Praying you understand people

LMC Portugal“Praying you understand people” was the theme of the eighth formation unit that took place on the April 13-15 weekend. As usual, the Comboni Missionaries made available to us their house of Viseu, where we always feel welcome and at home. We thank God for the hospitality. The formation program was moderated by Carlos Barros and Susana Vilas Boas.

This formation unit was of particular importance compared to the others. Without prayer, mission becomes sterile and meaningless, it weakens in difficult times; without prayer, we may be volunteers, but not truly missionaries.

Our St. Daniel Comboni insists on the need for prayer, both individual and in community. His intimate relation with the Sacred Heart of Jesus impregnates his entire evangelizing activity, mission “is born at the foot of the cross” and takes shape in the sending out of his apostles for the Risen Christ.

The core of this formation was the Liturgy of the Hours, the foundation of community prayer that lay people must know how to handle so as to profit from it. The instructions of the Church are found in the “General Instructions on the Liturgy of the Hours,” redacted by Vatican II. The most significant parts are found at the beginning of the breviary. Reading them is a necessity, in order to summarize or underline the most relevant aspects.

The bell of my childhood in Vacarica used to mark the various times. The sacristan (or a relative) never forgot to ring the bell each day at dawn, “matins” (and we would wake up), at noon (and people would stop working in the fields to to go eat) and at sundown, the “trinities” (and work ended and we would go home). At each one of these times people would recite a short, silent prayer. In those days people were called, loudly and with a pleasant sound, to pray at the rhythm of the hours. . These are memories of the past that contemporary society is losing.

May this formation be again a bell that wakes us up and calls us to prayer, an intimate dialogue with the Father as the living force of our vocation and missionary activity.

LMC Portugal

Mário Breda

Mission Promotion Weekend in the Parish of Vergada

LMC PortugalAnother activity of mission promotion was held on the weekend of April 20-22, this time in the parish of Vergada to which Sofía Coelho, who is going through her formation with us, belongs.

It was a very joyous weekend, as we were very much welcomed by the community and by the pastor, Fr. Antonio Machado.

We started our activities on Friday with the youth groups and the altar servers, then on Saturday we moved on with the catechesis of Saturday and the Eucharist on Saturday and Sunday where we had the participation of Fr. Francisco Medeiros, a Comboni Missionary in charge of the CLM in Portugal.

The weekends of mission promotion are always times of great enrichment, we enter into the life of the parish community where  we speak of our experiences and try to share a little about mission, namely what we lived and felt in the places where we served.

LMC PortugalThey are times of sharing, that enrich us incredibly and make us feel that the love of Christ, the Good Shepherd, always lives in us and in those around us (even when we do not believe it is there).

We had the chance to perceive how this is a missionary parish open to others, to those who need it most, and it is not a closed in parish at all. And this is a great gift! These moments remind me that I, too, am a missionary in Portugal and, even though in a different way, this mission is as valid as the foreign mission.

During this weekend we also celebrated a vocation day and I am happy to be able to share my vocation as a CLM with the people I meet!

I also want to share with you how we were spoiled! Mrs. Rosa and Mrs. Sofía together with the pastor made sure we did not lack anything, we had good accommodations and the meals were luscious. I cannot forget the “crazy for Jesus (a youth group) and the catechists, who always supported us in everything we needed. Thanks from our hearts!

LMC Portugal
Sandra Fagundes, CLM

We are many steps at one glance

LMC PeruMany are the times when we leave our house and venture along the winding paths and the hills of the Villa Ecológica. And many are the time when along the way we meet life stories shared with simplicity on a threshold. The street is the place where we enjoy spending our time. In the simplicity of each encounter we recognize and share life values. Each face we meet speaks to us of a culture, of a people with which we are each time falling more in love. Often they let us enter into their homes and share with us their daily bread. It is through all the people we meet on a daily basis that we hear the call to mission.

LMC PeruMission means to walk together, to accept one another as we are and be accepted in a bosom filled with life’s experiences. We walk together, often in silence, the path of liberation. Every day we are the symbols of an Easter which is built daily.

We grow hand in hand in the Love of the One who calls us to be more. We grow in the certainty that we are never alone. Here is where we are called to be. With the poorest. Connected to the miracle of love. And, as the song goes, “It is Christ who calls me, gets closer to me. Smiling He tells you, come to me. Close your eyes and let yourself be taken. Yes, He chose you and you must say, “Yes, Lord. Here I am. You are in me.”

It is marvelous to be connected with all these families who join our lives in order to live the fullness of the Ayllu Project. With the help of many including yours we strive to make a difference in this land that we now call home. We are with them. We share in their struggles and together we celebrate their victories. We live together this moment of joy.

LMC PeruThe Ayllu Community,

Neuza and Paula, CLM

 

News of our CLM Maria Augusta from the CAR

LMC RCAI hope that all our lay people are well and that everything is moving along normally. By the grace of God, our apostolic community is doing well.

We are again in Bangui, this time to bring in a kid who has a spine problem due to bone TB, called Pott Disease, to have him undergo surgery in Dakar under Dr. Omnimus, a French orthopedist who often comes to work in Mongoumba. He will leave on the 12th accompanied by his parents. We will take him to the plane at five in the morning. We are grateful to the Lord for being able to be here accompanying Gervelais and his father.

This was a journey fraught with uncertainties. We had planned to travel on Thursday in order to do our shopping and then return to Mongoumba on the 13th, but the barge that takes us cross the river crashed on Tuesday and only started working again on Friday afternoon. At one point we thought that we would have to call some missionary in Bangui to ask them to take Gervelais and his father to the airport. Yesterday, as we were crossing the river with the barge, there was a moment when we doubted we could continue the trip because a truck could not get off and it was necessary to have it dragged off by another loaded truck. As the saying goes “man proposes and God disposes.” God does everything right! He is the one who knows what is best for us. I pray to Mary to intercede for Gervelais and ask that he may regain his health and be well!

Belvia underwent surgery, they performed a full mastectomy. Still we do not know the results of the biopsies. We hope it will not be cancer… Now she is feeling better, has finished the treatment and now she takes some medications. She is quite happy, because she had been suffering a lot… May the Lord help her.

Ana left for Poland and, according to plans, she will be back in May. May the Lord give her a good vacation.

Cristina is well and in good spirits. She started to learn Sango. She already greets people in their own language and they are very pleased. She loves the mission. May God make her be this way during her entire missionary service.

Next month, our parish will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its foundation and, God willing, we will have a great celebration.

Let us stay united in prayer.

A missionary embrace from our community to all of you.

Maria Augusta, CLM

News from Mozambique

LMC MozambiqueDear friends,
Greetings from Carapira!

It is with great joy that we share a record of our meeting. After some impasses we got together to schedule some activities for the group.

It was a fruitful encounter and we were very encouraged to continue to faithfully follow the Lord of the harvest. Love is stronger and it continues to win! Thank God!

A friendly hug,
From all of us!!

CLM Mozambique