Comboni Lay Missionaries

Once again, I climb the mountain

Atardecer
Atardecer

I write to you as I contemplate the landscape. The sun is barely visible, but I can already see the silhouette of the volcano in the moonlight. Today I again climbed the mountain, one of those places where I lower my defenses and I can imagine, on the other side of sunset, the faces of those, not those I left behind, but all those who constantly allowed me – and still do – to fly, at times with fear, but still trusting in this great plan that God has for each one of us. For me. I look intently at the horizon, God and me. Me and God alone. He allows me to get close, and embraces me through the wonders that I can see. He waits for me in silence on top of this small mountain any time I believe that I cannot make it, any time reality becomes cruel, any time everything turns dark, or too heavy to carry… At these times, I climb the mountain, I let go of the heavier stones I carry in my bag, to be able to go on. I climb searching for silence, for hope, looking for myself. Looking for God.

The sun has already left this small mountain, and I am left alone with my thoughts. Thus, I remain alone with the cry of those who come this way, seeking refuge, seeking love, seeking God. During these unfathomable moments I become part of nature that surrounds me.

Atardecer

To climb the mountain allows me to get out of myself, to quietly observe nature around me, to feel all that I carry inside me, to realize that love is made up also of falls, that we also build with the stones found along the way. It allows me to see light. I allow my eyes to open and no longer face the darkness buzzing around me as I climb, I see the little lights shining in the midst of these people, I feel the divine presence among us all in these little lights, in these hearts seeking for him, in the hope of those who believe, in the perseverance of those who dot give up in the face of sorrow, in the knees of those who pray, in the courage of those who risk to move ahead, and then I see the lights that remain in me.

And, as I descend from the small mountain, I feel God again with me. Once again, he invites me to meet with the poor and the needy, with all those who open their doors to me every day, and with all those who still wait for me to arrive. He makes my burden light and makes me feel the joy to be mission in the only way possible, through love.

Servir

May we all be able to climb the mountain as often as necessary during this journey of life. May we always empty our bag we carry all the time. Let us not be afraid to speak of whatever happens within us when we are alone with God.

With love and gratitude,

Neuza Francisco, CLM

Vocational and missionary week in Balsas, Brazil

LMC Balsas
Balsas

Some members of the Comboni Family (a priest, a brother, a sister and laity of the Group of Comboni Spirituality), most of them originally from the diocese of Balsas, held a week of missionary and vocational animation in Balsas (MA) in the parishes of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and of St. Anthony. There were several celebrations with beautiful testimonies, moments lived in a family atmosphere and missionary passion. The activity was also held in view of the Great Parish Missionary Week that will take place in November in the same city, and also marked the celebration of the 25th anniversary of consecrated life of Sr. Maria do Socorro Ribeiro, a Comboni Missionary Sister of Balsas, which was celebrated on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary and Day of Religious and Consecrated Life in Brazil. The missionary and vocational week was an initiative of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish and was carried out with the commitment and participation of the Group of Comboni Spirituality together with some invited religious and missionaries.

Fr Raimundo Rocha, mccj

Let your heart be mission – Weekend of Comboni spirituality 2019

LMC Portugal
LMC Portugal

In June our meeting was not the usual formation meeting of Viseu, but rather a gathering of the Comboni family in Maia, which happens there annually and is prepared and organized by the Comboni Family Commission. This year we gathered on June 28-30 over the theme, “Let your heart be mission,” as this year’s topic for the Comboni Family.

It was a very beautiful meeting! First of all, only a small but diverse group attended, greatly enriching the perspectives and the sharing of the topics. Secondly, it was a gathering rich in reflection themes, but in a spirit of sharing as a Comboni family strengthening our ties of communion and friendship.

On Saturday morning, after morning prayers, Bishop António Couto of Lamego spoke on “The heart in the Bible.” We delved deeply in the biblical meaning of the heart and its significance. Then we saw what it means “to be mission” and Dom António shared some perspectives on how to be mission and do missionary work today and in today’s circumstances, giving concrete examples of groups and people who perform fruitful missionary work today.

Then the participants shared in the formative theme given by the bishop of Lamego, answering some questions he gave us.

In the afternoon, Comboni Sr. Arlete spoke to us. She spoke of the life of St. Daniel Comboni, his “passionate heart” for Africa, his “cordiality,” namely, how his heart moved for “all and how he kept everyone in his heart,” and his devotion to the Sacred Heart.

Later we shared again in groups what we had heard, trying to reflect together on how to live today, and in the same circumstances, this same passion and enthusiasm of Comboni.

LMC Portugal

At the end of the day, we celebrated Mass and then we had a sardinada where we could converse, socialize and strengthen our friendships. It was a beautiful and agreeable time!

On Sunday, after morning prayers, we gathered to share what we had reflected upon in groups the previous day. From here came new reflections as we continued to share and it was a time of joint meditation and mutual enrichment.

We ended with the Eucharist. Then we entrusted to the Lord all the life decisions we could take during this gathering, together with our missionary enthusiasm regenerated and strengthened at this meeting.

In this meeting, praying and sharing together, we animated one another as Comboni family to be mission, to be enthused by the proclamation and the witness, and to do so “immediately” with vigor and perseverance, in all circumstances!

LMC Portugal

Filipe Oliveira