Comboni Lay Missionaries

“Seeds” project assists cyclone Gombe victims in northern Mozambique

LMC Carapira

Since March when the powerful cyclone Gombe hit Carapira in northern Mozambique, destroying houses and farms. We, the CLM, have been working to alleviate the suffering of the population. Always in partnership with friends and people with good hearts.

With the help received from Brazil it was possible to carry out small projects. Among them the seeds project.

This Wednesday, November 23rd, we started the first phase of this project, which consists of delivering 5 kg of corn and 3 kg of beans to the most vulnerable families for planting.

The benefited families have the commitment to return the same amount received at harvest time, so that we can continue the project.

The Carapira Parish is composed of 94 communities divided into 5 regions with 22 zones. We chose to make the delivery in each zone to facilitate the access of the families.

The second phase will be on the 29th of this month. And the third will be at the beginning of December.

In this project there are more than 300 families contemplated.

On behalf of the families and the people of Carapira, I thank everyone who generously gave a little of what they have to help those who have even less.

God bless you all.

CLM Carapira

Dreaming the mission

LMC Portugal

In September 2021, we arrived in Camarate, more precisely in the neighborhood of Fetais, full of expectations about the work that we would develop with the local community. We knew there was a lot to do, but we didn’t know the needs. Not everything went as we expected, but as God wanted, and despite the difficulties encountered, we “felt” that we should continue in this mission.

With the departure of Pedro Nascimento new challenges are posed, since only two of us remain, Maria Augusta and Élia, and we continue to dream that it is possible to make Fetais a mission land where the CLM presence is a reality and not just a place of passage. We ask the Lord of the harvest to guide our steps so that, with humility and wisdom, we can be messengers of the Gospel to these people who come from such distant and different places, in search of a better world that they have difficulty in finding.

Dreaming of more mission in the parish of Camarate passes through what has been our experience over this time, what we have received without giving anything, which encourages us to continue this path, sometimes not easy. We want to be more in this mission because

… it warms our hearts the tight embrace of a child; the smiling good morning of an elderly person, hearing our name shouted from the playground of a school; a mother who tells her three-year-old daughter to give a kiss to her “aunt” (whom she met on the bus) …

… our hearts are warmed by the neighbors on the “slope” who already call us for two fingers of conversation; the pomegranates offered with the taste of friendship; the cat next door who lets himself be stroked, and the owner of the cat who already says good night when we cross paths on the street …

… our hearts are warmed by the people who ask about Pedro and talk about him with gratitude and affection for the moments he dedicated to them…

… and our hearts are also warmed by the small/large victories we achieve with the children who attend the Young Awakening where we have already spent “cold days”, but where there is warmth and joy and, because “the best in the world are the children”, everything we do for them and with them will always be small.

If God calls us to make a difference, to be a presence in different communities, with simplicity we can only say: “Lord we are here to serve you, light our way”.

In the certainty that we are not alone in this mission.

Embrace in Christ

Maria Augusta and Élia- CLM in Camarate

New GEC meeting in Brazil

LMC Brasil

At the meeting of GEC (Comboni Spirituality Group) São José Operário Parish – Carapina/Serra/ES held last night (11/21/2022), we had the presence of Father Xavier.

He told us his life and mission story, details and curiosities about the projects carried out in Santa Rita, a city on the outskirts of João Pessoa in Paraíba.

Chico started the project with recyclable material collectors, Father Xavier joined the project and started working with children and teenagers, daughters and sons of the collectors and other residents of the neighborhood.

His words echoed in our hearts. A life story where we find faith incarnate. Total giving.

Autor: Tranquilo Dias, Grupo de Espiritualidade Comboniana da Paróquia São José Operário/Espírito Santo

Education from the countryside for the countryside

LMC Brasil

It is time for another assembly of the Rural Family House, an association formed by country people, ex-students and people who believe in this proposal. The Comboni family present in Açailândia is part of this project, being directly involved Dida and Xoán, Liliana and Flávio, and Fr. Joseph.

The house offers a three-year technical course in agriculture and cattle raising, combined with high school, through the alternating cycle pedagogy.

There is a song that says: “I won’t leave the countryside to go to school. Education in the countryside is a right, not a handout.”

The goal of this space is exactly this! By enabling young people from the countryside to improve the profitability of family property, we reduce the rural exodus and promote family farming, also inserting agro-ecological techniques.

The school serves students from Açailândia, neighboring towns, and also from more distant cities, with students from three different states (Maranhão, Pará and Tocantins).

In the debate about the challenges faced by the school and that involve financial costs, one of the mothers present pointed out, “We are an association, we can collaborate and with the little of each one, we will get what is necessary.”

And so we go sowing in the collective construction the search for better conditions for farmers and peasants, and with this generate a seed of a better world.

CLM Brazil

Missionary retreat in Balsas (Brazil)

LMC Brasil

Retreat with the theme “Comboni Spirituality and the social commitment of the Church” in the diocese of Balsas/Maranhão – Brazil.

The Comboni Missionaries have left the diocese of Balsas in 2017, after 65 years of presence, marked by many achievements, both in the life of the communities, in the formation of leaders, as well as in the social part and in the infrastructure of the city itself.

Dom Valentim Meneses, the current bishop who took over the diocese in 2020, after the death of the previous bishop, invited the Comboni Missionaries to organize a retreat for the leaders of the communities, highlighting the social commitment of the church.

Thus, the Comboni family present in Piquiá/Maranhão, with the support of the Comboni spirituality groups (GEC) present in Balsas, organized the retreat in 2 different locations, to enable better participation.

On September 17, 2022 (Saturday), the first one was held in the city of Pastos Bons (280 km from Balsas), with the participation of about 25 persons. It was a very rich day of sharing and remembering the journey of the communities, and rekindling the commitment of faith, inspired by the Comboni charism.

On the following day (Sunday) the retreat was held in the city of Balsas, with the participation of more than 50 persons, with the assistance of the diocesan bishop in the reflection of the theme. He encouraged that the spirituality that we assume as Christians, regardless of what it is, should lead us, more than having faith in Jesus, to have the faith of Jesus. This makes the difference, since it prevents us from creating a logic that serves our personal interests and wills, keeping us in the logic of the Kingdom of God.

In both moments we had a video of Regimar and Valmir, sharing their first 5 months of presence in Mozambique and the challenges faced by the population with the Gombe Cyclone.

The GECs of Piquiá, Pastos Bons and Balsas shared about their meetings and invited those present to be part of the journey of deepening of faith and missionary commitment, as a concrete gesture of this retreat.

It was a rich moment of missionary animation, inspired by the charism of St. Daniel Comboni!

Did you like the idea of having a Comboni Spirituality Group (CSG) in your community or parish? Would you like to know how to organize one? Contact us through our email leigosmcbrasil@gmail.com or by the WhatsApp of the Comboni Missionaries +551197956-8317.

CLM Brazil