Comboni Lay Missionaries

Angels fallen from Heaven…

Pascual Guatemala LMC

With much enthusiasm we prepared ourselves to celebrate the major week, being obedient to the call of God we set out to San Luis, Petén, Guatemala, Adrián Chacón Aspirant to CLM, Jorge Zamora Candidate to CLM and this servant José David Rojas Quesada Comboni Lay Missionary.

On Saturday March 23 we left Guatemala City together with Father Juan Diego Calderon, Provincial of the MCCJ for the Province of Central America to San Luis, carrying many expectations of not knowing what would be the task that God would have, but with much enthusiasm and love to make of this small experience a tool to make love grow among us children of God and also to be that living testimony of bringing God to all parts of the world, with the same confidence with which Jesus speaks to his disciples and tells them;

…and teach them to fulfill all that I have commanded you. I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28, 20…

When we arrived in San Luis we were welcomed by Father Aubert, Comboni Priest, coming from CAR, he invited us to have lunch and then he told us that two of us would go to a village called Cansis and another one would go to another one called Cain, the coordinators of each village were waiting for us, we said goodbye to Jorge since he was going to Cain, Adrian and myself went with Don Eliseo to the community of Cansis.

It is admirable for me to see the dedication and disposition with which the Coordinator of Lectors, Coordinator of Acolytes and Catechists met at the time of the Convocation. A very great joy was the reception with which the children who were in Formative Catechesis for their Consecration as Acolytes received us, that same Saturday we met until almost 9.30 pm, where we talked openly and extensively about a somewhat complicated situation that the population was going through, we also planned the whole Holy Week, trying to respect the way in which they do their celebrations, and with the consent of the community add some elements. In this meeting we understood why the assignment that Father Aubert (Alberto) gave us when we left the parish house, I can not deny that at some point I felt like my partner, unable to successfully accomplish that task, however with the commitment of the Catechists and Coordinators and the confidence that God would be with us, we assumed with fear but with joy that task, where we had to go to visit house to house, talk and fight for that community did not give up the service and surrender to the almighty.

Pascual Guatemala LMC

Cansís is a community that in that area of the Petén is called mixed, since they speak both Spanish or Castilian as they say and Quetchi, for us it was very striking to hear them speak in their dialect.

On Palm Sunday Consecrated Lectors held the Celebration and in it they introduced us to the whole community explaining a little of the agreements we had made the day before, after the celebration we greeted everyone, and on Monday we began to visit Lectors who were not exercising their ministry, on Tuesday we did it with the children acolytes, Wednesday with catechists and other faithful who were not congregating.

The purpose of the visit was to motivate them, encourage them and invite them to resume their dedication, their consecration, their service, and like everything in the ways of the Lord, children who said YES I want to continue YES I want to consecrate myself as others said they were sure they did not want to continue, however, they were encouraged and if they definitely did not want to continue they were invited to participate in the celebration of the Word that Monday and Holy Wednesday were held, and since Monday we began to see those people who said they did not want to serve coming to the celebrations, That day we had the Eucharistic Celebration, Father Juan Diego and for the infinite grace of God 3 of the Consecrated Acolytes, including the girl from the last house arrived, it was very gratifying to see that all the fatigue, walking, sunshine had its reward and hope in the Lord of the harvest, that this motivation would continue.

Pascual Guatemala LMC

On Holy Thursday being Eucharistic day and of great importance for us Catholic Christians since as we know we celebrate the institution of the Holy Eucharist, we proceeded to visit all the elderly and sick people who can not gather because of their health condition, walking through dusty trails now that it is summer, but reflecting on the work that the Ministers of Communion should do when the winter comes. Each house that we visited with Jesus Eucharist was a great joy, when we were leaving the temple the men collaborated with the construction of the provisional tabernacle to make the transfer of Our Lord, finished that task we returned to the Church at about 2 pm and to our surprise the men had already finished their work and only the women were left to make the floral arrangements and other details, then we set out to prepare the Celebration of this day, The men first washed the feet of the women and then the women washed the feet of the men, as a sign of humility, respect, fraternity and community. Once the celebration was over, we had a time of community prayer and then we moved the Blessed Sacrament to where it had been previously placed to pass and pray as a family, I must mention that they kept vigil from that moment until Holy Saturday before communion, the commitment is beautiful.

Pascual Guatemala LMC

For Friday, we were called at 8:30 AM to make the Holy Way of the Cross, in each assigned house they decorated their station, one in Castilla and another in Quetchi, with great faith meditating on what we were doing we went station by station, half way through the owner of a store gave us a glass of cool to all participants and reduce the heat a little, we kept walking meditating performing songs for the occasion, after walking another little while some brothers invited us to another cool …. Then we went on until we reached the church, where we prepared ourselves for the Celebration of the Word and the Veneration of the Holy Cross, entering into a meditative silence of that reading of the Passion in Quetchi.

Pascual Guatemala LMC

On Saturday, maintaining an atmosphere of meditation, we met with the children of the community, the meeting was very beautiful to hear them talk, but above all to see the desire with which they want to serve the Lord, we took the opportunity to tell them in the form of a story about the call of Samuel, so that they understand that each of us has a special calling, and that this call is the same God who makes it to us. In the afternoon we finished fine tuning details for the celebration of the Easter Vigil, the Solemnity of Solemnities, we began at 7 pm, with the blessing of the fire, the Easter Candle, we took the opportunity to burn some papers that in the previous Catechesis we made where in a symbolic way the participants placed those things that weigh on the heart of each one, We entered the place prepared to proclaim the Easter Proclamation, each child and each adult with great faith having in their hearts that light that reminded us that everything was paid and that through God’s mercy we can come out of the darkness of sin, Already in the Temple we presented the Paschal Candle as the Light of Christ, saving light, purifying light, the readings and psalms were made both in Castilian and Quetchi, at the end of the readings of the Old Testament we sang the Gloria with great joy, the lights of the temple were turned on, We continued with great joy the reading and psalm of the New Testament as the Gospel, Truly He is Risen Alleluia Alleluia. With our hearts more disposed, the Communion Ministers entered into the Eucharistic Jesus where we received Him again in His Temple where He is present in Flesh and Blood and as I expressed to those present, He will be waiting for them with open arms and full of love and mercy. The celebration lasted four and a half hours, at the end we shared the food brought by the attendees, so we all celebrated in community the beautiful night we shared.

Pascual Guatemala LMC

On Sunday from 8 AM the choir was singing praises that gladdened our hearts, at 9 am we began the Liturgy of the Word and also our farewell to the Community of Cansis, sharing a community lunch.

Truly the word THANK YOU, is small and encloses all the feeling that this community gave us, every house visited, every breakfast, lunch, shared dinner, every animation expressed, make the fatigue, effort and sun have a meaning and it is the Faith, a Faith that for some situations the enemy wanted to take advantage and destroy, however the Love for God and commitment, makes them continue to stand up for the fight, every sign of affection that they gave us, every shared laughter, and very special for that YES that each one delivers in their service… BANTIOX (thank you in Quetchi).

We pray to God the Father, that our little work done during the past Holy Week, will bring its fruits and hope to the Community of Cansis…

Surely you will ask yourself why the title: Fallen Angels from Heaven… that is how we were called, as angels we do not have much and we lack a lot to have such honor, what is certain is that everything, word, gesture that we gave Adrian and this servant was with the heart being obedient to the voice of God.

Pascual Guatemala LMC

José David Rojas Quesada CLM

Adrián Chacón Aspirant to CLM

Easter time

LMC Mexico

To transform our reality by sharing the good is to live a constant Easter, the missionary life is a constant breath on what Easter is, it gives us the opportunity to know the life of people in realities different from ours and to discover other challenges of humanity. In the places that we are sent to, known in the Church as places of FIRST EVANGELIZATION, if we are attentive we can meet God, discover that his LOVE is a constant in OUR LIFE, know that we can all feel his presence and give of what he gives us to those we meet every day or those he entrusts to us in the mission. It makes, from a greeting, a sweet, food, rest, games, skills, prayer, living together, accompanying, serving, simply a smile… In the middle of two languages that separate us and united by the desire to know God more, to know what Jesus Christ taught us and to receive the sacraments. I was able to experience all this in Xacundutia. A place where time moves slowly and you can give yourself the opportunity to take a DEEP breath.

Xacundutia is one of the seven communities that were entrusted to us CLM in Mexico. It belongs to the parish of San Miguel Arcángel, in the Mixteca zone of the diocese of Tlapa, Gro. We visited the parish during Holy Week to experience with the people these days that are so significant for us as Catholics. It is to rediscover a way of life, where in order to have the basics one has to work every day, in the fields, in the house, in most of the occasions to emigrate for seasons to get more. THERE ARE MANY LIMITATIONS EVEN FOR EVANGELIZATION. Knowing that there are places where it is still difficult for the word of God to reach for various reasons commits us to be available to help as much as possible from our lay vocation in this area.

In our assembly we began the reflection on having a continuous presence, we accepted to open the mission again in this area to work with the people, in their integral development, where we can all make our contribution. We have already taken the first step, where we have noted the challenges that exist, God help us to be aware and available to give the best of each one and support this concrete reality. Starting from what we have and being sincere in what we have to be able to bring a favorable response to the desire to have the word of God in the community and make possible the construction of His Kingdom in the Mixtec area, identifying the cultural richness, the appreciation of the handicrafts they make, the care of the environment and supporting learning with school reinforcement, they are the protagonists of their own growth and development.

Beatriz, CLM Mexico

… It was her third time back


Wrapped up in her mother’s lap, the cloths covered a little heartbeat!!!

Her body was thin, almost transparent, and you could see the cry coming from her tiny breasts.

Her mother, with a serene, delicate smile, was silently asking for help!

A few days earlier, hope had won the fight against a barely cured malaria and Annie had returned home.

But in this war of unequal combat, equity and inequality of completely irrational values, Annie couldn’t resist!

At her side, Jean Luca, with all the resources possible, in this remote part of Africa, is fighting the fight of his life!

There are no losers or winners here.

Heroes, yes! Many of them!

The hospital in Mongoumba in the Central African Republic is currently seeing many cases of malaria.

I suppose that perhaps because of the floods during the rainy season last year, the malaria mosquitoes have tripled in number and resistance to drugs has also increased.

My Easter was spent here:

Between the Sigh of Hope of Dying or Living!!!

My God! My belly bursts into tears at the sight of the breath evaporating from these fragile bodies!

Bodies so “Jesús”!

When will I cry these tears?

I don’t know, only He knows!

Because now what I see are the smiles of the children passing by on the street…!!!

And “He” once again makes me Believe…!!!

Cristina Souza, LMC Mongoumba

Between Palms and Songs

Domingo de Ramos

A day of faith and reflection

Still in the Easter mood, an invitation to revisit the intense days leading up to Resurrection Day, a unique week in which we tried to recreate with fervor the last steps of Christ as Man.

At the entrance to the village, under the welcoming shade of the mango trees, children and adults, men and women gathered in faith to begin the celebration of Palm Sunday. Everyone had their own palm, some of them beautifully decorated.

To the vibrant sound of the songs of “Hossana”, the community walked down the main street in procession, a sea of palms waving in the air, a unison chant that echoed the joy of faith.

In the church, the celebration went on for more than two hours.

Thus began Holy Week, paving the way for a time of reflection, a time to meditate on Christ’s sacrifice and the promise of redemption.

On this journey we are invited: to relive the footsteps of Jesus, to meditate on the meaning of his surrender and to reflect on the meaning of our own lives.

A unique opportunity to strengthen our faith and renew our hope.

Élia Gomes, CLM RCA

Celebrating Easter in Kitelakapel

LMC Kenia

Hello Saints!

Happy Easter! Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Receive warm Easter greetings from Comboni Lay Missionaries – Kenya (CLM-K).

Easter season is the heart and soul of our Catholic Faith. Christ died for us and through Him, we obtain eternal life. Throughout the season of Lent, we are called to mind our sinful nature, repent and believe in the gospel! Our Saviour bears all our sins through His passion and His death on the cross. The Easter season is a new dawn. Christ is risen and in Him we have new hope. St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” We must celebrate! Our Saviour has conquered death! Through Christ, we have new life!

CLM-K celebrated the resurrection of Christ in bravura. We travelled to our mission in Kitelakapel, West Pokot County, to celebrate Easter with the international CLM community working there. We arrived at the mission station on Holy Thursday morning, and we were in West Pokot all through Easter Monday. We were fortunate to have our assessor – Fr. Maciej with us, who celebrated mass for us through Holy Week and the beginning of the Easter Season. On Good Friday, we were joined by a large number of Catholics from the Kitelakapel community and we had the most solemn Way of the Cross, reflecting upon the suffering and death of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Easter Vigil on Saturday night was so beautiful. As we were gathered around the bonfire, I couldn’t help but stare at the stars, so beautifully aligned, gleaming with hope. From then on, all we could say was Alleluia! Christ is risen! We will rejoice and be glad! When Jesus appeared to His eleven disciples after resurrection, he said to them “…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew 28:20. In the same way, we must live out our lives in confidence knowing that Christ is ever-present.

We are grateful to the international CLM community based in Kitelakapel, Maya (Poland) and Pius (Uganda), for being gracious hosts. Thank You for everything and for the work that you continue to do in West Pokot. All for the glory of God!

In a special way, we would like to thank our assessor, Fr. Maciej. Thank You for your selfless nature and thank You for guiding us in our journey of faith. We are grateful for your warm demeanour and your patience as we each discern our vocation. May you be added many more years and experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)

Remember the words of Miss Clara Williams? Miss Clara Williams is a character in the award-winning book and 2015 movie, War Room. She is a powerful woman of God, who goes to ‘war’ (prayer) for the sake of her family. There is something she says that I absolutely love and that has stuck with me. She says, “My God is Faithful, my God is powerful, my God is in charge. You can’t fire him and he’ll never retire! Glory Alleluia!” This is true. He is all this and more. He is our light and salvation. He has given us new life. We must live it for his glory. Alleluia! He is Risen!

May this Easter season renew your faith, strengthen your spirit, and fill your heart with profound joy. Happy Easter to you and all your beloved!

Warm regards,

Cecilia Nyamu

Comboni Lay Missionary – Kenya