Comboni Lay Missionaries

Little by little

Yes, little by little, our province is moving on. Some years back, a lay person, to move on the footstep of Comboni, could only choose to be a religious. If not, you could only journey in the group named Friends of Comboni. But thank God, since 2011, after the first CLM African Assembly in Uganda, things have changed. The first meeting held officially as CLM candidate’s group was in May, 2013. Bit by bit, we are moving on. On the 10th October, 2022, three (3) candidates were accepted and made their promise as CLM. The first pioneer group in the province (Togo-Ghana-Benin) is in Ghana. But as a province constituted of three countries, it won’t be representative enough to have such group in only one country.

By God’s grace, zealous lay men in Togo with the guidance of Rev. Sister Elisabeth, SMC, came up to start a same journey, to become CLM. More than 20 in the beginning, seven of the group at Adidogome, with determination, maintained their expectation and kept on undergoing the training required for CLM candidates according to our International Formation Guide. Monthly basis, they meet for a formation which the Rev. Sister takes so seriously by inviting resource persons. Last 15th October, they met in the Comboni Sisters’ House to receive a formation on the topic “Affectivity and Human Maturity” delivered by Rev. Sister Cecilia of the Congregation of “Les Petites Soeurs de la Sainte Famille”. The Sister let them understand that affectivity engaged the totality of human life.

MCCJ are in the three countries and so should CLM candidates. Since some months, new CLM candidates are arising in Benin. Our friends Lucien and Ulrich, (CLM candidates) have started having a training too. With the help of Brother Pascal, MCCJ, training is ongoing at St. Francis of Assisi parish of Fidzrosse. On the 8th October, they met again to receive a training from Father Francisco, MCCJ. Father shared with them the “Evangelic Counsel of Chastity in the life of a Christian”. Brother Pascal is committed to give a solid foundation to our CLM candidates. Last week, through the guidance of Sister Elisabeth, a new female candidate, Rita Kebi, from Houegbo, joined the two candidates in Benin. She will soon be inserted in the group to continue with Lucien and Ulrich the journey.

In Ghana, we had the grace to rejoice with Father Shane, MCCJ, his 25th priestly anniversary at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus’ parish of Abor. It was a great celebration attended by faithful from the three countries of the province. Bishop Gabriel, SVD (Bishop of Keta-Akatsi Diocese), Bishop Anthony (Bishop emeritus of the diocese), Father Timothy, Provincial of MCCJ in the Province, religious and lay people, all came to thank God with Father Shane for the wonders and care He took the blessed of the day through. At the end of the celebration, we took the opportunity to greet the Provincial and interacted with Brother Pascal and some other MCCJ.

Justin Nougnui, CLM coordinator.

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