Comboni Lay Missionaries

My First Experiences in the Central African Republic


I feel like an heir of the prophetic vision of St. Daniel Comboni wanting to “Save Africa by means of Africa,” whose vision has now been expanded to Africa saving the world. The Lord tells us: “As the Father sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)

On the morning of Sunday, March 15, that promised to be a beautiful day I arrived in my mission land with my luggage, the Republic of Central Africa. I have no words to describe how I felt in the utmost depths of my being at that time. I landed in Bangui, after a long period of formation that included a community experience in Kinshasa. It was for me a moment of heartfelt emotions, on the one hand I felt the joy of being in mission, on the other hand I felt the pain of separation in leaving behind the country of my birth, the land of my ancestors, my family, my work, my community, my friends, etc… I still had in mind my last face to face meeting with my father the night of my departure and then this morning my mother who accompanied me to the airport together with the chaplain of the CLM of Congo, Fr. Celestine Ngore and our coordinator of the CLM in Kinshasa, Mr. Gerard Kambaji.

By then I knew that I belonged to a new family, I had been adopted by a new land and was happy to know that the Lord was waiting for me, here in the CAR, and that here I had new brothers and sisters.

The adventure begins

When I arrived in Bangui I was well received by Fr. Claude-Bernard, mccj who had come to pick me up and take me to the community where I was going to live. When we reached there, he showed me the place and told me that I needed to be quarantined there for 14 days to check on the coronavirus. That is when I realized that I had reached Bangui at a time marked by the pandemic of Covid-19. This was being a particular difficult time for the Comboni delegation in the CAR, because the first Covid 19 case in the country had been the one of a Comboni Missionary who had tested positive upon his return from Italy. Thus, his confreres who had been in contact with him when he returned to Bangui, were quarantined for 15 days to check on them. In this context, the government adopted preventive measured to limit the risk of contagion in a country where the health structures capable of fully facing this pandemic are few. So, every individual entering the CAR must be quarantined for 15 days.

At first it was difficult for me, and I had moments of loneliness in a house I hardly knew. But even though I was physically alone, I felt united to thousands of people who are isolated in this world, prisoners unjustly held in their cells, sick people without help, marginalized people living alone, plus I was receiving supporting and life-giving messages from all over through the social media. I felt strengthened by the words of our founder that “the works of God are born and grow at the foot of the Cross.” And since it was Lent, I took this opportunity to enter more deeply into this mystery and to offer my mission to the Lord and spend some time listening to him. And finally, like Comboni, I thanked Jesus for the crosses.

Discovering the CAR

At the end of my quarantine I did not show any sign of the virus, and could get out and meet the others, but always following the safe distance rules. So that, together with the fathers we started the legal steps for my papers. I could finally see Bangui, the monuments in the various squares of the city, like the Martyrs, the Peace monument and those of Bartolomé Boganda and Oumar Bongo Odima, just to name a few. It is a city with a rich culture. The trees were covered with dust because this is the dry season lasting six months. I could see and listen to the locals, and it was nice to listen to this new language, and speak gently and beautifully a language that uses also Lingala words we speak at home. Aside from these few words, it was also difficult for me, because I could not understand anything else in this language that we back home call Sango, where Sango means a minister of religion, while here it is the name of the language. So, I realized that I have to learn it all even though I thought we would have more similarities between the CAR and the DRC, because they border each other and we share several tribes. I concluded that I had to learn everything without exception, because Africa is one but varies according to the culture of each country.

At this time, while the entire world is affected by the coronavirus, the CAR authorities have declared a health emergency and have invited people to isolate themselves and strictly forbidden the gathering of more that 15 people. In view of this, they have closed the schools, the churches, the bars, and all sporting events or events of any type. But around here, people in general do not respect the order of the authorities to stay apart. I am realizing that it is difficult for the majority of the people who are poor and live on a day-to-day basis as we say around here. So they need to go out to sell or to look for food for the family. Here is where I realized the presence of the Lord’s grace and of divine protection.


For the time being I am staying in Bangui to keep on learning the language and other things that will be useful in my mission of Mongoumba. Our founder, San Daniel Comboni, asks for the formation of persons who will be holy and capable. During this time of preparation, I keep on being patient, open and listening attentively with the attitude of a child. I as you to pray for me and I will not forget to do the same for you.

Enoch, CLM

Mission Sending of Mr. Enoch Malumalu

LMC Congo
LMC Congo

On Sunday, February 2, 2020, the Comboni Lay Missionaries of the Congolese province, represented by the communities of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, sent Mr. Enoch Malumalu, coordinator of the COLAMICA St. Mary Goretti, to the mission of Mongoumba, in the region of Lobaye, Central African Republic.

The Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in Kinshasa in the parish of St. John Paul II, in the presence of about one hundred local faithful, family members, Enoch’s friends and acquaintances attending the Mass of the Presentation of the Lord at the Temple. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Simplice Mbassi, a Josephite priest and concelebrated by Fr. John Paul Etumba, a Comboni Missionary and pastor of St. John Paul II, and with the participation of Deacon André Mbala, mccj, and the Comboni Sisters. In his homily, Father remembered the importance of the feast and of the event: “On this day, Jesus is consecrated to God in the Temple of Jerusalem and this day has become the feast of all consecrated men and women who have given their lives to Christ. But this day is also the celebration of the messengers.” Commenting on the liturgical texts, he emphasized the importance of prayer – that must be regular and perseverant – in mission and in the use of material means. This was followed by the imposition of hands, the blessing and the missionary send-off.

In his intervention, Enoch invited the African youth in general and the Congolese youth in particular to discover their missionary vocation, to commit themselves to serve our poorest brothers and sisters and persevere so that “to save Africa with Africa” be a concrete reality. The faithful present at the Mass as well supported the sending off of their brother Enoch with a special collection picked up during the celebration.

This event took place after a period of specific formation, which included a time of community living experience, and one of mission formation (inculturation) lasting six months each. Mr. Enoch Malumalu, Comboni Lay Missionary of the Province of Congo, will leave Kinshasa in early March to take up his mission in Mongoumba, in the region of Lobaye, Central African Republic.

It will be the first time when for some years there will be a CLM of African origin in this international community, and it is an opportunity to thank God and hope for a greater African presence in our common responsibility to continue our mission. This continuity includes the analysis of the reality in which we live as a CLM community, together with the Comboni family and the Comboni pastoral community, as we discern our present and our future.

LMC Congo

CLM of the Province of Congo

Presentation of Enoch Malumalu

LMC Congo
LMC Congo

My name is Enoch MALUMALU and I am a Congolese national.

I am Catholic and a Comboni Lay Missionary. I am 25 years old and I am the coordinator of a community of lay people in the St. Maria Goretti parish, of the archdiocese of Kinshasa. I also serve as the educator of young people in various parish groups of the archdiocese of Kinshasa.

Professionally, I am a graduate in Social Communication from the Institute of Information Sciences and Communications (IFASIC/Kinshasa/Gombe). I worked for a year as a political reporter, and two years for national NGOs in the humanitarian and development sector.

I am the only son of my father, Augustin MALUMALU, and the second of four children of my mother, Adelphine NKIE, from whom I have two brothers and one sister. My older brother’s name is Bruce, and after me comes Beni, my younger brother, and my little sister Sephora. My older brother has two children.

My vocation as a Comboni lay missionary started much before I even thought about it.

At an early age, while in primary school and after my First Communion, I chose to go to the mission, captivated as I was by the stories of Bakanja, Anuarea and the martyrs of Uganda that I had learned in the Kizito and Anuarite group. I discovered my missionary vocation while in secondary school and it pushed me to read many books about the saints. One day I fell in love with St. Daniel Comboni and this was the beginning of my adventure with the Comboni Missionaries down to this day.

After several years of discernment, prayer, meetings, discussions, guidance and formation, I heard the voice of God calling me as it did with Samuel and with St. Daniel Comboni. Aware of the current needs of the mission, my strength is based on the cross because “the works of God are born and grow at the foot of the cross,” as St. Daniel Comboni said.

Currently I am in Kinshasa living my community experience, then I will be missioned to the Central African Republic for two years. I will work with the Pygmies of Mongoumba. The town is about 120 km South of Bangui, the CAR capital. There I will live with “the poorest and most abandoned,” as our founder St. Daniel Comboni said.

LMC Congo

Enoch Malumalu, CLM Congo

18th Congress of the Cenacles of Missionary Prayer (CPM)

LMC Congo

LMC Congo

The first Sunday of November is known as the meeting day of the Congress of the CPM. This year, the congress took place on November 4, 2018 at the Industrial Street 15/Limete-Kinshasa in the D.R. of Congo on the theme: “CPM, committed to the culture of justice and peace.” The social inequalities and injustices, the ecological dangers, the imperialism and the economic domination of the rich, wars and human migration are scourges that cannot leave anyone indifferent.

In his presentation, Fr. Boniface stressed that “the work of education to a culture of peace is extremely important, because education, the key to the sustainable development of a society, is the most powerful weapon against poverty. No country can eradicate poverty without education. To develop a culture of justice and peace is a commitment that all, at different levels, are called to embrace to make this world a better place. However, it requires sacrifice, as Jesus showed us by his example (1 Peter 2:21).”

On that same day, the new Choir called Afriquespoir was born.

The Congress started around 9:30 AM and ended around 3:00 PM with the celebration of the Eucharist and a common meal.

LMC CongoCLM Congo

Eucharistic Celebration for the Commitment of CLM in RDC

Mision CongoOn the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the CLM in the Democratic Republic of Congo a number of lay people professed their commitment in the Comboni parish John Paul II of Kinshasa.

The Mass lasted from 9:00 to 11:30 AM. The presider was the provincial of the MCCJ in the DRC, Fr. Joseph Mumbere surrounded by the faithful the lay and Comboni Missionaries of the city. Twenty seven lay people formalized their lifetime commitment for to the mission ad gentes.

The Mass, celebrated by the provincial of the MCCJ, Fr. Joseph Mumbere in the Comboni parish of St. John Paul II, was also attended by the coordinator of the CLM, Fr. Ngore Hali Célestin, the pastor, Fr. Jean Paul Etumba, and the Frs. Jerome Anakiese, Henry Likingi, and Marcelo Fonseca Oliviera. We thank Fr. Boniface Gbama who was the photographer of the day. The Comboni Sisters also attended with their provincial, Sr. Cinzia Trotta.

The ceremony went well and concluded with a reception in the provincial of the MCCJ from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

Mision CongoLater on, on May 10 in the parish of Blessed Anuarite in Kisangani, 10 more lay people formalized their lifetime commitment for the mission ad gentes.

Fr. Joseph Mumbere celebrated also this Mass. The concelebrants were the pastor, Fr. Jaques Urodi, the coordinator in Kisangani, Fr. Augustin Fene-Fene and Fr. Ngore Gali Célestin.

The national coordinator of the CLM in the DRC, Tiffany Kimbuni, was also present and received the new members of the Comboni family. The Kisangani coordinator had words of thanks for all the participants.

Thanks to the entire Comboni family, fathers, brothers, sisters and lay people who work day and night for the Comboni mission and charism.

Our commitment in a few words:

We, the CLM, proclaim our faith in the resurrection of Christ, our hope and our joy. By his example, Christ calls us to be light in the darkness, and hope in society. We profess our YES to the mission today before the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Yes forever, beyond all difficulties, our Yes to the charism of St. Daniel Comboni and his gift to the poorest and most abandoned.

Mision CongoLimbuini Kilolo Tiffany

National Coordinator of the CLM in the DRC