In a solemn way, he invited everyone to dedicate the conclusive deliberations of this conference, as well as the troubled people of Venezuela, to our Mother the Virgin Consolata.
In the morning session of the conference, the participants embarked on winding up pending issues regarding juridical organization. Thereafter, the conference delved into the last scheduled item; administration for the good of mission ad gentes. An elaborate exposition and discussion about the current status of our institute and the Region of Asia in particular guided the participants in evaluating, discerning and mapping out a plan of action within the next six years.
Despite this being the third day of a conference that has had a tight schedule with very comprehensive debates, the participants have nonetheless demonstrated an indefatigable spirit; a fact that has been manifested in the enthusiasm and dedication with which they have engaged themselves up to the very end. Upon concluding the deliberations, the definitive text of the conference was read through before eventually being unanimously approved as the acts of the first IMC Asia regional conference.
On a note of informative formation, Fr. Jaime Patias, General Councillor in charge of the continent of America, informed the missionaries working in Asia about the IMC mission and organizational progress as well as challenges in the aforementioned continent. Fr. James Lengarin, the Vice General Superior also in charge of formation, updated the participants on the significant issue of basic formation in our institute and the new paradigms concerning it. Similarly, Fr. Rinaldo Cogliati, the General Administrator, enlightened the missionaries over appropriate administration of material goods within gospel values and the institute’s guidelines. He emphasized the need of understanding and valuing individual missionaries above any material good, as the first and irreplaceable constituents of our missionary family.
In the concluding remarks, Fr. Tamrat Defar, the Regional Superior of Asia, unreservedly thanked everyone for the outstanding effort and commitment to the palpable success of this historic event. He observed that this important process was guided by the Holy Spirit because it has taken place during the Novena before the feast of Pentecost. Inspired by the gospel narrative of the multiplication of five loaves of bread and two fish, he said that this -including our missionary presence in Asia- is what every member of the region offers in contribution to evangelization of Asia in our IMC charism.
On behalf of the Superior General, the Vice, Fr. James, commended all the participants for their selflessness in reflecting and planning IMC mission together. He reminded everyone that this was only the beginning of a demanding process of growth and giving testimony in Asia, and therefore it is imperative that every missionary fully becomes part of this process, entrusting themselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and our Mother Consolata.