Comboni Lay Missionaries

News from the Central African Republic –Astrolabio Newspaper

LMC RCA

LMC RCA

The CLM María Augusta writes from Mongoumba, CAR, for her parish paper – The Astrolabio.

Dear Fr. Orlando,

How are you? I hope the new year started very well and so it will be to the end. A happy 2019 to all the parishioners and to your family.

Last week I had malaria, but, by God’s help, I already recovered. The rest of the community is well.

Fr. Samuel left today for his vacation. We ask God that it be a good one and that he may return full of pep and courage to continue the mission entrusted to him.

On December 17 and 18 the Cardinal came to visit. The people of the parish were delighted! A large crowd gathered when he arrived… many people of other denominations also came. For the Eucharist the church was full, and lots of people were gathered outside as well. It lasted five hours! He spoke very eloquently on the problem of likundu* (witchcraft) and other problems.

Ana and Cristina were in Bangui and Simone was in Italy, and I was with the priests to receive him. With God’s help all went well! I hope people will put into practice what they heard. He visited the 10 parishes of the diocese. Ours was the one before the last. He ended his visitation in the cathedral of St. Jeanne of Arc, in Mbaiki.  I know that he ended up being very tired, but happy with the participation he saw.

Last time we were in Bangui, at the supermarket we met a policeman from Janeiro da Cima (a place in Portugal). He said that he had already heard that there was around a missionary woman from Janeiro de Baixo (a neighboring place). It was great! He told us that there were soldiers stationed around the airport and yesterday we went to visit. They gave us a great and happy reception! They also gave us medical supplies and invited us to lunch. God willing, we will go tomorrow.

The results of our students are not encouraging and we hope they will improve during this quarter.

I know that you have seen and listened to many reports, none of them pleasant, about our poor country. By God’s grace, here we are at peace, but we mourn with our brothers who are being massacred!

We don’t know yet when we will return to Mongoumba…

Let us continue united in prayer.

A great missionary hug from all of us, to you and to all the readers of Astrolabio.

CLM Maria Augusta in Astrolabio

Year 5 – #139 – February 3, 2019

Parishes of Cabril, Dornelas do Zêzere, Fajão, Janeiro de Baixo, Machio, Pampilhosa da Serra, Portela do Fôjo, Unhais-o-Velho e Vidual

 

* The problem of likundu is that people are falsely accused of witchcraft and then they are brutally murdered.

The Church of Christ on mission in the world

Logo EN

Logo ENThe Guide for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019, “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”, promoted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) and the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), is a subsidiary text collecting contributions from and for Christians all over the world. The drafting of the Guide was made possible also thanks to the cooperation of the PMS National Directors based in various countries of all continents.

The purpose of the Guide is to support the single dioceses in meeting their needs as to missionary formation and activities, thus preparing the faithful throughout the world to live the Extraordinary Missionary Month wanted by Pope Francis on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud (November 30, 1919).

The Guide will inspire the creativity of the local Churches and of their parishioners in facing the challenges inherent to evangelization, starting from “missio ad gentes” and their own particular context, without any claim to be exhaustive or to provide a systematic theological or catechetical reflection on the mission. The sections of the Guide correspond to the spiritual dimensions outlined by the Holy Father in calling the Extraordinary Missionary Month: the personal encounter with Jesus Christ living in the Church, the witness of saints and martyrs of the mission, the catechetical formation for the mission and the missionary charity. The text is published in English, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Guia

 

 

 

 

In the world but NOT of the world!

LMC-Centroafrica

LMC-Centroafrica

Hi everyone!

I am André, a pygmy youngster, and I don’t know my age, perhaps between 7 and 9 years old, and I live in Ndobo, a camp in the forest of the Republic of Central Africa, near Mongoumba. My house, if you want to call it that, is like an igloo made of branches and dry leaves, with some boards as a bed. It has no bathroom, no kitchen, no TV or electricity, but fortunately it is close to a well a missionary dug some time ago, so I can drink and wash without having to walk for an hour through the forest.

Monday through Friday, together with my friends in the camp, I get up and go to school, walking about 4 km without shoes. Some days we get there a little late but, not having a watch, we do not know when it’s time to get up. Everything becomes more difficult during the rainy season, because the road turns into a swamp.

When we reach the parish of Mongoumba, we enter a room Cristina has prepared for us, where we all have a place with our name on it to wash up, put on our school uniform and, after having greeted Anna, Maria Augusta, Cristina and Simone, off we run to school. Often Maria Augusta comes to our class to help the teacher to “keep us under control,” since there are more than 50 of us, and to teach us French, even though we like to speak Sango, our language.

School ends around 12:30 noon, and we return to the St. Daniel Comboni room to change back into our tattered clothes and go to eat  at the “DA TI NDOYE” (House of Charity/Love), where on any given day they give us rice and beans, manioc mush and fish, or Makongo (worms) and ngungia! We eat fast, then we go wait for Simone and Cristina at the payotte near the church to return together to the camp where we play ball, we color or watch movies until almost dark. Then Simone and Cristina say good-bye and remind us that tomorrow we need to be on time!

My day ends in the darkness of the camp, without lights and perhaps with some strange little creature trying to get inside, lulled to sleep by the Central African sky, with its tapestry of stars looking like precious jewels. Oh, I almost forgot… I do not exist! I am in the world… made of flesh and blood, I can run, jump, play… but I am not of the world!

In the CAR there are many other children like me! We are not only exploited, because the resources found in our land are exported to places we do not even know to produce, TV sets, phones, computers, weapons, bombs… but we are out of the world… I am excluded, without documents, without a birth certificate, without a public record… that is…

…IN THE WORLD but NOT OF THE WORLD! (John 17:15)

A warm good-bye

Kisses all around

A large hug

A small prayer

André with

Paul, Pierre, Marie, Albert Dimanche, Pierre, François Albert, Philippe, Guy, Marie, Terese, Marcel, Gabriel…
(with Anna, Maria Augusta, Cristina e Simone)