The desire to belong to the Comboni Family motivated Lucien and Ulrich- in Benin_ to contact Alberto through the blog. Alberto led them to the Coordinator in the Province who contacted the two friends. They started thinking together on the best way forward. The chaplain was contacted and Brother Pascal who accompanies the group of Friends of Comboni in Benin was informed.
To bring together all the friend candidates in the province Togo-Ghana-Benin, a WhatsApp platform was created. Online meetings started for us to know one another and to help each one to have an idea about CLM realities in the world. Through this platform, communication was established and necessary information shared. Some CLM resolutions were also shared for each candidate to have an idea on the vocation and mission of CLM.
For a while, the two friends far from each other, couldn’t communicate if not via phone calls and online meetings. But the ardent desire to journey together burning in them prompted Lucien to move from Bohicon to Cotonou -about 125km- to visit Ulrich. This encounter was so wished by each one and the visit was a success and Lucien was received warmly according to his testimony. Now that they met, it is left with the formation to start. By God’s grace, this 17th September, 2023 at St. Francis of Assisi Parish of Fidzrosse (Republic of Benin), at Bakandja Catechetical Center, the first formative gathering was carried out. Together with two members of the group of Friends of Comboni, Lucien and Ulrich heard the sharing of Father Eugenio about “Obedience”. In the sharing, Father Eugenio has presented the life of Jesus Christ as the perfect example of obedience. Jesus, indeed, was obedient till death, death on the Cross. The second example, continued Father, was St. Daniel Comboni who followed on the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Comboni didn’t hesitate when his vocation for the mission in Africa was confirmed to him by Father Marani (W.13). We are called to do the same.
The two friends, Lucien and Ulrich were so impressed by the sharing, because Father Eugenio, they said, went into depth with some concrete realities of this evangelical counsel.
They are, thenceforth, determined to continue the journey and wait impatiently for the second formative sharing.
Justin Nougnui, CLM coordinator.
It is driven by this call that six of our members left their houses and gathered at Immaculate Center in the Sacred Heart Parish of Bakpa-Avedo in the Volta Region, Ghana.
The gathering started this Thursday evening. Justin Nougnui, Benjamin Amekor and Gifty Aziedu joined Christian Wotormenyo at the Center. They were joined the following day by Frank Amenyo and Valentine Sewovi.
During the Eucharistic Celebration Thursday evening, commemorating the feast of the Apostle Matthew, our group was welcomed by the church and Father Senyo the parish priest. Father Senyo met us later to guide us for our evangelizing activity. The experience was in three folds.
- Community life
We were six for this experience. It was an opportunity to live together. We prayed together, ate at the same table, participated in the Eucharistic Celebration with other faithful of the parish, thought and planned together. Living together as brothers and sister was really “sweet” (Ps. 133,1). The sweetness and happiness were enhanced with some funny stories from our elderly members Christian and mostly Benjamin and also by recalling some past experience from Cape Coast, Esse-Ana and Cotonou. Each one of us contributed in various ways for the success of our presence.
We gathered also to form ourselves. “Mission of CLM in the church and the society” was shared by the coordinator. After explaining the concept of “Lay person” in general and “CLM” in particular, he laid emphasis on our responsibilities as CLM. The main aspects of our mission are Evangelization, Mission Animation, Vocation promotion and Justice, Peace and Integrity of the Creation (JPIC). The JPIC supposes also our knowledge of the Social Teaching of the Church. This aspect, though part of Evangelization, is a great horizon for us CLM to explore and develop as living in the society. The Encyclical Letter, Laudato si of the Holy Father Francis will be of great help.
The second topic was shared by Christian who is the Principal of Immaculate Vocational and Technical Institute, a place we are dreaming to own one day. He shared with us on the Center, what work and training are done and the challenges the Center was facing.
- Pastoral activities
At Avedo itself, we moved from house to house indiscriminately. We greeted our brothers and sisters, wished them well and invited those that are not Christians to join us. We met healthy and sick people, prayed for the sick and recommended in our report to the parish priest a continual visitation to all but especially to the sick.
We also did house visitation at Agortakpo an outstation. But, contrary to how it was done at Avedo, we went purposely to those that have stopped coming to church. Some promised us to re-start.
In the outstation, we interacted with the faithful. It is an old station but full of young people. With a zealous leadership of the catechist Julius Kotoku, the head-christian Foster Agbanyo and the choir leader Veronica, the station is doing well. We encouraged them to meet often not only on Sundays. We also showed them a film “Jesus of Nazareth” in Ewe (local language).
We couldn’t reach two other stations assigned to us by the parish priest for the bad state of the road during this rainy season. We tried one but return on the way.
We are grateful to the Master of the Vineyard whose call we are trying to respond generously. May He strengthen us in our CLM journey. We are also grateful to each and every one who in one way or the other facilitated this experience of ours.
Justin Nougnui, CLM.
Good morning everyone.
This past Saturday we had a new training at CLM level. In this case, the topic was about Entrepreneurship.
This is a presentation that we already did in Spanish and that we have repeated for English speakers.
speakers. Understanding and communicating the “why” of our mission, sharing the “how” we want to make it possible and explaining the “what” we do to make it possible, were three fundamental keys of this presentation. We encourage you to listen to it carefully.
It will undoubtedly help us to focus our missionary action and will give clues to extend a network of collaborators to join and support the mission.
Alberto de la Portilla. Coordinator of the CLM Central Committee.
You can see the presentation in Spanish: https://lmcomboni.org/blog/en/entrepreneurship-and-sharing-clm-projects/