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.
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!