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Brother Teófilo Minga appointed member of the Executive Committee of SEDOS

15/12/2010: General House

In the last annual General Conference of SEDOS, 07/12/ 2010, held in Rome, Brother Teófilo Minga, Coordinator of the Marist Ad Gentes Project was appointed member of the Executive Committee. We wish him a fruitful experience in this missionary Forum.SEDOS is a forum open to Institutes of Consecrated Life, which commit themselves to deepening their understanding og global mission.SEDOS encourages research and disseminates information through its bulletin and website, public conferences, working groups and its annual seminar.SEDOS (the name stands for Service of Documentation and Study began very simply during the Second Vatican Council when seven missionary societies began to meet informally in Rome to exchange information and views on Mission in the Church.The leading spirit was Fr Mondé, Superior General of the African Mission Society. The group made a significant contribution to the Vatican Council’s Ad Gentes which was greatly influenced by their deliberations with members of the Roman Curia.In 1964 nine societies decided they needed a permanent secretariat. Fr Schutte, Superior General of the Divine Word Missionaries, generously made available the spacious offices in the grounds of the SVD College in Rome. These offices still house the SEDOS Secretariat today.In 1969 there were already 30 member societies of sisters, brothers and priests. In December 1995 the number had risen to 88. Most members have their general headquarters in Rome, others in Ireland, England, France, Holland, Switzerland, Canada, United States and Mexico. They include most of the major missionary religious societies in the Catholic Church. Their combined total membership is over a quarter of a million.In 1981 SEDOS organized an international seminar on the “WHY” of mission. The ideas which emerged from it, in the words of Fr Ferrari, Superior General of the Xaverian Missionaries and then SEDOS President, may now be found disseminated in the constitutions of many missionary and non-specifically missionary institutes. SEDOS, he said, is and has been an extraordinary catalyst of the missionary energy of the member societies. The material of the seminar was published as Mission in Dialogue (Orbis Books 1982) which still remains a valuable contribution to missiological thinking.To celebrate its silver jubilee SEDOS published, Trends in Mission (Orbis Books 1991), a selection of conferences from various SEDOS meetings held during the previous eight years illustrating the development of mission theology and practice during that time. It was chosen by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research as one of the most significant of the 1991 books on mission studies. During the Special Synod of Bishops for Africa in 1994, SEDOS organized a theological symposium with African bishops and theologians. These conferences produced a new book on the Church in Africa: Africa - The Kairos of a Synod.Inter-religious dialogue and ecumenism are important dimensions of SEDOS. The World Council of Churches Commission for World Mission and Evangelism invited SEDOS to participate in the 1980 Melbourne Conference and the ex-President of SEDOS, Sr. Patricia Stowers, S.M.S.M., was a speaker at the 1989 conference in San Antonio, Texas. Both organizations continue in close contact.The place of women, a minor topic of consideration in the initial stages, is now taken for granted. The SEDOS Executive Committee is made up of 50% men and 50% women and according to SEDOS Constitutions men and women superiors general take turns as president for three-year periods.SEDOS organizes various seminars throughout the year, often taking advantage of people with special experience passing through Rome. It provides an umbrella for various groups meeting on a regular basis for updating and sharing of information on particular mission situations.The secretariat contains an extensive collection of books and a computer-based programme of significant mission topics. It also publishes the bi-monthly SEDOS Bulletin, with articles in English and French.

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