The formation meeting of the CLM took place in Viseu (Portugal) on July 12-14.
As another year comes to an end, it is necessary to have an adequate evaluation of the progress made by the participants, so we did not follow any specific formation theme.
The candidates began to arrive in the afternoon of the 12th. Every meeting is always a great joy! The latest news bits are exchanged in between smiles and hugs! We all feel welcome in this mission house that always receives us so well!
As usual, on Saturday we started the day with the celebration of the Eucharist in the large chapel, open to the entire local community.
After breakfast, we moved to the upstairs hall where we exposed the Blessed Sacrament. This way, in front of the Lord, it was possible to pray and reflect over the progress made during the past year of formation. Many questions come up and it is necessary to find answers, my answers to ach one! Analyzing the past and taking advantage of the present by questioning ourselves before the Lord of Mission, we find answers and take decisions for the future. A future we want to live with Him, wherever and with whomever he will wish!
Renewed and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, we met individually with the Coordinating Team. Thus the day went by, the great day of evaluation, which we all hoped it would be positive.
Several Comboni Lay Missionaries with mission experience, some with their children, joined us for the afternoon prayer. How beautiful to see the children at this prayer! Above all, we prayed for the CLM members who are in mission lands ad gentes. That they never run out of protection and hope! How strong is this desire to be united in prayer! In Jesus, who sends us, and in the Holy Spirit, who accompanies us, we believe that we have nothing to fear!
On Sunday, after morning prayer and breakfast, our relatives began to arrive to spend this day with us in an atmosphere of celebration and sharing. After the welcome by Fr. Francisco Medeiros, they all introduced themselves and the CLM Vânia gave an account of all that the CLM have done during the year, highlighting the news we received from Augusta and Cristina in the Central African Republic, Paula and Neuza in Peru, Liliana and her husband Flávio in Brazil, Marisa in Mozambique and Pedro and Carolina in Ethiopia. With great emotions on the part of their relatives, we saw pictures and videos of these members, showing very explicitly what it means to be missionaries with the poor and disadvantaged.
Immediately after that, we listened to the witness of María Augusta who recently returned from the Republic of Central Africa. Simply and with empathy, she spoke of the latest events, adventures and misadventures.
The Eucharist followed, a strong moment of the day, sharing the Word and the Bread, together with our faith and the Comboni charism that unite us all.
After lunch, where the tables were loaded an nothing was missing, the gathering continued in the afternoon. With games, jokes, songs, stories and so on, we had a fabulous time in the Portuguese fashion.
Many thanks to all, especially to the formators and the coordinating team, who followed us for yet another year.