At the airport of Imperatriz we were received by CLM Xoán Carlos who took us by car to Açailândia.
After about a one hour journey we reached the house where we will stay, which had already been prepared for us with the help of the local community.
At 7:00 p.m. some community leaders, the Comboni Missionaries, Xoán Carlos and his wife Dida came over bringing something for a lovely supper we all shared together. We were given time to introduce ourselves individually, to chat and share in relaxed and vivacious atmosphere.
The next day we had lunch with the Comboni Missionaries and the team that gives social and legal support to the people of the community of Piquiá de Baixo, who are in the process of resettling.
So, a little at a time, we are getting closer to and getting to know the situation and the people, in order to integrate ourselves in this common journey in the establishing the Kingdom of God.
On June 23-25 the yearly weekend of Comboni Missionary Spirituality took place in the Comboni House of Maia, Portugal. Including religious, the CLMs, the auxiliaries, members of cenacles of prayer, young people of the Faith and Mission group, and sympathizers of the Comboni Family, a sizeable group was put together with people coming from the North and the South of the country.
A small group of nine CLM took part. I was there and I thank God for the opportunity. It was great!
Starting from the main theme, “With Mary, missionaries of Jesus,” the meeting was subdivided into three sub-themes, two of them presented on Saturday, and the third one, through group work, followed on Sunday morning.
“From Mary we learn the true meaning of discipleship.”
The first sub-theme, titled “the missionary journey of Mary,” entrusted to Comboni Missionary Fr. Dário, introduced Mary as the first disciple, the first missionary, available to “bring” Jesus to others, as an example of Mercy, contemplating the activities of Mary, her “YES,” the visit to her cousin Elizabeth. The presentation was interspersed with short Marian hymns. It was, without a doubt, a beautiful moment! And, quoting Pope Francis, I was left with this certainty:
“It is necessary to learn with Mary, relive her “YES,” her total availability to receive the Son of God in her life, which from that moment transformed her.” (from Pope Francis)
Having divided the participants into groups, we had different times for sharing. This helped us to get involved and to get to know other experiences, as true witnesses.
The second sub-theme, given to us by Sr. Arlete, a Comboni Missionary Sister, was “the missionary journey of Daniel Comboni with Mary.”
We saw the journey of St. Daniel Comboni from his entry into the Mazza Institute up to his passion for the Africans, passing through his giving of himself and his devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. With the help of Comboni’s writings we came to understand better this devotion.
“You are the one, O divine Mother, who inspired me in the new Plan for the Regeneration of Africa (…).” (from St. Daniel Comboni)
MARY, adopted us as her children on Calvary. And, like the Holy Father says: “We have a Mother!” – A mother who protects us and shelters us under her cloak. A mother who is a model of life. A mother who shows us how to follow Jesus.
With this program so well organized we did not lack time for reflection, for singing, and space for making community and for prayer.
On Sunday morning, after morning prayers organized by the CLM, we tackled the third sub-theme, by no means less important: “The place of Mary in our Missionary Journey.” Throughvarious presentations, we had a taste of the work produced by the cenacles of prayer, by the Holy Childhood Group and also by the Youth Movement group of the Comboni Family.
With their presentations, the participants showed the importance of Mary in their lives. And also showed how the devotion to Mary is practiced in the groups.
In between themes and reflections, the reception was a success with the participation of the Secular Comboni Missionary Helena Laranjeiro.
Joy and good humor were not lacking, also because it was St. John’s Weekend!v Also there was no lack of reasons to celebrate: on the day of St. John, Fr. Claudino celebrated 44 years of ordination, and on the 25th it was Fr. Dário’s turn to celebrate his 45 years in the priesthood. Best wishes to both… We wish you many more years in Mission!
On Friday, June 30 we, members of the CLM-PCA of Guatemala were sent to El Salvador by our community.
The first meeting took place in December 2016. On that occasion in our mission promotion we shared about St. Daniel Comboni, the members of the Comboni family, the CLM, how we are organized and, at least a little bit, how in Guatemala the community followed a journey based on the indications of the directory.
On this second occasion, the mission promotion part took place on Saturday, July 1 and lasted from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
These were the points of our program of activities:
To go back to recognize St. Daniel Comboni, the Comboni family and the charism that identifies us;
The missionary vocation and how to be community in the Comboni style;
The directory and an explanation of the stages of human, spiritual and Comboni formation. At the same time, as an example, how we took care of our formation over two and a half years;
A small workshop on human development to end the day and to explain a little bit the role of the CLM in the field of the integral development of the person.
Results of the meeting:
Identification of and connection among the people who will be the contacts between Guatemala and El Salvador;
Several people were motivated to know better the Comboni charism in order to discern their vocation;
To start having meetings the last Saturday of each month, beginning now in July;
From our part, a commitment to nurture properly and periodically the seed that has been planted;
To pray for fruits and for our brothers of El Salvador.
We, the CLM of Guatemala, believe in the name of Jesus and with the intercession of St. Daniel Comboni, that this work is from God and will have success. The people of El Salvador are intelligent, fighters, lovable, accessible, open and, above all and most importantly, full of faith and of love of God and ready to serve the most needy.
This past weekend, we, from Guatemala, without any merit on our part, have enjoyed and shared in the mercy of God.
“THE MISSIONARY MUST AT TIMES BE HAPPY WITH SOWING A SEED THAT WILL GIVE FRUIT WITH THE MISSIONARIES WHO WILL FOLLOW.”
St. Daniel Comboni
COMBONI LAY MISSIONARIES OF THE PROVINCE OF CENTRAL AMERICA
“HOLY AND CAPABLE MAKING COMMON CAUSE WITH THE POOREST AND MOST ABANDONED.
On June 21-22 we held our Yearly Assembly of the CLM of Brazil at the Comboni Minor Seminary Bro. Alfredo Fiorini of Curitiba, PR.
The theme, “To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ACLM with daring and missionary commitment,” helped us to review our history and to have a privileged time of exchange, sharing, community living and celebration during this year when we complete 20 years since the creation of the Association of Comboni Lay Missionaries – ACLM.
In the context of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Comboni Institute, we were graced by having with us the MCCJ provincial, Fr. Dario, who helped us reflect, by way of a comparative diagram, on some of the fundamental intuitions of Comboni and of Pope Francis. We also the enjoyed the presence Sr. Nilma de Jesús, provincial of the Comboni Missionary Sisters of Brazil, who shared some of the essential moments of the missionary journey. As a united Comboni Family, Mission takes shape in our being as relationship, nearness, reaching planned goals in the world of our peripheries, of the prisons, of those who have no land, of the indigenous people, of those who have no voice and no chances: all those who live at the margins. We lived through a great fraternal meeting because, due to the distances and the realities around us, we cannot meet as often as we would like. It was a privileged moment to nourish what is mystical, replenish the strength, reinforce the ties and reflect on our faith and on our missionary identity.
Each day the invitation is renewed to be open to others, to widen the horizons, to be on the move, to share faith and life, and be signs. Our missionary vocation impels us to move out of our reality, to break through borders, to go to meet God with the least, to celebrate hope and to become family with humankind.
We had the opportunity to talk about the present situation of the ACLM, its progress and difficulties. It is a journey that is taking shape, despite its frailties. Thus we recognize this treasure we carry with us and our responsibility to continue to promote mission in the Church and to awaken all to our common commitment as people who have been baptized.
The highlight of our meeting was the Thanksgiving Mass for the 20th anniversary of the ACLM celebrated in the parish of Santa Amelia, which has been a great source of support in the CLM journey since the beginning in 1995. The welcoming of the CLM couple, Liliana and Flávio, who are traveling to Maranhão, in the region of Piquía, and their missionary sharing, touched all present in a special way and very fraternally we celebrated and shared our new projects in a mix of joy, as well as tears, dreams and desires.
We left with some stated objectives and the desire to work more united as Comboni Family, both in mission and in mission promotion, strengthening the groups of Comboni spirituality found in Curitiba and Balsas as well as other places where the Spirit blows. We also felt united to the journey of the International CLM and with our brothers and sisters spread over more than 20 countries across the globe with whom we will hold the International Assembly of the CLM in 2018.
With the grace of celebrating the 300th anniversary of Our Mother Aparecida, inspired by St. Daniel Comboni in the following of Jesus and united to the missionary journey of the Church in Brazil and in the world, may we be ready to guard and to help flourish every day more the missionary call of the Comboni vocation. Let us stay in touch!
On June 2, 2017, the annual meeting of the Central Committee of the Comboni Lay Missionary and the General Councils of the Comboni Missionaries, the Comboni Secular Missionaries and the Comboni Missionary Sisters was held in Rome at the General House of the Comboni Missionaries Sisters. A full day lived with moments of prayer, exchange, reflection, programming, meals together and Holy Mass. The MCCJs had just finished their Symposium on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of its founding, and therefore shared with us all the fruits and provocations gathered during the symposium.
Fifteen years after the letter written together by the three General Councils on “Collaboration for the Mission” we now wanted to return to our intuitions, recognizing the path cover, reinforcing certain aspects and exploring new proposals for cooperation. The Comboni Lay Missionary are an integral part of the Comboni family that now also wants to open to new forms of Combonian laity that arise in the different realities.
The publication of two letters, one for all members of the Institutes and movement and another for those in charge of formation will collect the work and guidelines that emerged during this day.
General Counsels of MCCJ, SMC, MSC and the Central Committee of the CLM
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