Comboni Lay Missionaries

To walk in the footsteps of our Founder


St. Daniel Comboni was born on March 15, 1831, in Limone sul Garda, Italy. At the school of the priest don Nicholas Mazza, in Verona, he discovered his basic qualities: sanctity, search for truth and missionary zeal. He founded the Institutes of the Comboni Missionaries and of the Comboni Missionary Sisters who are now spread around the world announcing the Gospel among the poorest and most abandoned people. Ten years ago, Comboni was proclaimed a saint. We publish a celebration outline for the Comboni Family to help us walk in the footsteps of our Founder.


March 15, 2014

We celebrate the birthday anniversary of Comboni during Lent, when everything in the Word of God calls us to conversion, to awaken from sleep, to dedicate ourselves to the works of light. Comboni, a man of faith, certainly knew how to be awaken and enlightened by Christ, and how to arouse the world around him with his tireless and passionate mission promotion.

Today, in the context of the tenth anniversary of his canonization, we join in prayer with the Comboni Family, so we invoke the God of light on each of us and on all the people living in the “shadow of death” on account of war, injustice, poverty and oppression. With Comboni, we ask to awaken from sleep.


From St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (5, 8-14)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says: “Awake you who sleep, rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

This is the Word of God.

From Comboni’s Letter

I am with you, I experience the thirst for living water and the desire to regenerate. I pray with you.

“Awake, you who sleep, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Yes, it’s time to wake up, to allow ourselves to be awaken by the Risen Lord, who always walks ahead of us even in our days and shows us the dawn of new horizons. Let us wake up, open the doors of our lives and let in the life of God through the life of humanity.

Awake from  your sleep, put our feet into the footprints that our people are leaving in the groove of life to harvest the hope of Eastern season and which, with wisdom and in a thousand ways, continue to show, witness and share with us. Awake to the song of hope that they always have the courage to sing even in the darkest of  nights.

Awake from the slumber of mediocrity to let resound in the history of the world the echo the joyous good news of Isaiah, a prelude to the Gospel: “Don’t remember the former things, and don’t consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs out now. Don’t you know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43: 18-19).

Awake to the cry of the impoverished, oppressed, excluded, forgotten, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who have not yet met with the Hope announced by Jesus Christ.

Awake to the breeze of the wind to open your ears and understand the echo of the wisdom of your people who sustain you in your daily life, the echo of your local Churches which vibrates with a new life, the echo of the faithful and suffering witness of many sisters and brothers of yesterday and of today. Be alive, like the seed that dies under the ground and which has in itself the power to generate life.

Remain awake and attentive like the women of Easter morning, the only ones who went to the tomb, moved by the courage of a faith that is able to see beyond the stone that blocks life.

St. Daniel Comboni

Writing n. 162 – Comboni to his father: “Now there is not an hour or an instant that are you absent from my mind’s eye, that I do not think of you. … O dearest one, for allowing me to follow my vocation!”.


Question for reflection:

From which lethargies do you feel that Comboni asks you to awake from so that you may carry on his work with passion, joy and enthusiasm?

Brief silence

Sharing time

Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Father…

Thank you, Daniel (Prayer said together)

Thank you Daniel, because you believed in your dream.

You teach us that it is possible to see Africa through the eyes of God.

Thank you because you saw and you remained fascinated

by the African people, seeing them through the pure ray of faith,

with the attitude of a brother and not of an imperialist or a slave trader.

You believed in the human capacity of the Africans,

and you already saw Africa as the protagonist of its process of liberation.

Your dream was the dream of God. You believed in it

and thought us to believe as well.


Your life tells us about two important encounters:

The first with God and the second with the Africans.

You were a courageous witness of the exploitation

going on in Africa and you did not remain indifferent,

did not take refuge into a desperate conformism

but felt inside the flame of liberation

and wanted to do history with the Africans,

so much so that their cause became your cause.


The Spirit whispered to you a wise Plan:

The regeneration of Africa by Africa itself,

and it was spring time, it was strength,

it was passion, it was total liberation.


Thank you because your dream enlightens us today

against the neo-imperialist projects

which continue to widen the gap between North and South.

Your dream is guiding us and makes us take up a stand

when confronted by money that is considered to be a god,

when confronted by an idol which dehumanizes people.


Today we are immersed in a lost and weak humanity,

and you invite us to believe again in this humanity,

to proclaim Jesus Christ with passion and credibility.

It is not easy to live in an alienated and often divided world

But you showed us that love conquers all.


We ask that you keep us united to You and united among ourselves,

We, your sons and daughters, to remain faithful to God’s dream.

May our differences become a source of wealth and creativity.

Thanks, Daniel, for having believed in your dream.

Visit to the CLM community of Rondos (Peru)

Small chronicle of a great history

In February, I had the opportunity to visit the brothers CLM, Daniel (Peruvian) and Lety (Mexican) in the central highlands of Peru, in the District of Rondos, Lauricocha Province, Huanuco Department. It is a purely agricultural region where mainly potatoes, beans, corn are produced and cattle raised. It is famous for the production of cheese too.

There are already a few years that a community of CLM is present, since September of last year are Lety and Daniel and in late February 2014 Scharliman (a Brazilian sister) will join the team. So the international community will be completed.

We are at 3600 meters, the vegetation is sparse (eucalyptus and quinuales), and a few hundred meters above disappears completely. It is rainy season in the mountains; there is water everywhere, all green and mud galore. The road… a disaster…. and moving is an adventure. It is an area of frequent huaycos (landslides).

The height is serious stuff, oxygen is rarer, and many things are complicated: digestion, physical exertion, rest. I spent 4 nights up there and not many hours I could sleep well … over and over in the bed, one feels like it is choking and no matter how many sheep you count … that night becomes long. I already knew because I am a veteran of the mountain, but willingly endured because I wanted to visit the brothers. My respect and admiration for the brothers who go over there a few years of their life, for God’s sake, for the sake of that portion of God’s people, for love of the missionary vocation that has led them there.

Calle de RondosA village street of Rondos
El Mirador de Rondos The gazebo, a stunning beauty

I noticed immediately how people greeted the brothers, know their name, they appreciate their simple and fraternal presence. And the kids, here as elsewhere, also are the most joyous and participatory … every time you hear someone shouting: brother, sister… that pretty.

The Comboni parish of Baños, covers a province, with 7 districts. They are 2 priests and a brother. To Rondos usually goes Fr Eliseo (Togo) for the celebration of the Eucharist. With him they are an Italian elderly father (Fr Lino) and one Spanish religious brother (Amancio)… internationalism everywhere… It happens to be 6 people from 6 different countries, the miracle of the Gospel and the Comboni charism.

LMC en RondosFr Sergio (with the mustache), Daniel (CLM P), Ermelinda, catechist from Rondos and right arm of the CLM community and Lety (CLM Mx).

There is plenty of work: evangelism (celebrations of the word, visiting the sick, visiting schoolhouses to leave a message of faith and hope to the children, catechesis, etc. …and human promotion: library, remedial education, useful holiday, cooking workshops and crafts, games for the kids, etc. … everything go together, following the example of St. Daniel Comboni.

Daniel con niñosDaniel with some kids, look at his cheeks…. is the cold of the height.

In Rondos is being written a page from the gospel, without trumpeting. Being there, I remembered many words of the Holy Scripture made ​​raw flesh: is more blessed to give than to receive… or a glass of water given in my name to someone who is thirsty will not be forgotten… thank you Father for hiding these things from the wise and powerful and revealed them to the little… let the children come to me… whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel will save it…

Sharliman desde BrasilScharliman, CLM from Brazil, the last on the right.

It is definitely a small big love story, there are so many … in one of the many existential peripheries of this world. A story that makes this world a more fraternal, more caring, more beautiful place for those who have been forgotten by the great of this world but they are very close to the heart of God, the Father of all good.

Fr Sergio Agustoni (MCCJ advisory of CLM in Peru).

Community Experience in Mission Field in Mexico

Hi all my CLM friends! Here we send you some of our photos from the Mission Field in our Community Experience, where we spent three months in the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, in the communities of our Indigenous brothers Mixtecs in the Mission of Metlatónoc. Our CLM headquarters is located in the Community of Huexoapa, and from there we moved 2 days per week to the communities of Cocuilotlaxala and Atzompa.

We were accompanying our colleague Alma Navarro, who is currently the only assigned to this mission, as their companions have already completed their period, and in the Christmas mission field joined us: Manuelita and her mom, and Minerva, which traveled from Mexico City.

In the first month of the experience and mission, we were supported and accompanied by Martha, CLM from Puebla. We have had an experience of God, which has filled us with strength in Christ and with great motivation to remain faithful to our vocation. We are already in the city of Mexico, living in the Comboni Seminary of Xochimilco, and from here, we will continue our missionary training as CLM, which will end in June. On July 6, will be our sending Mass right here, all are invited, and we will also let you know about our sending mass in our home parishes. We do not know where are they going to send us, but God knows and that His will be done on us, we put ourselves in his hands and continue entrusting you our Missionary Work of the CLM, for the Regeneration of Peoples. That Jesus Christ and Mary Missionaries, along with St. Daniel Comboni bless you on your missionary way! Thanks for your prayers and financial support!

A strong embrace to all from Isabel and Carolina!

By Isabel and Carolina CLM from Mexico

Pope Francisco Message for Lent 2014

Lenten 2014Pope Francis has released his message for Lent this year. The text offered by Francisco, which takes as its theme a fragment of the Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians – “He became poor to enrich us with his poverty” (Cor 8.9) – the Pope reflects on the “poverty that enriches “from the point of view of Christ, and the different forms of poverty that humanity suffers at the present time.

The poverty of Christ is for the Pope a poverty that “liberates and enriches” and shows “unlimited trust in God the Father”. “It has been said that the only real sadness is not being saints; it could also be said that there is one true misery: not live as children of God and brothers of Christ,” said the Pope. In this text, Francisco also warns against three kinds of misery: “material, moral and spiritual misery” that afflicts the human been.

According to what the Pope tells us in this Lenten message, God is not revealed through the power and wealth of the world, but through the weakness and poverty. And Jesus, the eternal Son of God, equal to the Father in power and glory, made himself poor so that we feel brothers of all who are suffering, the needy, the latter, which are the favorites of God.

The Pope invites us in his message to remember that Lent is a time to divest, to ask how we can deprive ourselves in order to help and enrich others with our poverty. Not forgetting that true poverty hurts: a wreck would not be valid without this penitential dimension. Distrust of almsgiving that does not cost and is painless.

Full text of the Pope’s Francisco message for Lent 2014

Back to the mission

DSC08793bAfter a short stay in the land of Peruvian mission I’m back, and I want to thank the CLM Movement that gave me this opportunity.

It was to help one of our families in mission: Isabel and Gonzalo with his two sons, Angel and Carmencita, after an accident. Gonzalo walking along a ravine to attend its work with the people, slipped and rolled about eight meters injuring his shoulder, arms, head … and the worst, a vertebra. This was in November and has been bedridden until mid-January, after a new review, the doctor advised him to start up for short walks.

I had never thought to return to Peru after a missionary period on top of the mountain over 10 years ago… but these are the surprises that the Lord gives us! So, totally open to what I could find there, without knowing exactly what would be my work… I “set off”, rather fly, to the land at Arequipa. There I met my brothers Gonzalo and Isabel.

DSC05867It has been so good this month that I want to share in this blog what I perceived to be at their side. They welcomed me with affection, making me feel like a member of the family, because from the first moment they show me what they are and what they live from their gut, their vulnerability, fragility and great generosity.

Leaving behind friends, work, family … they came out of themselves to take care of the others, to take to our brothers and sisters the Good News, the certainty that God is in their world of poverty, along with them, He does not forget them, that there is hope despite the harsh conditions in which they live. But these are words and were not sufficient for the truth be convince or be persuasive. So leaving the parish house in which they lived, they settled in Villa Ecológica, a settlement on the outskirts of Arequipa. And what I saw there is how with their lifestyle, imbued among the people as a family, have managed to bring the liberating experience of Jesus to the center of their hearts. Day by day they share poverty and environmental constraints, lack of amenities, serve and welcome each person with respect, patience and love, form groups to fight against violence and injustice, helping to recognize their rights and helping to denounce bad  situations; supporting pastoral and organizing youth groups of prayer … on this, sometimes I accompanied Isabel confirming what I somehow knew.

What this has brought me…? a “tune-up” in the meetings with the people relive many things: the joy of meeting, the listening, letting me to be welcome; create, though this little time, a relationship of respect, cordiality, they showed me their simple homes, the “dear God” hope for your life … and the feeling that arose in me was of gratitude and humility. What could I tell them with a return ticket in my pocket?

DSC05884On the other hand we find three moments to share about their work and lifestyle. We propose the challenges of the mission: the loneliness when a community lack, wear and fatigue times, the need to be physically and mentally strong, the difficulties in the presence of a family with children aged 4 and 7 years; lack, sometimes, to have a “companion” to help discern in times of frustration or dryness, loss of perspective when you go into a routine. Also, in certain moments, certain that you follow the steps of Jesus feeling His instruments…

We prayed together and this was a joy … There have been many frank and open dialogues that have warmed my heart and my missionary vocation was excited like a young girl.

Joining them in some way my life has grown because I had the opportunity to see Isabel and Gonzalo to live honestly the Love of God. May He bless you always.

M ª Carmen Polanco. CLM Spain