Comboni Lay Missionaries

After One Year among the Gumuz of Ethiopia

LMC Etiopia
LMC Etiopia

Dear family, friends and all,

I hope this e-mail will find you well. I hope the entire family is in good health.

Gratefully to God, I am well.

I am beginning to feel the intense heat we have, almost always around 40 degrees over here. A heat that does not even begin to compare with the warmth I feel when I visit the families, play with the children or work with these wonderful people. Like St. Peter said, “how good it is to be here!” (Mt 17:4)

Here I am still involved with the library. By God’s grace and the generosity of some people, it was possible to buy some books for the library. This way, the students who come over have access to some basic textbooks. Two Portuguese ladies who visited here brought us calculators and other material. Often, I try to have school books and ball point pens to give to anyone who cannot afford them, but is interested in them. Always, if they are looking for a specific book, we try to buy it. Their time availability is not like mine. So, I find days with two or three people and others with 20. But, I understand. They are young and working in the fields, but also study, they have family and some with two or three children. Well, how can they find the time for the library. They truth is that they do and, when they come to study, there is silence. It makes me happy.

LMC Etiopia

I keep up with a faithful group in English and computer classes. They like it. They want to learn and, even though I am not an expert, I am happy to teach them.

I also have a Bible study group in English, with four catechists. We read the Bible, then I explain the texts in English, meditate on them and sometime we watch religious videos in English. I am very happy with them.

I keep playing in the school which still hosts a refugee family. We bought a ball and this is enough to get the young together and enjoy some good times.

At least twice a week we go to the villages with the catechists, visiting families, playing with the children. These moments fill our hearts. To be with people is essential to our missionary vocation.

With the Comboni Missionaries we live with, we share Mass at 6:30 in the morning and an hour of Eucharistic adoration on Saturday. On Thursdays we go to the Comboni Sisters community and also with them we have Eucharistic adoration before supper. On Wednesdays, David and I have a community prayer.

Despite the work we have, it is the desire of the CLM, myself and David, my partner in the community, to start a new type of presence among the Gumuz. We are not the first CLM in Ethiopia, but we are the first to live among the Gumuz.

LMC Etiopia

For this reason, we are visiting the communities, speaking with the people, analyzing the concrete situation of each village and family.

Unfortunately, the car we have does not allow for constant work. The roads are horrible and require a car in reasonable shape. After a month, we stopped running games for the children in the villages because our car was at the mechanic, and this happens often. On top of that, we keep on paying for these repairs. We will need to buy a new car that will allow us to continue our work.

We also intend to build a house in one of the villages, near the people, and live there. Together with the house we will start working on projects. We are continuing with the project of setting up a children home for those who remain alone during the day, without adult supervision, plus a student residence to allow children to attend school who cannot go or need to cover over 30 km to get there. These are the projects we consider the most viable, if we take into account what we have analyzed and heard from the young ones and the adults.

Unfortunately, we need money to do all this. For this I ask for your prayers that we may do the will of God with these people. If you know of any NGO that finances this type of project, please tell us. Everything help, even a little bit, and is valued by God. And since I know that I am not here alone, I am sure you are with me!

At time we face adversities, like typhus or typhoid fever, but I am happy to have been sent to this place where God already is with the people.

I have been in this beautiful place for almost a year! I have no doubt, It is a beautiful place! I am happy! I live a happy life! It does not mean that there is no suffering. It means that, despite all the obstacles, it is worth being here. It means that God gives us strength and gives us the means to do his will!

I keep you in my prayers, I feel your friendship around me, and I keep on learning that distance does not cut the ties, but makes them stronger, reminding me of the importance of your friendship and your love for me.

Hugs and kisses from this friend who loves you a lot,

Pedro Nascimento, CLM Ethiopia

Agnieszka and Ewelina officially sent to Peru!

LMC Polonia
CLM Poland

Within a week, our CLMs – Ewelina and Agnieszka, were sent to their mission to Peru by their diocesan bishops.

Agnieszka’s Sending Mass took place on 2 February 2020 at 12:00 (still with Christmas decorations) in the parish church in Rybnik-Zamysłów, and it was done on behalf of the whole Church by bishop Grzegorz Olszowski.

CLM Poland

“Go and proclaim the Gospel to all creation,” he said, handing her a missionary cross. He also addressed to those gathered in the church: “the rite of sending to missionary paths is not only for Agnieszka, but also for all of you, so you remember about her and support her with your prayers and collections. Everywhere in Peu, where Agnieszka will be, part of your parish will be with her as well” he said.

A week later, on 9 February 2020 at 10:00am, in Krakow, in Our Lady of the Rosary parish, Ewelina was sent to the mission as well.

CLM Poland

In his homily, Bishop Jan Zając reminded us that Christ does not say to us that he wants us to become the salt of the earth and the light of the world …

– He says: the moment you joined Me, from the moment the world began to recognize you as My disciples, and since I look at you as my disciples, you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. It happens without your merit, but thanks to Me, because I decided to use you for the salvation of others.

Handing Ewelina the missionary cross, he also said that God chose her to go and bear fruit. The cross is to be her help and a sign of hope and comfort.

The girls agree that the whole ceremony was quite stressful for them from the organizational point of view, but at the same time it was very beautiful and touching experience.

The girls agree that the whole ceremony was quite stressful for them from the organizational point of view, but at the same time it was very beautiful and touching experience.

Comboni Lay Missionaries, Poland

Mission Sending of Mr. Enoch Malumalu

LMC Congo
LMC Congo

On Sunday, February 2, 2020, the Comboni Lay Missionaries of the Congolese province, represented by the communities of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, sent Mr. Enoch Malumalu, coordinator of the COLAMICA St. Mary Goretti, to the mission of Mongoumba, in the region of Lobaye, Central African Republic.

The Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in Kinshasa in the parish of St. John Paul II, in the presence of about one hundred local faithful, family members, Enoch’s friends and acquaintances attending the Mass of the Presentation of the Lord at the Temple. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Simplice Mbassi, a Josephite priest and concelebrated by Fr. John Paul Etumba, a Comboni Missionary and pastor of St. John Paul II, and with the participation of Deacon André Mbala, mccj, and the Comboni Sisters. In his homily, Father remembered the importance of the feast and of the event: “On this day, Jesus is consecrated to God in the Temple of Jerusalem and this day has become the feast of all consecrated men and women who have given their lives to Christ. But this day is also the celebration of the messengers.” Commenting on the liturgical texts, he emphasized the importance of prayer – that must be regular and perseverant – in mission and in the use of material means. This was followed by the imposition of hands, the blessing and the missionary send-off.

In his intervention, Enoch invited the African youth in general and the Congolese youth in particular to discover their missionary vocation, to commit themselves to serve our poorest brothers and sisters and persevere so that “to save Africa with Africa” be a concrete reality. The faithful present at the Mass as well supported the sending off of their brother Enoch with a special collection picked up during the celebration.

This event took place after a period of specific formation, which included a time of community living experience, and one of mission formation (inculturation) lasting six months each. Mr. Enoch Malumalu, Comboni Lay Missionary of the Province of Congo, will leave Kinshasa in early March to take up his mission in Mongoumba, in the region of Lobaye, Central African Republic.

It will be the first time when for some years there will be a CLM of African origin in this international community, and it is an opportunity to thank God and hope for a greater African presence in our common responsibility to continue our mission. This continuity includes the analysis of the reality in which we live as a CLM community, together with the Comboni family and the Comboni pastoral community, as we discern our present and our future.

LMC Congo

CLM of the Province of Congo

2020: Year of the Ministeriality

Trabajo en equipo
Trabajo en equipo

The magisterium of Pope Francis insists upon the vision of a ministerial Church by which is meant a fraternal Church that is steeped in the “odour of the sheep”, that is synodal, collaborative and one that witnesses to the joy of the Gospel by its proclamation, by its style of life and by service; a Church that embarks on a journey of conversion, overcoming clericalism and the pastoral criterion: “We have always done it this way” (EG 33). The XVIII General Chapter took up this directive of the universal Church and made it its own, in the hope of undertaking a journey of regeneration and requalification of our missionary commitment as regards ministeriality (CA ’15, 21-26; 44-46).


“If you read my words, you will have some idea of the depths that I see in the mystery of Christ. This mystery that has now been revealed through the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets was unknown to any men in past generations; it means that pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body, and that the same promise has been made to them, in Christ Jesus, through the Gospel. I have been made the servant of that Gospel by a gift of grace from God, who gave it to me by his power” (Ep 3,4-7).

— /// —

“This is why…. He will have to think of himself as one unnoticed worker in a long line of workers, all of whom can only hope for results, not from their own personal work, but from the gathering together and continuation of efforts mysteriously guided and used by Providence” (Writings 2889).

Trabajo en equipo

Dearest confreres, we send you greetings in this time of Christmas and wish you a Happy Beginning to the New Year 2020!

As is well known to us all, the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium has drawn attention to the historical changes of our time and the need for a profound renewal in the Church, so as to live the Gospel with joy and to be faithful to our proper vocation as missionary disciples of Jesus. With this renewed vision of the Church, there continually and increasingly emerges a Church that is “going out”, in which the mission is the paradigm of its being and doing, listening to the Spirit through the cry of suffering humanity, the cry of the poor and the cry of Creation. The magisterium of Pope Francis insists upon the vision of a ministerial Church by which is meant a fraternal Church that is steeped in the “odour of the sheep”, that is synodal, collaborative and one that witnesses to the joy of the Gospel by its proclamation, by its style of life and by service; a Church that embarks on a journey of conversion, overcoming clericalism and the pastoral criterion: “We have always done it this way” (EG 33).

The XVIII General Chapter took up this directive of the universal Church and made it its own, in the hope of undertaking a journey of regeneration and requalification of our missionary commitment as regards ministeriality (CA ’15, 21-26; 44-46). The Spirit calls us to dream and to be converted, as missionaries “going out”, who live the Gospel by sharing joy and mercy, cooperating in the growth of the Kingdom, first of all by listening to God, to Comboni and to humanity; a dream that is the dream of God, that leads us to dare, despite our littleness, and aware that we are not isolated but members of a ministerial Church. We are called to evangelise as a community, in communion and in collaboration with the whole Church, to promote for the sake of the poor the globalisation of fraternity and tenderness. All of this is concretised in a reduction and requalification of our commitments, developing specific pastoral services, going out towards human groups that are marginalised or in liminal situations.

To help us to grow during this journey, the Guide to the Implementation of the XVIII General Chapter set aside the year 2020 for reflection on the theme of ministeriality. We wish to propose that we engage in action-reflection, which means taking an approach that starts from experience, and reflects on its transformative potential and its critical points, so as to discern renewed courses of action.

This is what Comboni himself did: he conceived the Plan for the regeneration of Africa on the basis of his personal experience of the mission, of in-depth study and comparison with other experiences, discovering in the ministerial style the answer to the “impossible” challenge of the evangelisation of Africa. His Plan reflects a systemic understanding of the ministerial approach: a work that is collective and “universal”, that creates networks of collaboration to gather together all ecclesial resources, recognising the specific nature and originality of each individual; a work that gives life to a variety of services, in response to human and social needs, for which he scientifically prepares ad hoc ministries, and which results in the foundation of missionary communities that are sustainable from the point of view of ministeriality, socio-economy and social significance. As both Benedict XVI and Francis remind us, the Church grows by attraction and not by proselytism.

Our reflection on ministeriality, therefore, requires we listen to the Spirit, the driving force and protagonist of ministries in the missionary-disciple Church. We commit ourselves to deepening our understanding of this theme in relation to our missionary life and our personal and community ministerial experience, mostly through sharing on these two supplements:

  1. Inserts in Familia Comboniana;

2. A flexible supplement using prepared formularies to facilitate sharing, study, reflection and discernment in our communities.

We invite you to make full use of these instruments in view of a journey of ongoing formation that is both personal and communitarian, facilitated by a guide, chosen from within each community, who will make use of the abundant material provided together with the supplement.

The recently celebrated Synod for Amazonia, too, has highlighted the urgency of the pastoral conversion of the Church: growth in ministeriality is the basic key to this journey. We have, therefore, an extraordinary opportunity for growth and renewal, and it is up to each one of us and each community to profit from it. But it is not a journey we make alone but rather in communion with the Church. Indeed, it is our hope that our commitment to set out on this journey of missionary-ministerial renewal may be a stimulus and a support – in a reciprocal maieutic dynamic – to the local Church where we live: it will not simply be a journey of ongoing formation but also of missionary mission/animation.

In 2020 we shall also have a special event, a forum involving the whole Comboni Family, on social ministeriality, which is to be held in Rome from 18 to 22 July. This forum is part of a broader journey that we, the Comboni Family, are undertaking, which includes the recording of all the experiences of social ministry of the Comboni Family. We would like to create synergy, develop a shared vision and language and create a network and movements that will evangelically transform the social reality. In the medium term this journey will help us towards a participated development of specific pastorals, as requested by the 2015 Chapter. We need your enthusiastic participation in this process which, the more inclusive it is, the more endowed and meaningful it will be.

Finally, in support of the JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), the transverse axis of the missionary ministries, we are pleased to present to you two practical instruments that will be published in 2020:

=   Supplement for Basic and Ongoing Comboni Formation in the Values of JPIC

=   The second volume on JPIC of the Comboni Family, edited by Fr. Fernando Zolli and Fr. Daniele Moschetti, following the previous volume: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

May St. Daniel Comboni intercede for us: may he make us “holy and capable” of bringing to fruition the gift of ministeriality.

The General Council The General Secretary for the Mission

Three new polish CLM on a mission

LMC Polonia
CLM Poland

This year three girls joined our polish CLM movement and are now officially Comboni Lay Missionaries.

Agnieszka, Ewelina and Marcela are currently doing their “life in a community” experience in Comboni father’s house in Cracow.

Soon, Ewelina and Agnieszka will go to Peru for 2 years’ mission, to Arequipa where they will replace Paula and Neuza.

Marcela will join the community in Mongoumba – Central Africa, where another polish CLM – Monika is currently working on the mission too.

These three months are filled with meetings with different people and learning life all together.

They have language classes (Spanish and French), meetings where they discuss and interpret God’s words for Holy Bible.

Ewelina and Agnieszka are volunteers in the family emergency and Marcela started her voluntary work at hospital.

As they say most of their free time they are spending on perfecting the languages, they will soon use very often and on talking with Comboni fathers, brother and themselves.

Let’s pray for them so they could be true witness of God’s love and mercy every day of their mission and their life in general.

Polish CLM