Comboni Lay Missionaries

Eucharistic Celebration for the Commitment of CLM in RDC

Mision CongoOn the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the CLM in the Democratic Republic of Congo a number of lay people professed their commitment in the Comboni parish John Paul II of Kinshasa.

The Mass lasted from 9:00 to 11:30 AM. The presider was the provincial of the MCCJ in the DRC, Fr. Joseph Mumbere surrounded by the faithful the lay and Comboni Missionaries of the city. Twenty seven lay people formalized their lifetime commitment for to the mission ad gentes.

The Mass, celebrated by the provincial of the MCCJ, Fr. Joseph Mumbere in the Comboni parish of St. John Paul II, was also attended by the coordinator of the CLM, Fr. Ngore Hali Célestin, the pastor, Fr. Jean Paul Etumba, and the Frs. Jerome Anakiese, Henry Likingi, and Marcelo Fonseca Oliviera. We thank Fr. Boniface Gbama who was the photographer of the day. The Comboni Sisters also attended with their provincial, Sr. Cinzia Trotta.

The ceremony went well and concluded with a reception in the provincial of the MCCJ from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

Mision CongoLater on, on May 10 in the parish of Blessed Anuarite in Kisangani, 10 more lay people formalized their lifetime commitment for the mission ad gentes.

Fr. Joseph Mumbere celebrated also this Mass. The concelebrants were the pastor, Fr. Jaques Urodi, the coordinator in Kisangani, Fr. Augustin Fene-Fene and Fr. Ngore Gali Célestin.

The national coordinator of the CLM in the DRC, Tiffany Kimbuni, was also present and received the new members of the Comboni family. The Kisangani coordinator had words of thanks for all the participants.

Thanks to the entire Comboni family, fathers, brothers, sisters and lay people who work day and night for the Comboni mission and charism.

Our commitment in a few words:

We, the CLM, proclaim our faith in the resurrection of Christ, our hope and our joy. By his example, Christ calls us to be light in the darkness, and hope in society. We profess our YES to the mission today before the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Yes forever, beyond all difficulties, our Yes to the charism of St. Daniel Comboni and his gift to the poorest and most abandoned.

Mision CongoLimbuini Kilolo Tiffany

National Coordinator of the CLM in the DRC

Report of the pacific march held by Christians in Kinshasa 21-01-2018

marchacongo

In Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the peaceful march of the Christians was organized on January 19th by the coordinating committee of the catholic laity, for Sunday, January 21st, 2018. By this march, we demanded the government the unfailing application of the agreement of New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2016 as well as the respect of the constitution, pledge stability and national cohesion.

On Sunday, January 21, 2018, when we arrived in our parishes, we saw the strong presence of the Rapid Intervention Police (PIR) encircling our parishes. They were numerous and heavily armed.

At the end of Mass around 09:30 or 10, we started our peaceful march, they tried to disperse us from the first steps made in front of the door of our churches using tear gas and a real bullets… There were some wounded, one of the mates died on the floor after receiving two bullets on the breasts.   We were on the ground holding Rosaries, Bibles, crucifixes and twigs.   15 minutes later we were standing up to take the wounded to the emergency room.   In this huge crowd, facing our executioners, who was able to stand up, dusted our clothes and then continue walking.

There were police roadblocks everywhere at each roadblock, the violence and brutality were stronger, after 45 minutes of walking the police made a barrier in front of us pushing us to turn back, we sang hymns and the priest who was heading the crowd asked the faithful to kneel and pray the Magnificat. In this precise moment, when we all knee on the ground the police began to shoot and throw tear gas in these torrents of smoking they went against the priests, the acolytes and the young people who interfered to this arrest.

And during this time, in our parishes the priests had advised against the participation in walking to people who were very old or weak by illness or other reason as well as children.   They were supposed to pray a little while for those who were going to walk and get back home. However, the police imprisoned all these people in the parish; they forcibly closed from the outside all the doors of the parish obliging Christians to stayed in until 13:00.   All these weak people have remained more than 6 hours in the enclosure of the parish without water or food.

On the return of the faithful at the parish to close the march, we have found the Christians close in their own parish. When we attempted to break the padlocks set by the police, not only to release those who were in but also to entered and make the final prayer, the policemen started to shoot and abused the youths, there was a great clash for nearly 30 minutes. Then people would run in all directions always under police fire, trying to follow up on those who were arrested, those who were taken home injured, others were wounded and taken to hospitals… The day was restless until 4 pm and after it was cold and anguished, around 7 pm they removed their barriers.

News from Kinshasa

Congo

We leave here an email from Congo about the current situation in the country.

Good evening Alberto,

I did not follow up on the document I requested and I did not call you back because here the weekend of the 31st it was complicated for the Catholics because of the march of the laity against the political situation of the country.

In our parish during the 6 o’clock mass at which I participated, the soldiers entered the church at 7 am just at the time of the homily. They threw tear gas and put themselves in front of the exits of the church then shot with real ammunition. We were trapped in the church for 30 minutes. Then the priests organize themselves to keep us safe in the sacristy.

Then an hour after the priest took over the mass. We ended around 11am then we started our walk, despite the situation.

At every barrier we passed, the police tried to intimidate us with brutality to try to disperse us. When they got close, we knelt or threw to the floor and sang songs to Maria. They were trying to take part of the people and beat the group. After 45 minutes of walking, two military buses arrived, began firing tear gas and the air became unbearable. The shock was terrible. The priest stood holding the crucifix in his hand. They were heavily armed and they did not flinch. Then we prayed the Magnificat, when we finished the priest turned around and we finished the march in the parish st Charle Lowanga at 13h.

There were several wounded and some dead. I myself am wounded in the legs and therefore in medical rest since Monday.

Thank you for praying for our country, we have hope in you.

Congo
Les manifestants devant la police le 31/12/2017 à Kinshasa lors de la marche initiée par le Comité laïc de coordination (CLC). Radio Okapi/Ph. John Bompengo

Thanksgiving Mass on the 20 years of the CLM in Congo.

LMC 20 años Congo

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.


CLM Congo

Closing and opening

LMC AfricaToday we put the conclusions of our meeting into solid concrete steps on the way forward as Comboni Lay Missionaries working on this beautiful continent of Africa. We all have different realities within our communities. Some have found it easy to collaborate within our communities, some have found challenges. There are communities that communicate well and understand the expectations of our family and the greater Comboni community, others have just understood how it all fits together.

This meeting has closed now, but through the Holy Spirit it has opened the eyes and hearts of all of us.  We are all stronger together, as one Comboni family. Our time in Anchilo has brought a continent of people all working to help expand the kingdom of God closer together. It has shown us our strengths and our weaknesses. We have put forth resolutions to make our paths more clear for all of us. These resolutions will help us all to understand deeper our vocation, our responsibilities, and the way forward in the spirit of St. Daniel Comboni.

African CLM