May – That women may be ever more aware of their specific role and talents and participate fully in the life and leadership of the Church. Lord hear us.
Dear Comboni Lay Missionaries and friends discerning the CLM vocation! We send you warm greetings from Awassa – a beautiful city in southern Ethiopia where CLM presence has continued for already 9 years. However, changes are coming and we invite you to make this change better.
In the beginning of May Madzia ends her mission in Ethiopia and in the beginning of June also Adela&Tobiasz go back to Poland. This practically means the end of CLM presence in Awassa. Hopefully it doesn’t mean the end of the CLM presence in Ethiopia. Pedro is already in Ethiopia studying Amharic language.
Throughout all these years we experienced very good cooperation with the Ethiopian Comboni Family. MCCJ are very open for CLM presence, understand our charism and are eager to help us to settle a stable, permanent and independent presence in Ethiopia. It would really be a pity not to continue our presence in Ethiopia.
We, as current Ethiopian CLM group, think that now came the best time to move our presence from Awassa to Gumuz, which is the region of first evangelization in north-west Ethiopia. Gumuz people were for long time discriminated by other Ethiopian tribes and until recent years excluded from society. Things started to change with arrival of Comboni missionaries less than 20 years ago, who has shared with them Good News and helped them socially, building educational and health facilities in 3 missions (Gilgel-Beles and Gublack run by Comboni Fathers and Mandura run by Comboni Sisters). Needs of missionaries, also lay missionaries, who would come to share their time and skills is huge, both in pastoral and social work. We have to admit that the work in Gumuz area may also be quite challenging, just to mention the hot climate, many cases of malaria and typhoid and Amharic language to learn… We are sure however that satisfaction would be greater than any obstacles.
Comboni Fathers would be very happy if our movement could open a community in Gumuz. But to achieve this aim, to run this mission, we need people. We are happy that Pedro is ready to go to Gumuz; also David and Carolina are about to come to Ethiopia. For sure we would need more CLMs ready to come, to live some years in Africa among the most needy. We encourage to come to Gumuz all discerning their missionary vocation and we are sure that Daniel Comboni would do the same!
Greetings Tobiasz & Adela, Madzia
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 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.