The introductory part of the document starts with the following words; “Arriving from different ways, with diversity of realities and experiences we gather around the table and to share the word and the bread if life- inspired by Jesus, the Missionary of the Father - with the aim of revising, organizing and planning our missionary activities, for the coming six years, in conjunction with the continental mentality, in connection with the general direction, the Institute and the whole church of Christ at large."
Total participants in the conference are 66, of whom six are from the theological seminary in Bogotá. Other members present are: two Consolata sisters, two Consolata lay missionaries and two delegates from the general direction (Frs. Stefano Camerlengo y Antonio Fernandes). Having arrived some weeks before the conference, Stefano and Antonio visited some of our missions.
The meeting is being held in the headcounters of the conference of the Bishops of Colombia in Bogotá. The work begun on the 24th of April a very significant date in the history of our institute this day of the commemoration of saint Fidel of Sigmaringa, the institute was founded officially by blessed Allamano after writing a letter to his bishop, expressing his availability of to found a missionary institute.
Morning section begun by a proving the rules and the methodology, while the afternoon was dedicated to analyze the reality of Colombia-Ecuador, conducted by Fr. Leonel Narvaez IMC, and an invited guest, Dr. Hector Mondragon.
We concluded the day by the eucharistic celebration, presided over by His excellency, Beniamino Stella, Apostolic Nuncio in Colombia. After supper Fr. Renzo Marcolongo IMC presented the results of the psychological test done by abut 70% of the Consolata members in Colombia-Ecuador. This interview entitled “Termometro missionero” gave some vision of the community atmosphere in general.
25th of April - Second Day
The second day began by morning prayer reflecting on the word “Mission Ad Gentes Ad Vitam”. From the beginning two feelings accompany this day; On one hand the whole anxiety to enter directly into the core of the conference analyzing the document, while on the other hand some tense atmosphere accompanied with doubts and even skepticism relating to the document itself and the methodology proposed the previous day. With this two sentiments not resolved and after some short discursion on various points, the a assembly approves the method and Fr. Ezio Roatino explains to the delegates the first part of the document on Spirituality.
The central them of the day is on our identity, how people see us as Consolata Missionaries in Colombia. At the end of the day everybody feels tired being the first day of had work. Morning section was dedicated to the topic on Identity while afternoon was divided into two first part dedicated to sharing on the points already drafted about basic formation in Colombia.
The third part of the day was dedicated to sharing the missionary experience of our lay missionaries and a summary of the Consolata Sister’s conference held on January this year. The day ends with the eucharistic celebration presided over by Stefano Camerlengo the vice General Superior. Illuminated by the feast and the gospel of Saint Mark, Fr Stefano invited the delegates to take note on the missionary aspect especially on: “Go and announce the Good news the whole world” as an expression of the urgency of the mission today. He as well stressed on the virtue of humility that should accompany this going. After supper Fr. Luis Duravia, IMC and the rector, together with a team of teachers of our Secondary school under the title of our founder, presented a short comedy on the founder with the title “José Allamano misionero de la consolación”.
26th of April - Third day
With the moto: “Con Jesús por el camino y en la mesa” the day begins, with an invitation to contemplate and pray over it from the text of saint Luke under the coordination of the commission of missionary animation in Colombia, with the collaboration of the regional superior and Fr. Carlos Zuluaga IMC.
The rest of the morning section goes normal with the exposition of the previous work on one of the most delicate, but very necessary topic for the institute “inculturation”, a word which has not entered into consideration yet neither in the Institute, nor the Church, and to the surprise of many, not even in the international dictionary it is found yet.
From the conclusions and the sharing that came out in the assembly, we still have a long way to go both in theory, with good definition and practice on our daily life as missionaries, especially the Consolata following our option for the internationality as part of our identity. On the other hand we are being admired by the church of Colombia for the presence of our international theological seminary and some experiences in the mission field, where our missionaries try to live this reality, though with great difficulties.
Afternoon section was divided into two parts: the first part was dedicated to presenting a reading on the topic of missionary animation and vocation promotion. The second section was dedicated to sharing with his excellency Bishop Luis Auguto Castro Quiroga, a Consolata missionary and the actual chairman of the conference of the bishops of Colombia. The sharing took approximately one hour on the situation of violence in Colombia and certain points the conference has decided to work in the search for ways to promote dialogue for peace. The day ended with the eucharistic celebration thus the motor concluded the day with the word “Con Jesús por el Camino y en la mesa”