Comboni Lay Missionaries

Community Experience in Guatemala

LMC Guatemala

St. Daniel Comboni had an IMMENSE LOVE FOR THE SOULS OF THE POOREST AND ABANDONED and this can only be lived from a MISSION EXPERIENCE.

For the CLM of Guatemala, having accompanied Maximina and Mercedes in their process of Community Experience, is today a school of learning full of LOVE AND MISSIONARY HOPE; why, many may ask, because each member of the community has participation; Everyone in prayer, in the economy, in the personal accompaniment, in the formation in so many activities that a missionary experience needs and no one said no, we are all in the same boat where GOD the FATHER guides us under the intercession of SAN DANIEL COMBONI, Our Mother the Virgin Mary and SANTO DOMINGO DE GUZMAN Patron of the Community of Xenacoj who opened the doors of his house and his heart, so that they could carry out this experience during 6 months.

In these 6 months there were doors so wide that they were easily passed, but also so narrow that they required for them and the community to be full of prayer, wisdom, understanding, tolerance, tiredness and full of FAITH to be able to pass them.

Thank you Merceditas and Maxi for your availability and abandoning yourselves to the poorest and neediest whom we are sure you carry in your heart and were for them your first school of FRATERNAL LOVE and COMMUNITY UNION.

Miriam Herrador

CLM Guatemala

Letter to the Comboni Family

Familia Comboniana Limone

“Let us all toil with no other aim than to gain more souls for Christ: let us join hands together. Let the vow, the objective and the commitment of all who love Jesus Christ be one.”

(Writings 2182)

Dear Comboni Missionary Women and Men,

We, the members of the General Councils and the Coordinator of the CLM, having gathered together from 22 to 24 of last April, at the native home of Saint Daniel Comboni in Limone, and moved by the desire to make you participants, at least in part, of what we lived and shared, write this letter to you desiring that the communion we experienced may reach all of you, there where Providence has placed you, to serve and give your lives for the sake of the proclamation of our Crucified and Risen Lord.

It was the first meeting that could be held in person, after the time of isolation caused by the pandemic with all that it entailed, with the high price paid, even with their lives, by so many brothers and sisters. Such was the pandemic that it forced the postponement of the General Assembly of the CMS and also the General Chapter of the MCCJ which will be celebrated in June of this year during which the CMS are celebrating the 150th anniversary of their foundation and will have their General Chapter in October. All these reasons have given meaning to this meeting, not least the synodality to which the universal Church invites us, and the very fact of our being a Comboni Family is, in itself, an expression of a synodal Church. Walking as a Comboni Family is not optional, it is not even the meeting of the leaders, but it is life in the communities, in the concrete missions where one lives and works with shared objectives.

Our “coming together” as a family came about quietly but, in fact, it has evolved due, not so much to the result of programming as to the perceived desire and the awareness of belonging to a common root. Coming together is always an opportunity to grow in the awareness of being part of the same charismatic family because this is how St. Daniel Comboni thought of us, and an occasion to strengthen the commitment to continue to feel part of it; the fruits that have grown over time confirm that this it is the right path.

Our proclamation and witness, beyond the ministries and services we are called to give, is, first of all, to live as brothers and sisters, members of the same Family: without this witness, even the most beautiful activities lose their value. All those who have experienced collaboration and working together as a Comboni Family know that it is not easy and, for some, this implies a commitment to be able to appreciate the value of collaboration. However, we sincerely believe in it and invite you to keep this horizon as a desirable goal.

We wanted to have this meeting also to evaluate the progress made so far, taking as a basis the letter on collaboration written in 2017 and the work on ministeriality that involved a large number of members of the CF, thanks to the commitment and dedication of the appointed Commission and to other trained and qualified collaborators. We thank the Lord who surprised us with what we were able to achieve and above all for those who participated and enjoyed this journey.

Bro. Antonio Soffientini, sharing the reflection on this theme made by the Italian province of the MCCJ, invited us not to attach an adjective, a “label” limiting ministeriality, because ministeriality has many expressions and is not only towards “the external, ad extra “, but also” inward, ad intra “and the latter often escapes any mapping. All the services that the life of the CF requires are ministerial: training, authority, administration, coordination and accompaniment in every phase of the life of the members, from the beginning of the journey to old age.

A lasting sign

The General Moderators of the four expressions of the Comboni Family wished to express their unity and the desire to see the growth of the seed which the recognition of the Charism of St. Daniel Comboni has generated in them in recent years and which these two days of encounter have revived, entrusting it to an olive tree planted by all of us together, in the soil of the birthplace of Saint Daniele Comboni. Thus, next to the centuries-old olive trees dedicated to various relatives of San Daniele Comboni, one dedicated to the Comboni Family will grow.

Now there remains the challenge of continuing the journey and for this reason, we wish to “pass the baton” to the new General Councils of the MCCJs and CMS who will be elected in the upcoming General Chapters, asking the CMS and CLM to act as a “bridge” and link for the future journey together.

May the Good Shepherd of the Pierced Heart show us the way and, as he promised, walk with us until the end of time.

The General Council of the Comboni Missionary Sisters

The General Council of the Secular Comboni Missionaries

The General Council of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus

The Coordinator of the Central Commission of the Comboni Lay Missionaries

“This Institute, then, becomes like a little Cenacle of Apostles for Africa, a centre of light sending to the centre of Africa as many rays as the Missionaries who go out from it. These rays of light, bringing warmth as well as illumination, cannot but reveal the nature of the Centre from which the spread out” (Writings 2648)

Easter Message of the MCCJ General Council: “The Risen One who does not leave us alone”

Pascua
Pascua

“For millions of people, this Easter continues to be an Easter of suffering, conflict, war, displacement, hunger, death and destruction. Looking at this scenario from a human point of view gives us a sense of fear, anguish and loss: a dead-end road. On the other hand, for us missionary disciples, this is not the time to complain, but to see, through the gaze of our faith, the Risen One who does not leave us alone.” (General Council)

Easter Message

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now and there was no longer any sea … Then I heard a loud voice that called from the throne saying: “You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people and he will be their God. His name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes and there will be no more death and no more mourning or sadness because the world of the past has gone”.
 (Ap 21, 1-4)

Dear Confreres,
It is with great joy that we address you, to share the Good News that we have heard: He is Risen! “This is the house where God lives among men”. Alleluia!

A time of suffering

To speak of Easter, Resurrection, a New Heaven and a New Earth in times of pandemic and war seems a contradiction. Instead of seeing signs of life, we see destruction and death, because wars and disease are signs of Jesus’ passion and death that continue in the life of his people. For millions of people, this Easter continues to be an Easter of suffering, conflict, war, displacement, hunger, death and destruction. Looking at this scenario from a human point of view gives us a sense of fear, anguish and loss: a dead-end road. On the other hand, for us missionary disciples, this is not the time to complain, but to see, through the gaze of our faith, the Risen One who does not leave us alone: “He will dwell with them and they will be his people and he will be the God-with-them, their God. And he will wipe away every tear from their eyes”. The Risen One is the Crucified One. On his glorious body, there are indelible wounds that have turned into windows of hope. As Pope Francis said: “… Indifference, self-centredness, division and forgetfulness are not words we want to hear at this time. We want to ban these words forever! They seem to prevail when fear and death overwhelm us, that is when we do not let the Lord Jesus triumph in our hearts and lives. May Christ, who has already defeated death and opened for us the way to eternal salvation, dispel the darkness of our suffering humanity and lead us into the light of his glorious day, a day that knows no end.” (Easter Urbi et Orbi Message – 12 April 2020).

A time for listening and discernment

The light of the paschal candle that lights our candles is the light of the Risen One that illuminates our actions and our deeds, the fruit of our listening. Listening to the cry of millions of human beings who still live in situations of death; listening to the confreres who walk with us in the footsteps of the mission; listening to the Word and the voice of the Holy Spirit who helps us, through sharing and prayer, to discern the signs of the times that we are experiencing as a society, as an Institute and as a Church. It is in intimacy with the Risen One that we re-make our being Comboni missionary disciples called to live the joy of the Gospel in today’s world. We are a mission and through our witness, our ministry, we announce the New Heaven and the New Earth, because “The former heaven and earth had in fact disappeared and the sea was no longer … the old things have passed away.”. The voice of hope resounds: Christ is risen! It is the victory of love over the root of evil, a victory that does not “bypass” suffering and death, but passes over them, opening a way in the midst of the abyss, transforming evil into good: the exclusive mark of God’s power.

A time to celebrate

… and there will be no more death and no more mourning or sadness. The certainty that the Risen One is alive among us fills us with joy and reconfirms our mission in building the Kingdom which is life in fullness for all, especially the poorest and most abandoned. That is why we have to celebrate. And we celebrate the victories great and small that occur daily in gestures of solidarity, sharing, reconciliation, fraternity, justice and peace in our religious and parish communities. We celebrate the victory over death that is won by the tenderness of love through the service of people who are like their guardian angel next door, in the midst of wars, pandemics, conflict, violence, etc. We celebrate the XIX General Chapter in this Easter context as an Easter Kairos, a Kairos of the Spirit: “And He who sat on the throne said: ‘Behold, I make all things new'” (Rev 21: 5). Happy Easter Everyone!
The General Council
Rome, April 17, 2022

“The Way of the Cross in the Writings of St. Daniel Comboni.”

Via Crucis

The cross is “foolishness” for those who do not understand it… said St. Paul (1 Cor 1:18). Here we publish a Way of the Cross with 14 phrases by Saint Daniele Comboni on Jesus’ journey to the cross. Comboni deeply understood the “scandal” involved in seeing Jesus on the cross: he saw it as a necessary means for evangelization and as a reality that his missionaries had to embrace in order to continue God’s saving work in the world. What Comboni says is very strong and even scandalous in our day, but in these words of his we can find light and wisdom for our missionary life. [comboni.org].

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Father Pedro Pablo Hernández

A family that dreams

Familia Comboniana España
Familia Comboniana España

Last weekend we celebrated the VII Meeting of the Comboni Family in Spain. We have experienced the joy of reuniting and we have verified that the missionary dream of following our vocation as a family (religious, men and women religious, lay and secular Comboni Missionaries) is renewed.

The house of the Comboni Missionaries in Madrid welcomed this group of 30 people belonging to the various communities of CMS, MCCJ and CLM in Spain. The Comboni Seculars could not be present on this occasion. Pietro Ciuciulla, of the MCCJ General Council, as well as the leaders of the 3 branches present and Alberto de la Portilla, Coordinator of the CLM Central Committee.

The focus of the meeting was to accompany, through reflection and prayer, the 150th anniversary of the foundation of our Comboni Missionary Sisters. Prado Fernandez led the presentation of the history of the first Comboni Sisters who accompanied St. Daniel on his first journeys, marked by the Cross as victims of the Mahdia, the revolt that devastated the first Comboni works in Sudan and marked from the beginning the vocation of the CMS.

From his first intuition, Comboni dreamed of a family, for his first journey counted on lay missionaries and on these courageous and forward-looking women as mission companions. In the course of its history, the witness of the sisters consolidates the liberating impulse of women in all latitudes. Rereading those early sufferings launches us into the challenges of the present moment. And we renew our awareness that today the Comboni charism is actualized through the Comboni Family. Fr. Pietro insisted on this when commenting on the inspiring document of the General Councils of the Comboni Family of 2017: “The charism grows and is renewed when it is shared with others who recreate it in the peculiarity of each style of Christian life”.

In this spirit, the Map of the Ministeriality of the Comboni Family, was presented, which gathers more than 200 missionary presences in the world, with tremendous vitality in the most diverse contexts, educational, health, social, pastoral, transforming impact… The mission is understood today from the ministeriality, from the service to the people in these various areas. This integral mission of the Church must integrate service, accompaniment, reflection, sensitization and social transformation in the process.

The mission process

Proceso misionero

Taken from Fr. Alvarez SJ

In the final part of the meeting, the leaders of the 3 branches present shared the current situation of their organizations, with various challenges and hopes. This 2022 coincides for the first time the General Chapter of CMS and MCCJ. It is a moment of special density, to remain faithful to the vocation that is carried out in new ways, with new means. A moment in which we renew the intuition to continue dreaming together how to develop the Comboni mission in the world.

Gonzalo Violero, CLM Spain