“I will sail, in the waters of this sea… only love, I will seek my place/no doubt, without fear of dreaming!”
With a mixture of sadness and hope, the CLM of Brazil communicate the death of our CLM Guilherma Vicenti.
Guilherma brought at the beginning of her name what she always was: a warrior! She was a woman of faith and fight, and wherever she went on mission she left a mark of her service and missionary giving. Even today we can hear in the testimony of the people who lived with her, the affection and the gratitude for her presence.
Careful and attentive, she always prepared with profound care the welcome of those who arrived, to stay or simply to visit.
We believe that God, in his infinite goodness and mercy, will prepare with redoubled affection the welcome of our dear Gui in His Kingdom, together with all the missionary community already there, thus becoming part of the group of those who, from the side of the Father, intercede for all missionaries.
With deep gratitude to God for the opportunity to live and learn from her, we place ourselves in prayer and solidarity with her family and friends at this time.
on behalf of each and every CLM in Brazil.
Tribute to Guilherma Vicente – Brazilian CLM who left for the Father’s House on June 10, 2020 – This is how we will remember Gui!
One of his missionary presences was in Maputo, with young people and women to whom she taught industrial cutting and sewing. This video was prepared to honour her at the Missionary Exhibition of St. Amelia’s Parish in 2017 for her membership of the Comboni Family.
The agroecology is still very shy in the Tocantina region of Maranhão. We hope that this initiative can facilitate the adoption of this innovation, which is at the same time a set of agricultural practices, a science and a social movement. For this, collaboration and dialogue with different actors is very important, such as teaching and research institutions (Family Rural Houses, IFMA, UEMASUL …), unions, settlements, rural social movements, technical assistance organizations, municipal secretariats of agriculture and society in general. But especially with innovative and restless farmers. We are ready to add on this common journey.
With subtitles in Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian and French.
We wish to share with you a little of what we, Regimar and Valmir, Comboni Lay Missionaries, are living during this time of preparation for the mission. As you all know, we should already be in the mission of Mozambique, in Africa, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the governments have closed the borders and we have not yet been able to leave for the mission. We are still in the house of formation and mission of the Comboni Lay Missionaries in Contagem/MG.
Before the coronavirus crisis, besides the formation we received here in the formation house of Ipê Amarelo in Contagem, we also went to Brasilia to do a course for missionaries going to other countries, mission beyond our borders. After that we went to São Paulo where we did another course. These two courses offered us the dimension of what it means to be a missionary in another country.
The Ad Gentes course at the Missionary Cultural Center in Brasilia took 26 days and helped us to interiorize, to look inside ourselves. It also helped us to get to know a little of the place where we were assigned as missionaries. We say with certainty that the course makes us think and rethink if that is what we want, if we want to continue on the path of mission in another country or stay where we are, because the formators of the course make it very clear the difficulties we will undoubtedly face and other difficulties that may arise.
In the second course in São Paulo on spirituality in the cities, which lasted eight days, we were transported to a world beyond our own already known world where we were taken to meet people with a very different faith and way of being: from other religions, sects, atheists, of different sexual orientation, people who never go to church, but who dedicate themselves to love their neighbour to the point of giving themselves to the other, of spending nights on the streets to defend the most needy and persecuted (homeless people).
It was a meeting in which more than just listening to something, we had contact with many concrete realities, in which we made friends that we will carry in our hearts wherever we go. These courses were very important for us, of immense richness. After the courses we went to Paraná and Santa Catarina. There we took part in the community councils, in the meetings with the lay Salvatorians, in the meetings with the GEC (Comboni Spirituality Group) of Curitiba, with the Comboni Fathers and we participated in the celebrations and Masses, always doing missionary animation and speaking of the Comboni charism.
On our return to the community of Ipê Amarelo, Contagem/MG, we continued our formation, always helping out in the community and in the work groups. Valmir, also known as Tito, started the training course for agents of APAC (Association for the Protection and Assistance of Convicts) and I formed a children’s choir in the community. Now everything has stopped because of the pandemic and the quarantine.
For the time being, with the pastoral work stopped, we have created a new routine. Here we are five adults and four children of the Comboni Lay Missionaries couple from Guatemala who came to Brazil as a missionary family and live here in the Comboni Lay Missionaries’ house of formation and mission. We have morning prayer, as always, and then continue formation. In the afternoon there is free time for rest, then reading and a little physical exercise. We leave Thursdays free for recreation; it is the day we play most with the children, they love it. That’s a bit of what we do here in the house.
There are also times to help people, either by talking on the phone or on WhatsApp, or by donating some food or other ways that are possible, because people come to us and we can’t stop taking care of them, taking the necessary care. And so we are living these days of quarantine, asking God that this crisis will soon pass and we can return to normalcy and finally go on mission.
We would like, in addition to sharing, to thank you for your affection and your prayers. Be assured that this will strengthen us greatly and encourage us to continue. Thank you very much also for the financial help sent by the GEC of São Luís and Timón. It is very valuable for us to count on your contribution. Thank you very much, may Jesus the Missionary and St. Daniel Comboni continue to bless you all.
Finally, we wish to say that we are united in prayer and love. Let us pray to God that this crisis of the coronavirus may soon pass and we may continue our lives in another normality. Let us pray for the families who have lost their loved ones, for all the sick and for each one of us.
Hugs to all and light in our hearts.
Regimar and Tito (Valmir), Comboni Lay Missionaries
I have the opportunity to be visiting the Association for the Assistance of Convicts, APAC, in Santa Luzia, which is basically a prison detention center, but not just like any detention center. Does it hold privileged people? No. Does it hold investments of the rich and the powerful? No. It is a center made available by the proposal of Dr. Mario Ottoboni: no one is unredeemable. This is pure Gospel.
From the very first impression one perceives that things are different: one of the inmates is the doorkeeper of a detention center with 120 “criminals,” and holds the keys both to the main door and the doors to the closed and semi-closed sectors. Once you enter, it seems that these “criminals” have, among other things, different faces: peace, joy, goodness, repentance, charity, deep and sincere desires of redemption.
Here, no one is a criminal, but all are REDEEMABLE, a very precise word, exacted and necessary as the initial step to ensure that whoever one day made a mistake will not go back to that same state. John 8:11 “She answered, No one, Lord.” Jesus then told her: “Neither will I. Go and sin no more.”
For sure, there is a method, the APAC method, to work seriously in the re-insertion of recovered people in society.
With God’s help, together with the CLM Alejo Ramirez, for the past 20 years we have been helping in an enlightening project of interpreting Spanish texts, so that some of the inmates may take the ENEM test and with it continue their plans to attend the university after APAC. For the time being, we continue throughout the year 2020 with plans of major human and social importance.
To live among men who may have committed any type of barbarous acts, but who want to change their lives, and some of them without formal education, but each day trying to study, work, paint, and learn some trades, is a courageous thing. Actually, more than courage, it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s mercy, never merited but always unconditional, in a climate of strict rules in conjunction with the family of the inmate and local society.
I thank God for the opportunity of being able to embrace and see in the eyes of these men, who are always so grateful, the joy when once again we come to visit them. If God believes in humanity, who are we not to believe in it?”
We are Alejandro and Ana Cris along with our four children, Esteban, Isabel, Agustín and Lucia.
A year ago, we arrived in Brazil as part of our CLM vocation. We are currently in the neighborhood of Ype Amarelo, in the municipality of Contagem in the state of Minas Gerais.
Here we are living in the House of Formation and Mission of the CLM of Brazil.
We have 9 years of being CLM in Guatemala and we are part of the Province of Central America. It is a walk that involves many people. The community of Guatemala before our departure and also now during this time in this mission field, as well as the community of Brazil, the American committee that is always on the lookout and for of course the central committee that has constantly contributed to harmonize the project to move forward.
With joy we share a little of this walk.
May everything be for the Glory of God and the Salvation of Souls (Saint Daniel Comboni).
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