Comboni Lay Missionaries

A new candidate arrives

THUS SAYS THE LORD: Behold my servant -I receive- in him my soul delights, I the Lord have called thee for justice and took you by the hand, have formed you and I did so as covenant of the people, starlight for nations, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison, shows those who live in darkness.



After meeting the group of CLM, have made an experience for two months training in our community and mission of Ipê Amarelo in 2013, Valdir Moreira returned to his hometown to reflect and hear more clearly the call of God on his life.

Our reality is a challenge in every way, I think every mission field has its challenges! So do not always expect the return of those who come here for the missionary journey.

But when you put your ear to the heart of the Father who is always calling laborers into the vineyard, urban violence, work, community life, in short, the challenges are small compared to the baptismal commitment.

Jesus crossing the Jordan River leaves father, mother and begins his mission, Jesus stands in the queue of men.

In the footsteps of Jesus, after reflecting Valdir sets out to serve, passes through the State of São Paulo and reaches the state of Minas Gerais.

The footprints of Jesus in Ipê Amarelo

After the party receiving comes time to put their hands to the plow!

Starts training hike, the first meeting started already in the early days of his arrival.

Father Jorge Padovan, our spiritual director is made available to encourage and guide once again a new vocation CLM. Let us pray the God of hope and life under the intercession of St. Daniel Comboni and Our Lady Aparecida to continue pouring blessings on all.

Valdir has also begun working for financial aid, as laymen we live of our sustenance, not to mention those who help us in this way, including offering paying jobs.

Valdir con P JorgeBy Maria Lourdes Vieira

Training for Mission

A week is not long so we have to take it with passion. Definitely my week in Poland gave a lot of success. This time I wanted to share with everyone about the training time with the international community that is about to leave for Uganda.

We spend three intensive days (morning, afternoon and evening) for training. It was not easy to perform this training in English as it is not the mother tongue of any of us and it needs to be perfected a bit before leaving for mission (they will do so in London from March). However there is no big obstacle when there is will, so we set off. Soon we get the dictionaries of Spanish, Polish and English to succeed in the right word and the mutual aid came immediate. At the end we made it possible (although the head asked for rest at the end of the day for the effort but it was worthy).

I think it was a nice, interesting and necessary week. As the great family that we are, we feel all responsible for this community preparing to break new ground and I think it was important to take time to accompany them. This training time was a time to dialogue and share what it means to be CLM, our vocational call and the dreams that we have as missionaries. To all these ideals that are important to talk before leaving as a community, we added them a good time of deepening and more “professional” learning of our stay and service in the Mission.

To fix the pillars of this community we worked all morning and part of the afternoon of the second day in them, providing all our expectations and confronting specific experiences, doubts and dreams of other CLM.

Then we talked about the importance of inculturation, the knowledge of others and of ourselves to not move European models and to give the time and space to the other, lest we fall into the trap of transferring our solutions to others but to help each person, each people, may have its own voice and find their own solutions.

The last day we talked a little about the importance of approaching and knowing reality in depth, listen and silence a lot to understand well and have enough time to share our lives, knowing first the new environment and its people (what makes up their identity).

And finally ended up talking about our beloved Comboni and what it meant for each of us, the challenges posed to us for being Comboni Missionaries, the style, methodology, passion and commitment of which we are inheritors and debt fidelity. All this things as CLM and as Comboni Family. We want this to be our reference, also there in Gulu (Uganda) where we aim to work from the community, from the Comboni family and from the reality and needs of the people, open to learn every day and contribute the best of ourselves.

Personally it was a very rich time, which also allowed me to better understand this community and strengthen bonds.

I hope they always feel sheltered by all of us. They are sent throughout the movement and as such we will be supporting them.

The laity in the Evangelization

During the 24th, 25th and 26th Januarythe laity in training met in the house of Coimbra for another meeting. To this was joined Fr Manuel Lopes, Carlos Barros, Liliana, who recently came to the mission and Pedro, with his family, as a trainer.

The issue on which we have focused our study on which was discussed was “The laity in evangelization.”

In this contemporary, globalized world, the man believes in practice more than in theory. The living testimonies become more credible and attractive for contemplation and faith for a stronger and more plentiful dedication. Thus we show that the laity is so important in the process of evangelization as any other agent, since it is through baptism that we receive this responsibility.

God is not indifferent to anyone. And it is for this reason that in His eyes, we are all responsible for spreading His Word, Fount of Life. When I answer “yes” to Christ, I promise and agree as my Creed presenting Him as my identity and passport to the other. Moved by God, Faith and Love, Lay Missionary hold in their hands the announcement of this merciful, compassionate, fair, good and stripped Christ. It comes with the happy and passionate face of God, the one true God that with all shares without distinction.


Nobody is a missionary alone. The testimony involves the commitment of all believers – “Participation in the universal mission (…) is the sign of a mature faith and Christian life that bears fruit” (John Paul II).

Liliana, fresh from his mission in Mozambique, also joined us and shared her testimony. It was with some excitement and joy that we listen to, allowing us to travel a bit through the memories that she has entrusted to us.

Another moment of equal importance and full of meaning was the call from Sister Carmo Ribeiro. She could not join us at this meeting because of her health status not so good, but humbly offered. Love also brings this dimension of suffering. Suffering, however, with meaning and dignity. This sacrifice comes, once again, to confirm that the work of evangelization requires the commitment of all of us.

We all are grateful for the contribution of this weekend. Thank you very much for the welcome, and for sharing the beautiful displays of Hope, Life and Friendship.

By Marisa Almeida


New CLM international community in Krakow

LMC en CracoviaThis is what it means to be a missionary, be able to accept the changes with joy and hope wherever they take us and with the brothers and sister you find. And it’s much easier when I discover with enthusiasm, that also in Krakow I feel at home and like a family member. The community has welcomed me with love, and the meeting of my new companions for adventure has made only increase my desire to get to Africa. An international community, three Polish and one Spanish lady, speaking English and with the intention and desire to learn quickly the Acholi.

We are Monika, Ewa, Asia and Carmen, and despite the cold Polish winter there is a very warm feeling in our hearts and all willingness to walk this path together as a community. We don´t know if it is the desire that we all have but we have connected really good and the atmosphere we breathes is wonderful.

We continue with the training process trying to assimilate and internalize things as necessary as knowing who we are (Comboni Lay Missionaries), our history and what it means to integrate and enter in a different and unfamiliar culture, that we want to approach with the utmost respect.

I think we’re a team that is going to complement quite well, where there is much freshness and the joy of living the Gospel and the Mission, as Pope Francisco is reminding us and that we will try not to forget at any time in our experience in Gulu (Uganda).

It could not have been more positive beginning of this year with my family, the Comboni family, with the Polish laity and the Comboni Fathers in the community of Krakow. Together they manage to transmit the idea, that we all dream, of unity and enthusiasm for a common goal: to follow Jesus next to the last.

Carmen Aranda Arnao. CLM

Echoes of Christmas 2013 meeting

“All different, but all united in Comboni wearing the face and the Word of Jesus Christ here and beyond.”

We begin by thanking all those who have contributed directly or indirectly to make possible this Christmas gathering. We are grateful to Sandra for organizing the meeting, to Sister Carmen Ribeiro, Brother Paul and the secular missionary Joanna and Paula for sharing all that is essential for us, LMC candidates, to understand in particular this missionary vocation of the Comboni family. Thanks also to Father Avelino who shared his missionary experience and celebrated the Eucharist. Thanks, finally, to all others not mentioned but that they worked hard to make the meeting possible.

This meeting was full of smiles, hugs, moments of conviviality and animated dynamic. It was the sharing of a joy that with Jesus Christ reborn endlessly. This was a family reunion. We truly felt as a family. We are in the same boat and we rowed in the same direction. In this boat where they are not only all those with whom we live this weekend, but all the other members of the Comboni family no matter where they are and where are they from. We feel with renewed strength and with real and physical certainty of knowing united, not by blood, but by the same creator and make us share the same mission. All different in our vocation but all united in Comboni wearing the face and the Word of Jesus Christ here and there.

By Paula Sousa (Portugal)