Refocusing and Restructuring
Posted On May 12, 2008
I shared with the Council my concerns about limiting discernment about restructuring merely to diminishing personnel and closing houses. These realities are true, but we also need to look at issues bigger than the Xaverian Missionaries, that is, the state of mission ad gentes, ad extra that comes from the US Church today, and how we can help nurture it more effectively given the changed times and our limiting resources. As we become smaller in personnel and structure, we need to become clearer and more specific about our contribution to the USA Church’s mission ad gentes, ad extra through our mission and vocation education, formation and development according to the needs of the Church today.
The ambiguities we face in mission and vocation education today, and thus our direction into the future are the same for all mission congregations, and these uncertainties reflect not only our own congregational limitations and the vocation difficulties in general, but also the larger state of mission ad gentes from the USA which needs encouragement and clarity. This mission does not belong to the Xaverians, but to the local church. Therefore, it may be useful to look at this seriously, together with other mission congregations, who serve this same mission through their own unique charisms.
I am already in touch with the Provincials of PIME and Comboni Missionaries and both are very interested in a joint discernment in this regard. We are also in touch with the Mission Committee at CMSM on this and they plan on bringing this to the agenda in the August assembly of CMSM taking place at the beginning of August in Colorado.
I also think we need to use the fruits of discernment of mission today already going on in the American Catholic Church in various sectors, starting with USCMA, conferences through CTU and others. I hope to send confreres to these gatherings in order to write and share its fruit for our own discernment toward a new Provincial Plan, and with the larger Xaverian world.
We take the fruits of these past two terms, as we looked at the state of our own congregation in the USA, and see how that fits in the larger needs of the mission ad gentes, ad extra from the United States, and what the Bishops require from us to strengthen this mission.