The SMA Plenary Council, which meets once a year, brings together Society leaders from throughout the world.
Ex-officio members of the Council are the the Superior General, Vicar General and the two General Councillors, the Superiors of Provinces (6), Districts (3) and Districts-in-formation (6). The Bursar General, responsible for the overall financial administration in the Society, attends for part of the meeting.
Four Superiors from the 13 Regions in Africa are invited to attend. They are elected by their peers with two coming from Francophone Regions and two from the Anglophone Regions. They serve on the Council for three years.
The Plenary Council is a forum for an exchange of ideas and can make decisions concerning many aspects of our mission, other than areas reserved to an SMA General Assembly.
Traditionally the Plenary Council met in the different units of the Society, which gave participants an opportunity to see the life of a particular Province or District. The SMA Generalate in Rome is also available for Plenary Council meetings.
In 2005 the first Plenary Council to be held in Africa took place at the SMA House of Studies, Nairobi, Kenya. The 2009 Plenary Council was hosted by the Irish Province at the SMA Retreat & Conference Centre, Dromantine, Newry, Co Down. That of 2010 will be hosted by the Dutch Province at the Dutch Provincial House (Missiehuis) in Cadier en Keer in the south of the Netherlands, close to Maastricht.
Meetings are conducted in English and French as all participants are expected to speak both languages. Translation is provided when needed.