Comboni Lay Missionaries

Madzia´s community experience in Poland

MagdaFrom the beginning of October I started community experience in Kraków. This is the last part of the formation before going on missions (because in January I’m going to Ethiopia!). During these two months there are a lot of things which I experience – life in the community (in theory – through the formation meetings and reading, as well as a practical through living in the community of MCCJ), except that there are a lot of learning:

  • Language (English for now, in order to improve it, and then in January I’ll begin learning Amharic, which seems to be quite an interesting adventure 🙂
  • Bible (meetings with s. Joanna, who helps me to understand the Scriptures, and to see better what God is talking to me)
  • Comboni (learning about Comboni, his idea of life and work on the mission, as well as various aspects of the CLM).

I also participate in the meetings of a missionary students’ group, help in the animations in the parishes, do some voluntary work, explore the history and culture of Ethiopia, spend an afternoon and integrate with CLM recognizing group from Krakow, what would it even a little more to build a secular community.

And, what is the most obvious and most important thing – the prayer – Community Lauds and Vespers, daily Eucharist, personal prayer, adoration. And at the end of the Ignatian retreat in Zakopane.

So many things happen 🙂 I hope it will be, though so short, but a fruitful time which will help me to prepare better for my mission in Ethiopia.


Meeting of the CLM in Nürnberg about the “Evangelii Gaudium”

Grupo LMC Alemania

The German CLM group met in Nürnebrg in the house of the Comboni Missionaries from 17 to 19 of October 2014. Even the machinists strike could stop it 🙂 .

On Saturday, We dedicated to the intensive study of the encyclical “Evangelii Gaudium” with the help of Pia Schildmair. On Sunday we highlight the common points of the encyclical with the Comboni spirituality. We look for specific impulses for everyone and for the group and agreed steps to implement them. We ask that the joy of the Gospel continue to accompany us along the way!

Barbara Ludewig

Echoes of the Comboni Symposium

ComboniIt took place in Rome from 15 to 19 September the reflection on Comboni´s Plan for the regeneration of Africa after 150 years from the time it was written and inspired till the current time. For this reflection came representatives of the various provinces of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) and was attended by representatives of the Comboni Missionary Sisters (MC), Secular Comboni Missionaries (SCM) and Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM).

Throughout this week of work, we have come to some conclusions that will “provoke” the next chapter of MCCJ and can also help us for a deeper reflection:

  • Comboni´s Plan keeps actualize as far as allows us to realize the urgency and priority of our time. We do many important things, but we cannot respond to all needs, so we must discern what is vital in today’s world and reshape our missionary service consequently.
  • Comboni receives the inspiration of the Plan because he places himself at the foot of the cross. Today the mission no longer has a “geographical” look. Therefore, at the foot of the cross, we must try to realize the movements of the Spirit and how we respond our world, no matter where we are called to be.
  • The motto “Save Africa with Africa” ​​cannot limit our action. Rather, it should lead us to take a renovated approach to the extent of our abilities. Consequently, the mission in Europe involves re-believe in the values of the European culture and adopts its language as a way of liberation and evangelization. The same applies to other cultures where we recognize so “vital” the Comboni presence.
  • “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security”, says the Pope Francisco in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (# 49). The appeal of Pope Francisco challenges us to dare to grow and specialize in ministries that we believe are the most urgent priority in today’s world.

After a week of work and reflection, based on the Plan of Comboni and the demands of the Church itself, it was concluded that today’s mission will always pass, and above all, by the struggle for Life.

Thus, inspired by the charism of Comboni, we are called to rethink and reshape our being missionaries for many “have life and have it abundantly.”

Susana Vilas Boas

CLM Annual Retreat 2014 in Peru

Retiro PeruOn 26, 27 and 28 of this month of September the Comboni Lay Missionaries of Peru had the opportunity to live a spiritual retreat in the Foyer de Charité in Ñaña home, a district of Lima. There were present CLM from Trujillo, Arequipa, Lima and Huanuco. The occasion was propitious to reflect important points of our life as Comboni Lay Missionaries, share our life experiences on the mission especially with our foreign and national brother’s Ad Gentes.

Difficulties come and go in our lives, occur daily the economic, family, work… problems. But our strength is in our prayer and faith that we share in the midst of these storms.

Being a Lay Missionary in these times requires great dedication and passion. For this way of life St. Daniel Comboni sought missionaries “Saints and Able.”

This retreat comforts us and encourages us to make significant strides in our life as CLM and grow as a missionary family.

Fisher CLM Peru

Ends the III American CLM meeting

AntiguaThe Third Meeting of the Comboni Lay Missionaries in America took place in Guatemala City from 16 to 20 September, together with the Central Committee of the CLM. The seed planted by St. Daniel Comboni has continued to bear abundant fruit in the hearts that make silence to listen to the will of God.

The meeting was attended by the CLM of the continent -USA / Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Brazil- and Comboni advisors and a Comboni sister. This was really a meeting full of cultures and languages, but united by a common Comboni missionary spirit.

Every day, we all met in the Holy Eucharist, which was the food necessary to meet the challenges of work presented to us as the meeting progressed.

After Mass starts, the working sessions in different themes, related to the Way of the CLM: coordination, structure, economics, education, mission, among others; in order to reach agreements and proposals to help each community to further deepen this beautiful charism we have received as a gift from God.

Those days were very tired, for debating and seeking a common path. But they were also days of joy, to share, to know and to feel part of a beautiful family that is growing, maybe not by leaps and bounds, but with firm steps under the lovely low weight of the cross of Christ.

Also, days to feel as brothers, beyond language or nationality, beyond physical boundaries, we felt children under the protection of Saint Daniel Comboni. Each day we could remember that our Comboni being flowed from the pierced heart of Christ nailed to the tree.

Between work sessions, we got to know also more about the work being done in each CLM Community of the participating countries, and thus enrich the lived experience of the community. And our Guatemalan brothers gave us several cultural activities, for more wealth, history and “chapinas” traditions.

Today, looking back, is nothing but smile, with peace in our heart for the work done, knowing that the real meeting has just begun. If we want the conclusions of the meeting will bear fruit, we must all get to work; we must work together and strive to bring the message of Christ to many brothers who do not yet know.

We need to be more in communication, recognizing that the mission does not belong to a country, but to the Church, that we all conform. We need the support of our older brothers, the MCCJ, and take our leading role as Comboni Lay Missionaries. We need to work together, and be engage in a more global missionary work. There is still some way to go, but our shortcomings are what should motivate us to keep going, looking to grow and improve, to get closer to God’s specific call. The road travels easier when we walk together.

Some, perhaps, will want to know if the meeting was worth it or if it was a success. I think the things of God cannot be measured in these terms, it could misunderstand the work. And this work is constructed from Love with Love and by Love. That Love which includes the sacrifice to be willing to give our lives.

However, something we can say is that the meeting helped to take our role together, for bonding, to know the faces-and hearts-especially those who, from their realities and countries are building the charism of St. Daniel Comboni in everyday life and anonymity, aware that the only protagonist of the work is Jesus Christ, as it was well understood by Comboni.

Christian Madriz