We start our celebration in the Orphanage Marie of Passion at 10:00 am.
The celebration of the Eucharist was presided over by Fr Celestin Ngoré, whose homily was based on, the mission, the gift of self.
After the celebration the sister in charge of the orphanage, invites father Celestin to bless the newly built cave, so we all went to the cave for the blessing, It was a moment of grace for all.
There was a prayer organized by the CLM, we went into a circle, hands in hand praying and asking the intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary, St Daniel Comboni, Blessed Anuarite and Bakanja in union with all the Saints of Africa, to say thank you to God for the gift of CLM in Congo. We entrust our lives in the hands of the Lord, that he, who was kind enough to begin this project, may continue to be the protagonist of our mission, may He gives each one the grace necessary to carry out the mission He entrust us.
We have prayed for the international coordination of CLM’s (Central Committee), the African coordination and all of our brothers and sisters on mission. May the Lord lead us, strengthen our relationship and make us a strong family, filled with love, a way of peace and a channel of His grace for His people.
We have also prayed for the MCCJ, thanks for their total support and welcomed us into the Comboni family and for all the time they have accompanied us, like a child that they give birth, they taught us everything and despite our majority today, they do not abandon us. May God fill us with his grace and blessings.
Pray for the orphanage Mary of the Passion that receives us, may the Lord help them so that they never lack anything.
We follow with the animation and cocktail with children; followed by a guided tour of the place. We finished the event at 13:00.
I hope all is well with all the people I know. All the members of our apostolic community, including myself, are doing well, thanks be to God.
I am here in Mbaiki to attend the retreat of the Comboni Missionaries, which is turning out well. I hope it will produce good fruits! May the Lord help us to follow him ever better, with the heart, and not only with the head, to be faithful, and never lose our trust in him, because He is always faithful and always stands by our side. In sickness and difficulties we must never doubt about His presence, because there He holds our hand and often carries us, when we feel discouraged.
These beginnings have been difficult with the registration of students, and the selection of teachers which is always complicated, because the level of education is very low. They are parent-teachers who went as far as the 9th or 10th level of education… none of the teachers have diplomas. We gave them admission tests, but the results were very weak and so we cannot put them in front of a class: you have to know a minimum at least. Furthermore, classes have about 50 students, and this further complicates the teaching. I am grateful to God that all the courses are already working. May the Lord help teachers and students to make good progress. He is the one who makes the work of the mission progress and move forward. We are simply servants.
On Sunday there will be the episcopal ordination of Fr. Jesús in Bangui. Do not forget to pray for us and to pray a lot for him. May peace return very quickly in Bangassou, the diocese entrusted to him. I never forget to pray for you, daily. Fast recovery to all who are sick, may the Lord give you strength and serenity.
Here it has rained a lot. The roads are deadly, with many potholes, and make for exhausting journeys. Since arriving, my only long trip was to Mongoumba, while the others were only trips of a few miles. I hope that you already had rain and that the fires have died down. On Tuesday I will return to Mongoumba, God willing.
Let us keep united in prayer.
A missionary embrace as big as the world!
Maria Augusta. CLM Mongoumba
The time that we spend in community is lived as a period of preparation for mission.
The breaking away from the daily routine, work, sharing with friends, family, the priorities that define us in a consumeristic society, etc. Everything changes in order to arrive at a subsistence society. It is done by making us rethink what in fact are our true priorities and/or necessities.
Remaining always focused on mission with our eyes fixed on Jesus, our community planning begins when we realize the richness we have, the experience of one and the illusion of another, that allow us to overcome the challenges facing us.
Fear, discouragement while learning a language, the insecurity of not being able to answer the expectations and the needs of the mission, difficulties in adapting and all the other thoughts that at times overwhelm us, can be quickly conquered with moments of mutual respect, prayer and sharing.
In our efforts for mutual understanding, laughter follows, painting our hearts in many colors, of love and joy.
Tere and Cristina. International formation community in Portugal.
To share the Head: in order to understand the phenomena that engulf us.
To share the Heart: in order to support the necessity of change both internally and externally.
To share Hands: in order to stimulate activities that any local or parish group can enact.
We feel it is important to start a missionary journey that will help to question a life style which is increasingly consumeristic and individualistic, which fosters more and more social, local and worldwide inequities, besides brutally damaging our common home: the Earth.
The dramatic situation of our planet, mistreated and wounded, and the tragic life conditions of its inhabitants cannot leave us indifferent. This is a cry echoing with increasing strength in our ears and that is present here and now.
It is futile to deny that our current styles of life have produced, and continue to produce, a series of wounds in the environment, in increasing poverty, in miserable situations the world over.
Our choices, our simple daily activities, have planetary repercussions, from what we use and consume, from what we buy, from what we utilize and waste. The world has become one single home where we are all interdependent and responsible for its care. Laudato sii itself encourages us to go beyond individualism and look for alternate styles of life.
Basing ourselves on these premises that guide our will, our faith and our commitment, on Sunday, November 19, on the occasion of the World Day for the Poor, we met at the parish of Christ the King in Bologna to share with the parishioners both a community meal with the “poor” of the city and a time of reflection and sharing on the themes of the New Styles of Life. It was our first “Outing.”
Together with the parishioners we joined Head, Heart, Hands, emotions, reflections and, above all, the desire to commit ourselves and build something “good.”
This shows how important it is to get together to weave relationships that will lead away from the loneliness of impotence, from urban loneliness evermore deprived of gestures of conviviality and “humanity.” One little step at the time, we want to start this missionary journey, without any concern for quantity (Many people? Only a few?), but rather for quality and, above all, for every single person who wants to walk with us, because together we grow, we walk, we share, we create and change. Mission invites us to “Go out,” to be witnesses, but never alone, with Others.
We will keep it up in 2018, trying to meet with other parishes, to build alternative ways born out of solidarity, of getting together, of conviviality that will help the networking of ideas, activities, and groups in a commitment to justice.
As Gandhi used to say: “You be the change you want to see in the world.”
We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Only add that in this place, lost in between the volcanoes Chachani and Misti, there live a humble people with whom now we share our lives.
Along our still early journey, many are the faces that are already imprinted in us. At times it is because the lack of humanity is so evident that, taken to the extreme, it leads to death. We have already heard many stories of violence not only in words, but also through the living witness of those who daily fight for change. Why is it that in this country, Peru, there are some of the highest levels of machismo in the world. In this essay by Manu Tessinari we can come to know this reality more deeply:
“Peru is a country of machismo, a lot of machismo.
In Peru, an adolescent girl may be beaten by her father if she is caught having sexual relations with her boyfriend. Here, an incarcerated woman does not have a right to conjugal visits. In the public health system, it is forbidden to give the “day after” pills to patients who were victims of rape.
Something more absurd? In Peru, if a woman is abandoned by her husband and does not accept divorce, the man can start a new life and register all the children from his new partner. The woman cannot. The law stipulates that the child of this woman legally belongs to the former husband (protected by the bonds of marriage) and a biological father needs to go through a lengthy and complicated legal process to register him.
Out of every 10 Peruvian women, six are victims of psychological violence and two of physical violence at the hands of their partners. About 16% of the people (men and women) believe that the fault is always with the woman, including 3.7% who believe that women DESERVE to be beaten and 3.8% DO NOT see a problem if the man forces relations on his partner.
People are great workers. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Information (INEI), 95.4% of Peruvian women have a job, mostly in the servant sector. On the average, a Peruvian female earns ONE THIRD less than a male doing the same work. Unfortunately, only 36% of females go to school to the end and only a little more than 16% end up concluding university studies. And all this in a country with 15,800,000 women, namely, 49.9% of the population.”
The lives of people going by our door do not leave us indifferent, and even though this is the reality, we bring them the joy of a Gospel which is not only ours, but a Gospel that fiercely demands to be taken into the world, taken to the extreme peripheries of it.
Do not be afraid to go meet these people, these situations. Do not be blocked by prejudice, by habits, by inflexible mental and pastoral attitudes, by the infamous “it has always been done this way.” But we can only go to the peripheries if we hold the Word of God in our hearts and walk with the Church, like St. Francis did. Otherwise, we are just proclaiming ourselves, and not the Word of God, and this is not good and does not benefit anyone. We are not the saviors of the world: The Lord saves it! (Pope Francis)
And here is where we feel called to live with them and among them. Here is where we cease to be ourselves in order to become living instruments at the service of Jesus Christ in Peru.
Neuza and Paula, CLM in Peru