Comboni Lay Missionaries

One year of missionary experience in Kitelakapel Kenya

LMC Kenia

The hospitality and arrival in Kenya started on the 19th November’ 2022 welcomed by Fr. Maciej and Linda and CLM Kenya members. As a new international CLM from Uganda I was introduced to so many people and places in Nairobi…. Karibu Kenya.

Touring the Peace Center where many lives were lost due to terrorism…. Was a moment of reflection and meditation, finding grace and peace and God’s divine mercy. As we reflect on the world of today in war Ukraine vs Russia, war in Sudan, pandemics and our daily struggles with each other and our own selves.


I would like to start with gratitude to my CLM Uganda community and MCCJ Uganda for all the financial, spiritual and moral support accorded to me to be able to travel, survive the challenging environment of missionary experience… They sacrifice a little from their hard earnings to contribute to my up keep in Kitelakapel. They gather in the community house of Bugolobi Mbuya to share and assemble for meetings and prayers and recollections and formation of new members. They also meet in Luwero for seminars and workshops to refresh their faith and missionary work.

Gratitude also to Alberto and the Central and African committee and coordinating team for the trainings and formation programs and all the moral support given in the one year and encouragement in tough moments of fear and anxiety.

You have not chosen me; I have chosen you to go out and bear fruit that will last… Jn 15:16

My community in Kitelakapel…

We live three people in the community: Linda Micheletti from Italy, Marzena Gibek from Poland and Pius Oyoma from Uganda. We care and look up to each other. We are the first team to start the international community in Kitelakapel- Kenya. We often receive visitors from within and out of Kenya. We share together good moments of prayer and laughter. Our community organizes games for kids. We also do various training like Kiswahili langue, enneagram, formation programs, assemblies ad attend Mass and other festivals in the church. We travel to train and do youth retreats.

The Lord is loving and merciful, slow to anger and full of constant love…


We are teaching Life Skills in secondary schools of St. Paul’s Boys and St. Bakita Girls boarding school. Gratitude to our sponsors who have financially supported to meet the cost of reach out to the distant schools to train more than 800 students in 2022-2023 academic year as we seek to open doors to other schools in need of our services.

My work and mission… transforming lives…. touching lives…. inspiring… sowing practical talent… and skills

Let the children come to me…

Pastoral Activities with the small Christian communities… Jumuiya.

Another of our main activities consist in visiting families, praying for the sick and troubled families and connecting… being there… being with people, we do also meetings with YSC, Sunday School, Catechism, Bakhita Group, choir, TTI Group.

Kitelakapel is an outstation of Kacheliba Parish. It is still an area of first evangelization. There is a small church, built by the MCCJ, and a fathers’ house with a farming project. Not far from it, the MCCJ built a new house that has been allocated to us, in a large compound. Within the compound, on the left side of the CLM house, there’s a plan to build, in the future, a hospital, and on the right side a hall and pitches for the youth to play. The idea is to prepare for the possibility that one day this may become a parish on its own. It’s a very marginalized area, very dry, where people lack access to water and live mainly out of pastoralism. The Pokot in this area remain quite attached to their traditions, with low rates of school attendance and low school performances. As soon as we got here, we could immediately identify some basic needs, in terms of pastoral work, as there seems to be little involvement of the faithful into the running of church activities. The same catechist in charge is too busy to dedicate time to the Jumuiyas and teach catechism. Only recently have some women organized themselves into a small choir, while there are still gaps in the organization of church cleaning and provision of essential elements like candles and other accessories for the celebration of the Mass.

In terms of social aspects, there is an evident problem of alcohol addiction in the area, as well as drugs, disaggregated families, early pregnancies and early marriages (with consequent school droppings), but we are still in the process of understanding and discovering more about the social needs in this area.


Supporting the communities with ideas and programs to survive the tough economic times after the COVID pandemic and ongoing world wars is also part of my duties… SACCO it is a system to encourage savings and product development to create jobs and increase revenues and earnings of the group… I was appointed project coordinator for CLM Kenya.

I will bless the fruits of your hard work and multiply you… I will uphold you with my victorious right hand… nothing will ever separate you from my love.

My stakeholders…

Meeting our Bishop HENRY JUMA was the most exciting moment of my life and this feeling of faith and passion made enjoy every moment of his presence… Our parish priest, father Charles, a friendly and fatherly man and fathers from Kacheliba Parish and Amakuriat Parish… Comboni sisters and brothers and our lay missionaries of Kenya. Our provincial superior Fr. Andrew so welcoming and warm hearted and fatherly to everyone.

Fr. Philippe and Fr. Thomas our legends of west Pokot share with us good moments of the 50 years of Comboni in Kacheliba. Golden jubilee…

The moment I met you, my value increased and that’s how much valuable you are to me…

The youth… young …the energy and the magic.

Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God so that he will lift you up in his own time. Leave all your worries with him for he cares for you…

God is my creator and my redeemer and he loves me dearly… Shukurani…

Pius Oyoma, CLM in Kenya

Essa Luta is Nossa (This is Our Fight)

LMC Brasil

PODCAST 2 – BEGINNING WITH SONG “Essa Luta è Nossa Essa Luta è do pouvo…”

Hi, we are Anna and Gabriel, and this is Ciranda, the podcast about our mission experience in Brazil. In which we try to bring you into the everyday life experiences and choices of those who live in this part of the world.

Edvar Dantas Cardeal lives in a small village, on the outskirts of Açailândia, in the hinterland of Maranhão. Unfortunately, he still does not own his history, because he lives where no one would want to live. When he arrived in Piquiá, he really liked the name of the place, an homage to one of the region’s largest trees with delicious fruit, The Piqui.

The community of Piquiá de Baixo (so called because it is located in the area lower than the next neighborhood) was created in the 1970s, when this part of the region was still called “the gates of the amazonia,” rich in vegetation. People planted and fished from the river that kissed the banks of the community. It was a little paradise in the memories of the inhabitants.

Then in the 1980s, the “development” came, which even changed the name of the village to “Pequiá,” an acronym for “PetroQuímico Açailândia.” Açailândia itself, or “Açaí City,” another tasty fruit typical of the region, has lost the meaning of its name, where progress and respect for life cannot coexist.

Next to Edvar’s house were installed 14 steel furnaces, a thermal power plant, and, to top it off, a steel mill. The people of Piquiá did not even know what a steel plant was and what this would mean for their health, their lives, and that they would become little more than gears in this industrial machine. Companies came with manifestos of jobs, jobs for all, but the intent was always and only to settle there making the most at the least possible price, deceiving the community and destroying the way of life of those families.

It is 2005, Edvar heads to the small house of the Piquiá di Baixo inhabitants’ association of which he is a member, it might seem like just another day but perhaps he does not know that from that day began the real struggle and resistance of his community! He was tired of seeing iron dust fall from the sky and settle on every surface he finds. He sees friends and relatives increasingly starting to get sick, strong respiratory complications, skin infections, constant headaches, intestinal problems, exhaustion…his much-loved village was falling apart more and more.

Edvar waited 60 days before he was able to pick up a pen and a blank sheet of paper, he does not know how to start writing this letter, how to use the best words to tell about his community, but he knows for sure to whom it will be directed: To President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva!

Soon after time, the response arrived, with directions pointing to routes and public bodies that the community should seek out. The people of Piquiá soon realized that alone, though many, they would not be able to fight against a boulder the size of a steel mill, so little by little they managed to weave around them a strong network of allies, who took the community’s grievances and demands to international institutions, such as the UN. Thus the struggle that was started by Edvar became everyone’s, the community of Comboni Fathers and the associations that over time joined in this great resistance.

Of all the mobilizations carried out by the community over the years, some were very notable, such as the one that took place in December 2011, when hundreds of residents marched and blocked the super road that connects Açailândia to São Luís. The blockade lasted longer than 4 hours in a prolonged protest with burning tires. Another noteworthy protest was the one that forced the Steel mills to pay for expropriation, when residents made a real cooperative effort and, divided into shifts, closed the entrance and exit gates of the industries for 30 hours.

“We must do the possible in the impossible” was what Edvar repeated to his people in Piquiá, and this struggle, of all people, paid off. Through all this mobilization, the approval of the urban project for the new neighborhood was obtained on December 31, 2015. Due to bureaucracy, which is one of the tools of oppression of the poor, the resources to start the work were not made available until November 2018, when work began on a new Neighborhood: “PIQUIA DA CONQUISTA!

Edvar Dantas Cardeal died on January 23, 2020, a victim of the same disease he was fighting. His lungs were contaminated with iron dust, and his struggle ended after more than a month in the intensive care unit, due to respiratory failure and other complications.

Edvar Dantas, who started this struggle, will never see its end, but his ideas and hope live on in the new people of Piquiá da Comquista!


The struggle, therefore, is still ongoing and its outcome is open to debate.

The community’s achievements have been significant, especially considering the disproportion in scale between the local community and the national/global industry. Perhaps this is why the claims of the Piquiá de Baixo Community transcend the local struggle and become a larger banner that exposes the other side of development agendas. At the same time that it reaches international levels (such as the UN), this struggle takes place on the ground of the community, in direct human relations, as so well expressed in the letter that Mr. Edvard wrote to his nephew Moisés: The beauty of this battle is that we do not get tired, and when there is a defeat we react with more enthusiasm and conviction: it is very clear that we are victims, there is an obvious injustice! The law cannot be wrong: we will be compensated! Sometimes even grandparents delude themselves and dream like an inexperienced young person…. After all, it is hope that sustains us. But I learned, Moses, that hope is a child who needs two older sisters: patience and wisdom.


This is the ciranda song; it is danced in a circle, each member hugging his or her neighbors and moving to the rhythm by stamping their feet loudly. This song is a dance related to the Brazilian folk tradition.


Anna and Gabrielle, CLM in Brazil

Our third trip to Ethiopia

LMC Polonia

On October 27, we flew to Ethiopia. This is our third trip. The journey was smooth and we arrived in Addis Ababa on time. We were picked up from the airport by Sister Janina – a Franciscan nun who has been in Ethiopia for over a dozen years.

The next day we continued our journey to our place of stay, to Awassa, to Magda Soboka, who founded and runs the Ethiopian Children’s Foundation “Barkot”, to help her in her work in the Foundation.

Magda’s Ethiopian husband received us at the bus station and welcomed us very warmly.

A surprise was waiting for us, prepared by Sister Franciscan Missionary of Mary, a Pole, Kamila from Łódź, who works at the hospital in Bushulo as a midwife and nurse. Her parents came from Poland to visit her for the first time (and she has been here for 8 years). The surprise was a five-day trip deep into Ethiopia to various tribes and missions led by the Spiritan Fathers.

The trip lasted 5 days. It started on October 30 and ended on November 3.

On the first day we stopped in Arba Minch at the Spiritan fathers’ house. On the way we visited the Park of 40 Springs.

On the first day we went on a boat trip on Lake Chamo, where we saw crocodiles. Then we went to the Dorze tribe, where we were dressed up in their tribal, festive costumes, and they treated us with a cake made of banana leaf flour, alcohol and home-made honey. It was a great experience. Their houses are shaped like a crocodile’s snout. Returning to the mission for the night, we stopped at a factory for hand-made silk and silkworm breeding. We learned about the process of manual production of fabrics, which were also used to sew finished products (scarves, bags, blouses, etc.). It was a very fruitful day.

At dawn after Holy Mass on November 1, we said goodbye to the fathers and continued our journey. We visit the land of the Mursi tribe in Konso. This tribe has been in Ethiopia since the 15th century. They began to build their houses on the mountain, and the entrance to the village and houses leads through small stone corridors, so that no unauthorized person can get in, and forms three circles around the mountain. This tribe cultivates its traditions and customs, creates a community,

We reach Jimma in the evening for an overnight stay at a guesthouse and dinner.

Very early in the morning we leave the guesthouse and set off in the rain to the village of the Turmi tribe. The rain stopped, and we, with a guide and security, visited the village of the tribe which according to the old tradition, places plates on the lower lip of the mouth, and the warriors paint themselves. This tribe changes its place of residence every 3-4 months, looking for food for its flock – it is a pastoral tribe. The inhabitants of this tribe go naked, sometimes covering themselves with a blanket. An interesting fact for tourists is that in the evening there is the “ewangadi” ceremony, there are various shows, bull jumping, dances, etc. When a man from this tribe wants to get married, he must show courage and strength, jump over 6 bulls, and a woman whips herself. The Ethiopian government wants this tribe to dress and send their children to school, but they do not want to and destroy the clothes because it is not their culture. During the day, the men are out hunting. In the village we only saw women and children.

We go to Yabello to spend the night with the Spiritan missionaries. The Missionary Fathers run a boarding house for older boys and girls studying. They encounter great difficulties in employing teachers because teachers want very high salaries that fathers cannot afford. Right now, they would love to see a volunteer who would teach English and computer science. Of course, there are problems with work permits, so such a volunteer could only work for three months.

Unfortunately, the trip ends quickly and we return to Awassa, visit a bamboo hotel along the way, eat at the Inka restaurant and go home in the evening. It was a wonderful trip, full of new information about the life of some Ethiopian tribes and the activities of the mission. It introduced us to the culture and customs of the Ethiopian tribes.

However, we did not come here to rest, we need to start doing something for others. We visit the Center of the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa and Andrzej was offered few tasks: in the emergency room and in carpentry work. The sister superior, a Belgian, welcomes him very warmly. I will try to help Magda, and there is plenty of work.

Bogusia and Andrzej.

How it all began

LMC Piquia

PODCAST 1 – Beginning with ciranda song.

This is the ciranda song, you dance in a circle, each member hugging his or her neighbors and moving in rhythm by banging their feet loudly. This song is a dance related to Brazilian folk tradition.

Hi, we are Anna and Gabriel, and this is Ciranda, the podcast about our mission experience in Brazil. In which we try to take you into the everyday life choices of people living in this part of the world.

We start with a question that we have been asked on several occasions over the past year: what does it mean to leave with the Comboni Lay Missionaries? Who are they? And why specifically in Brazil?

We got to know the reality of the Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) after some word of mouth until we met this reality in the Venegono area. The LMCs were created following the charism of Saint Daniele Comboni. A priest, from the first half of the 1800s, who dedicated his life to the mission in ways that were new for the time and probably also for today, with the goal, as he said, of “saving Africa with Africa.”

Comboni Lay Missionaries carry on this spirit in the various missions around the world by accompanying the presence of Combonians on the ground.

To better understand this new way of doing and being mission, which is different from what we had known in the past, we did a 2-year journey of getting to know the CLM, at the end of which, together with our reference group, we were proposed to do a period of experience in an international reality. We had proposed ourselves for the mission areas of Latin America, and at the same time in the mission in Brazil the urgency had arisen to find a couple of volunteers who could carry on the presence of the Laity, already inserted for several years in the reality of Piquià. So, in May 2022, we left, leaving our little house in Cuneo in the direction of Brazil, in the state of Maranhão, municipality of Acailândia, specifically in the small neighborhood of Piquià. This 3-month experience allowed us to touch the Combonian way of life, to learn Portuguese, and to observe the reality of the various projects in which the Comboni family is involved. These are mainly 3 realities: the casa familiar rural (a school for children from rural areas), the reality of Piquià de Baixo (a community affected by pollution from steel industries), and the interior families living in the countryside, isolated and affected by the world of agribusiness (i.e., deforestation and monoculture of soy and eucalyptus).

The time spent in Piquià was a short time but enough to make us realize that this would be our home for the next 3 years.

The uniqueness of this experience is also the choice to do common life with the Combonis, who live in the house next to ours. Therefore, not only are we included in the parish and engaged in the various pastoral activities but we share with them prayer times, dinners and other moments of daily life, making choices in common. This is the Comboni family, where lay people and Comboni fathers do mission together.





Anna and Gabrielle, CLM in Brazil

Six months of missionary presence in Kitelakapel

LMC Kenia

It’s been almost half a year since I came to Kitelakapel. It’s amazing how wonderful I feel here from the beginning. Full of peace and joy that what I wanted so much is now coming true. The three of us stay in Kitelakapel, together with Linda, who came here first, and Pius, who has been here for almost a year. These first months were a time of meeting people, getting to know each other in the community and observing everything that was happening around me. I know this adventure will never end. And I do not want it to end. I want to continue to explore, to learn, to taste this life in Africa which is a great gift for me.

In Kitelakapel we’re doing well, we are very busy with a lot of different activities. We still spend a lot of time learning Suahili. Linda is our teacher. We have a lot of pastoral work like: catechism, Young Missionary Group (St. Bakhita group), YCS (meetings with boys from secondary school), Sunday School and attending Jumuiyas (small christian communities). Every Saturday and Sunday we organize compound games for children.

I have started offering my services to the dispensary of the mission in Kacheliba, and the small dispensary of Kitelakapel. My big dream is to work here in Kenya as a physiotherapist. It is not only my profession but also a great passion. I have already taken some official steps to be able to practice my profession here. Pius and Linda continue teaching life skills in two schools and doing tutoring in the primary school. I had the pleasure of observing their work for almost three months when I arrived here.They do it really wonderfully, engaging children and teenagers in various activities. We’ve also started weekly workshops for teachers to improve the quality of teaching. Workshops are run online by an organisation from Poland Why Blue Sky. Now schools are on vacation so we also do other activities.

We took part in very interesting workshops in Nairobi organized by Fr Maciej Zieliński. It was about personality types. We are also planning to go to Uganda for one week to organize some workshops for teachers and nurses.

We’re now trying to set up a permanent tent to have activities with children and adults in case of bad weather, and we would like to have a little playground with swing, slide and merry-go-round for the youngest children. .

We send you our warmest greetings and please, keep us in your prayers 🙂

Marzena Gibek, CLM from Kitelakapel