The preparatory committee for the IX General Conference met in Rome from November 6-10 to organize the event, which will take place in July, 2018, in Manila. Its theme, “The Social Commitments of the Dehonians” has two main objectives: to awaken the congregation and to form the new generation, developing the mission to the poor.
In order to not lose sight of the concreteness of the journey, participants will look to the past, bearing in mind the Gospel, the Constitutions and the writings of Fr. Dehon, linking them with the social problems of today.
Starting from the responses received from the entities, we will explore the opportunities that exist for the congregation: the need to engage, the diversity of experiences, the need to form new scholars, collaboration with lay people and dialogue between individual choices and community. So that we do not start from the beginning, and to enhance the beauty of what already exists, each entity will be asked to prepare a video clip featuring a significant social initiative.
The prospective part of the conference will take two days where groups will meet to elaborate specific actions that will mark the future. One must overcome the temptation of creating documents in favor of making decisions that are feasible. The scheme that will guide the work will have a template that allows participants to look at the past, see the present and from that, find a path toward the future.
The responses of the entities will be in the Instrumentum Laboris, highlighting opportunities and challenges. It will be sent to all participants at the end of February. Preparation is a guarantee for success.