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Seminar of SEDOS in Ariccia

08/06/2010: General House - Photo gallery

SEDOS – Servizio di Documentazione e Studi – is an organization based in Rome and open to all Institutes of Consecrated Life, with the aim of deepening the meaning of mission, understood in its broadest sense. One of its initiatives is the holding of annual seminars on particularly important themes (www.sedosmission.org).

The 2010 Seminar, organised in Ariccia, near Rome, from 18 to 22 May, was on the mission of the Church on the African continent. The inspiration and the subject came from the Synod of Bishops in 2009, in its special assembly for Africa: The Church in Africa at the service of reconciliation, justice and peace.

Over a hundred religious men and women took part in this seminar. They came from about 45 Congregations and 50 different countries. The presence of many Africans among the participants and the speakers contributed much to the consistency and authenticity of the work, and even more to the liturgical celebrations. The Institute of the Marist Brothers was represented by Brother Antonio Ramalho, Councillor General.

The impression was of a very motivated group in search of a common vision and something new, with Africa at its heart. An Africa better known in its reality, exposed to suffering, pillage, conflicts on the one side, but also rich in potential, dignity, beauty, and initiatives of transformation on the other.

In relation especially to peace initiatives, it was notable the decisive role played by women in many African countries. There was insistence on spirituality and the ministry of reconciliation, giving priority to pardon and mercy, in view of justice.

Some final calls: 1) to know, understand, for a better interpretation of the situation of the continent, and to denounce and cry out when necessary; 2) to refashion our imagination: to free oneself from colonialism, from Eurocentrism; 3) not to create other dependencies in our Institutes, but to encourage the cultural incarnation of the charisms; 4) a new style of presence and evangelisation: companions on the journey, moving ahead together; 5) agents of transformation practicing dialogue at all levels and authority as service; 6) collaboration among congregations and with local Churches, inter-religious dialogue.

Ubuntu! “I am human, because I belong, I take part, I share”.

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