Comboni Lay Missionaries

Another moment of Comboni Family

Combonianas Europa

Last weekend I had the chance to participate in the assembly of the Europe province of the Comboni missionary Sisters. In Madrid they reunited sisters arrived from Berlin, Paris, UK, Portugal and Spain each of them with the hope of sharing their day-to-day missionary call.

I know that some people see the assemblies as a few days of long sitting and hearing many words. I think the assemblies of the Comboni Family are moments to share experiences and create missionary illusions.

This province born with the illusion of understanding and propose significant missionary presence in Europe, at a time when the mission is conceived not only as a geographical shift from north to south of the world, but as a meeting with all “South’s” that are scattered throughout the world, for a meeting with the brothers and sisters who live apart or are excluded. We met with our hearts full of missionary experiences on African, American, Asian soil that want to show in Europe the need to live in communion with those peoples more poor and abandoned. These hearts cannot close here but also be open here in Europe where there are victims of exclusion, exploitation, poverty … Knit in community, in family, a prophetic life style means to side with the underdog, of those who has less opportunities. Knowing that so many situations in the South are still bleeding but been aware that in this global village the interrelationship among everything, the interdependence makes us stand beside those who suffer anywhere in the globe, in solidarity one with the other, seeking a better world for all, where the causes, actions and consequences of our chores are strongly interlinked in this global village we inhabit.

From this fact we reflected on the need for reconciliation in our communities, in our environment. Only from the love that transforms the heart, and then generates life, we can offer an increasingly fraternal relations, understanding us as daughters and children of the same Father (Abba), enables us to rise above differences and difficulties in establishing bonds of brotherhood.

It has resonate strongly the Comboni´s intuition of the Cenacle of Apostles be made ​of religious brothers, priests, religious sisters, secular and lay as one family. This gift of the Comboni charism challenges us to think together, to work together, to pray together and suggest as a family the need for mission today.

The challenges of ministerial service, the missionary presence wherever we are, in the work of missionary animation (opening doors and windows to make known the life that is in need of our support in many corners of the world), the work with situations of South’s situations in Europe like immigrants, trafficking persons, peripheries where commitment to issues of justice and peace is necessary to address situations like a closeness hug to attend people… all networked with the lay that everyday are engaged in these realities, with other congregations, with social entities, with a real networking that fortify the action of every individual and institution engaged in this service to give life in abundance to those who need it most.

Revitalize everyday our community life, where everyone is protagonists, where we may propose a more humane style of life, sustainable, close to the needy, open and welcoming to those around us.

The formation that help us grow in our spirituality, to be attentive to new realities, to be prepared for a better service, which balances our doing with reflection and prayer that helps us to be and work with sense to the everyday of our lives.

To cap we also celebrate the 50th years of votes of three of the sisters present, witness of fidelity and devotion that encourages us in our missionary journey.

Therefore each assembly of the Comboni Family, and this one confirmed, it remains to be a place to pray and dream a better world, to walk together on the path of Emmaus to discover the presence of Jesus that is on our side and unfolds and open our eyes to the realities of this world, encouraged and precedes us on the way to Galilee.

Thanks for these days

Alberto de la Portilla

[Spain]: “COMBONI CHARISMA: The branches of the tree”

Familia Comboniana

I think the more we feel challenged, more can be the conviction to accept the challenge.
We have always known that the presence of the laity in the evangelizing mission of Daniel Comboni was a reality since the beginning of his ministry. However, feel saying the speaker of “work shop” about the PLAN FOR REGENERATION OF AFRICA, Joaquim Valente (Comboni missionary) to be a fundamental intuition of the Plan, the Comboni Family: Religious and Lay, the CHARISMA is as a tree with branches that if any of these are separated from said tree, and ceases to have life the whole tree is affected.

Fidelity to our Comboni charism keeps questioning and invites us to live more deeply the desire to grow in union between the different BRANCHES of the Comboni Family; we’re waking each other through mutual understanding.
Personally, and I have not been the only one, I have noted with great joy at this meeting that I already knew all the Comboni Lay Missionaries, unthinkable just a few years ago. This knowledge creates bonds of friendship, love and understanding of the different lifestyles that lives the Comboni Family.

With great joy I have experienced this encounter; 20 years lived in Uganda have enriched me at level of collaboration with other apostolic forces and have experienced the joy of union. The current Spanish situation can actually be more tiring this path of collaboration and union, but if in other continents and contexts we can cooperate even without having the same CHARISMA, aren´t we going to get it among the members of the Comboni Family?
I think that the unity challenges us in a same way: Comboni Missionary Sisters, Comboni Missionaries and Lay Comboni Missionaries. I also believe that the way forward is listening to the Word of God, listening to the greatness of the legacy of Comboni (Charisma) and listening to each of us to understand how we should be faithful to the novelty that each one brings and enrich at the present time in our history.

We have experienced the pride of having a Founder with intuitions (PLAN) so divine and human, and this has increased our desire to grow in unity. Logically, first of all being “THE CENACLE OF APOSTLES” Comboni wanted from us.

Personally I think we have to face a great challenge: Are we called to cover all fields of apostolate that we find around us? We have heard with satisfaction that being the CHARISMA a GIFT for implementing a particular aspect of the Kingdom of God, each task has its Charisma that complements the TOTALLY. Therefore we must continue to reflect for not wanting to cover all there is to do in the Church and in Society and make room for the others Charisma.

Encarnita Cámara Liébana. Comboni Missionary Sister
(Currently in Spain for the ministry of Missionary Animation)

 Familia Comboniana

We want to share with you the meeting of the Comboni Family, we had in Madrid, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Plan of Comboni.
I must say that it exceeded all my expectations. In the beginning was the idea that it would be a formality within the activities planned for the event. The truth is that it was a beautiful and rich time in every sense, was noticeable that the spirit of Comboni was there updating its Plan, reminding us that we had to unite all our efforts and put our heart to serve the poorest and abandoned; that with different characteristics continue to be today at the “Africa’s” of our world. All this without losing sight of the crucified Christ who continue to suffer in all our brothers because of selfishness and injustice.

Fr Joaquim Valente was slowly reeled the PLAN OF COMBONI FOR THE REGENERATION OF AFRICA. This exhibition enlightened us and helped us to see what is our mission today as Comboni Family. Result of this listening and reflection shared a lot of ideas came to work as Comboni family serving the mission in different fields like: immigration, missionary animation, places of presence, mixed communities, mission today in Spain… plus what we are already sharing as Vocational Youth Pastoral, assemblies and celebrations.

Finally: We started and ended the meeting celebrating the Love around the Banquet Table as a real family, where children could not miss. A bless of God. We left with renewed heart willing to work with enthusiasm and passion for the mission.

Antonia and Felix. Comboni Lay Missionaries

Familia Comboniana

Just a few days after the conclusion of the general meeting of the COMBONI FAMILY in Madrid, I keep remembering and echo the words and messages we received during those days. Aiming: look at Comboni missionary Plan, we have taken on the task of looking. Looking at ourselves, look at each other, looking at our missionary path, looking at our projects. I am delighted that once again today as yesterday, there are no “silver bullets” for the implementation and development of a mission plan. Are faith, brotherhood and perseverance at work, which have allowed our family to start, following the footsteps of our founder.

Comboni began in the name of God a missionary work and the progress of this work, it has been made from ​​every Comboni (lay or religious). Together we have written a story that belongs to us. God has put each family member in the proper place and has wanted today as yesterday to continue the work for the implementation of the missionary plan of Comboni.
I am aware of having participated to an unprecedented event in our province and that puts us at the forefront in the way of a deep and sincere collaboration in the missionary task of the Church. Although not comes to an epochal change, we are facing a new perspective to see our mission.

No doubt, like me all those present, appreciate the valuable intervention made by Fr. Joaquim Valente who through his interventions facilitated the work of reflection. It was precisely in the group work, where we descended to our Comboni missionary walking in the province of Spain. Participation in the living from many of those present allowed us to realize the interest of each member of our family to implement the Comboni mission in the Church, which is still new and urgent.
We ended our meeting with a good taste but especially with the desire to continue taking steps that allow us to look with hope to the future of our mission. We found that in everyone the desire to continue our missionary pilgrimage for the poor and abandoned is latent: Legacy of Comboni.

Hector Manuel Peña. MCCJ

Final Vows of Sr. Lilia (Comboni Missionary Sister in Carapira)

The mission team from Carapira held a big party on March 15, celebrating the birth of St. Daniel Comboni and the lives that continue consecrating. On this day was the sister Lilia Karina Navarrete Solis, who made her perpetual profession, with the slogan “I consecrated you and appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). Known as Sister Lily, is a Mexican citizen and works as director of the Health Centre in Carapira. Everything took place in a family atmosphere with the presence of officials of the Health Center, parochial and religious leaders of the Diocese of Nacala and Nampula, among other guests. After the celebration presided by the Bishop of the Diocese of Nacala, Don Germano, we shared lunch. The CLM join together the team that helped acclimate the place, serving food, washing dishes, tidying everything back in place and supporting in every way possible. Sister Teresina, apart from the head of the organization, was also the godmother of the profession.

This is always an appropriate time for missionary animation. Thus, the lay group prepared a panel entitled “Daniel Comboni inspired”, which featured images and short texts about the four branches of the Comboni Family: Comboni Missionaries, Comboni Missionary Sisters, Secular Comboni Missionaries and Comboni Lay Missionaries.

Let us pray for sister Lilia and all vocations!

We are together!

CLM Carapira

The palace of learning

The trip to Paris took me to the “palace of learning”, the house of the Comboni Missionary Sister where they gives “shelter” to everyone who wants to know and learn French to better serve the mission.

It was therefore here that I met Palmira. Palmira -Comboni Secular Missionary- has been during two months in Paris studying and preparing herself better to go to the Central African Republic, where she will integrate and collaborate with the CLM community present therein.

Always encouraged, Palmira, looks forward with missionary enthusiasm the time of departure and beyond the current situation of the Central African Republic, far from discourage her, is an incentive to keep going.

“Why do people ask me if I want to depart? Of course I do. I’m here for that and my desire is to be at the service of this mission!” – Said Palmira, full of desire to move forward.

During these days, we managed to contact Elia that rejoices in the strength of Palmira and reaffirmed its willingness to continue to share her life with this people: “There is fatigue, but nothing makes me want to leave. If Palmira comes, then we will be together in this missionary journey. In these difficult times the missionary family is my refuge and help. ”

We also find Veronica who, for professional reasons, is in France since October. Veronica is happy both professionally and at the pastoral level, offering to help Palmira with whatever she needs.

I want to show here my gratitude to Fr Luciano who accompanied me during these days.  To the Comboni Sisters who welcomed me so well, thanks to Veronica for a fabulous dinner which gave us a good missionary moment.  And especially big thanks to Palmira: for all that we have shared during these days.

God walks with us in this way that we continue towards the mission He entrusts to us.

By Susana Vilas Boas

Opening of the 150th anniversary of the Plan of Comboni in Carapira

Cruz 150 anosHere, in the Parish of Carapira every Wednesday we celebrate the Mass with the Catholic students of the Industrial School of Carapira and the girls of the female home of the Comboni Sisters, who are students of the elementary school in the neighborhood. This week, on February 19, the celebration took a special issue as a whole, with the opening of the year of reflection of the 150th anniversary of the Plan of Comboni. Anticipating tomorrow’s official opening suggested by the Institute of the Comboni Missionaries, this celebration was marked by the presentation of the memorial cross for this milestone, given to each community in the MCCJ Province of Mozambique, explaining to the present its meaning and motivation . Father Gino Pastore, who presided the Mass, highlighted the strength and courage of Comboni and his inspiration in developing the Plan, under the slogan “Save Africa with Africa”, thereby motivating the students to become protagonists of their own history, building a better social reality. He launched the Industrial School students who complete 50 years of its foundation, the challenge, inspired by the example of St. Daniel Comboni, that also write the Industrial School of Carapira Plan to comply with this slogan.

On Thursday, the 20th, in the celebration of the Mass with the missionary team, Father Paulo Emanuel stressed that date by reading excerpts from the letter from the MCCJ General and reflecting on the Gospel in the sense of not having the same temptation of Peter of being, even unconsciously, impediment to the realization of God’s plan in our lives and in the lives of people.

After dinner, the team met at the home of the CLM in a tone of celebration to mark the day by sharing food and conversation. As a symbol of this meeting to encourage personal and community reflection, each missionary received a message containing one of the questions that were posted on the general’s letter of the MCCJ on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Plan, in the part that invites us to write our own plan.

May the example of Saint Daniel Comboni follow drawing inspiration for the missionary vocation and that the Spirit of God, the same one that guided Comboni in preparing the plan, enlighten and guide us on the paths of building up the Kingdom!

We are together!

CLM Mozambique