Comboni Lay Missionaries

CLM Candidates in Ecuador

LMC Ecuador

This year 2021, brought many graces and gifts from Divine Providence to the Comboni Lay Missionaries in Ecuador. It is a reality that the pandemic in 2020, changed our life and the plans we had set took another direction and were put on hold; and among them the call for new lay people to increase our small community of Guayaquil.

In July 2021, we received in our community Fr. Joseph Ng’ang’a from Kenya, who became the local referent of the CLM in Ecuador and together with him and his teachings, we were able to make the call for new members, who would become CLM Candidates, a reality.

Thus, on August 17, 2021, a first call was made; and, it was in the mass of October 10, 2021, that after the celebration, we gathered the candidates and we presented them with the formation project for lay people based on five meetings, which is considered the “Stage of Knowledge and First Contacts” in our Statutes, in the same way the dates and place of meetings were presented to them.

The meetings went smoothly as scheduled, sometimes by zoom and others in person, so as not to lose continuity and to get to know our house of the Afro Ecuadorian Cultural Center. In addition, as CLM and to feel part of the Comboni Family in Guayaquil, it was agreed that the last Tuesday of the month we will have a mass and share as a family, in good time, some of the candidates were able to live this experience, along with the priests and brothers CLM.

Our last meeting was this Thursday, December 09, 2021, at 15h30, reviewing the last topic of formation of the Stage, leaving them the concern of their decision to belong to the CLM for next year. Joseph’s first anniversary of priesthood; for the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations; and, the mission departure of John Villarroel and a candidate to our future national CLM mission site in San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas.

We thank the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Daniel Comboni for all the joys and experiences we have lived this year and for the future ones we will receive, with full knowledge that everything depends on our trust and detachment to the mission, either locally in Monte Sinai – Guayaquil; or, in the national one in San Lorenzo – Esmeraldas.

Abg. Susana Ortega Delgado, CLM

We celebrate our CLM Day

Asamblea LMC Roma 2018

Once again we celebrate our CLM day, the third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of joy.

It is a special day for all CLM since at the last assembly held in Rome in December 2018 we approved that day so that we can all celebrate our missionary vocation together.

It has rained a lot since then. Of particular relevance is the pandemic we are going through that reminds us of the fragility of our human condition and how small our common home is.

In the past, when the flu or any other virus entered our home, it would pass from one member to another as soon as we were careless. This is what is happening with this coronavirus. It passes from one person to another, from one country to another, from one continent to another. This invisible enemy shows us not only our weakness but the interconnectedness of all humanity. Each new variant reminds us that it is something we must fight together, no one will be free and if we are not able to share the vaccines and remedies that are being discovered, it will spread again and again.

It is a cry for solidarity, not to hoard, because we are all in the same boat.

Our missionary vocation has always been a gift in this sense. We know and feel that we are one big family as humanity. We feel the weakness of our brothers and sisters and we make ourselves available to go out to help others, leaving home, work, friends, family….

It remains a challenge for us to share what we have discovered or have been given as a gift. It is in our hands to share the richness that each people we have visited, with whom we have shared our lives, has brought us. Caring for, accompanying others has given us much more joy than the little we have been able to do on our part.

It is not a theory, it is a life experience… that we cannot keep silent but share with everyone.

A wonderful world has been given to us. Achieving a dignified life for every person on this planet will allow all of us to better enjoy our own life.

Recognizing that we are all children of the same Father-Mother God who loves us and wants us to love and care for each other as brothers and sisters is the joy we want to share with everyone.

In communion with the rest of the Comboni Family and the whole Church we encourage this to be possible.

To celebrate our vocation is to reaffirm ourselves in it, to remain faithful to the call we have received, to recognize that we are limited, but tremendously loved… and since we cannot keep this Love, we go out to share it with all humanity.

We approach the mystery of Jesus born in a manger on the outskirts of a small village in Palestine… welcomed among shepherds and simple people. May we know how to contemplate and understand this mystery that helps us to place ourselves in history….

Happy day to all CLM around the world and thank you very much to all of you who support us working hand in hand, with your prayers, with your financial help… with your closeness.

A big hug

Alberto de la Portilla, CLM Central Committee