Comboni Lay Missionaries

Our journey in Ecuador during 2023

LMC Ecuador

At the beginning of the year we had a meeting with Fr. Seraphin Kakwata, MCCJ, who since 2022, is in charge of the Divine Word parish of the South Vicariate of the Archdiocese, located in the South East of Guayaquil, in the sector known as Guasmo Sur, who was concerned about the missionary animation that Fr. Enzo Ballazo maintained, wants to resume the activity and left his proposals for the future.

However, we could not leave aside the activities that we had planned with the candidates and those that were already part of our pastoral, such as:

  • RESA Foundation, accompaniment of foreign immigrants and their families;
  • Annunciation of Mary Chapel, of the Claretian Fathers, accompaniment in masses;
  • Archdiocesan Prison Ministry;
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, in the Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion;
  • Sanctuary of Mary Help of Christians, in Catechesis, Animation and Bible Study Group.

At the beginning of September we received from Fr. Seraphin the proposal of the Project of Pastoral and Community Integration of the Comboni Lay Missionaries of the Province of Ecuador in Guayaquil, where we want to link not only the CLM but also other lay people who have accompanied Fr. Enzo in missions and who know the Comboni charism, so that together with the priests and MCCJ brothers they can live together and form a community collaborating for the benefit of the members and people of the Divine Word parish. This proposal has a duration of one year until October 2024.

So in October 2023, until the present date each lay person, alone or accompanied by another, we take turns each week and spend two or three days in the parish house, we participate in the activities that are held with the groups, masses, meals and others.

In a particular way, this missionary experience has been very fulfilling for the CLM because it has helped us to reinforce our charism and the importance of community life among Comboni Missionaries.

(PHOTO) Meeting of the CLM together with the lay collaborators, with Fr. Seraphin and Fr. Antonio in the Verbo Divino parish.

Unfortunately, it was not possible for the candidates to participate in this project, so they opted to withdraw from the formation.

We are trying to get some of the lay people who accompany us to join the CLM community, having already experienced the experience of the Divine Word parish.

Susana Ortega, CLM Ecuador

Our last quarter activity in the CLMs of Ecuador

LMC Ecuador
Month of August in calendar, dedicated to the Laity.

At the end of November 2022, we received the visit of our National Advisor, Fr. Enzo Balasso, MCCJ, who was in Guayaquil to promote the Calendar 2023 of the Comboni Family in some parishes of the Archdiocese, in the month of August 2023, which is dedicated to the Laity and there is a general invitation to participate in the CLM.

It was a very pleasant opportunity for our lay community to accompany Fr. Enzo in these visits of parish groups from the periphery and priests from the north of Guayaquil, Fr. San Lucas Evangelista, from Mucho Lote; Fr. Jesús El Buen Pastor, from Vergeles; and, Fr. Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá, from Vergeles, in which we took the opportunity to give small talks and reminders of the various missionary animations carried out in previous years.

Moments of Fr. Enzo’s talk to the parish community of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá, in Vergeles – north of Guayaquil.
Photo with all the participants to this animation talk.

In the same way, since this year we have maintained a space for living together as Comboni Family among the priests, confreres and lay people who are in Guayaquil, through a monthly Mass and sharing, which is held on the last Tuesday of each month; and this time we did it with our National Advisor.

Panoramic view of the Cathedral of Guayaquil during the ceremony of renewal of ministry.

Among the pastoral activities that the CLM develop is the accompaniment and participation in the parish Immaculate Conception of Guayaquil, as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, which during this year we went to the preparation and formation for the renewal of the ministry at the Archdiocesan level, being so on Saturday, December 10, 2022, the ceremony was held in the Cathedral of Guayaquil celebrated by Bishop Gustavo Rosales, Auxiliary Bishop of Guayaquil.

We have had space for vocational promotion and awareness of our CLM movement, such as, on December 17, 2022, the participation with the group “Roots of Hope” in the Christmas sharing for children and families of the “Valdivia” sector; and, on December 18, 2022, we will celebrate the mass of thanksgiving for the CLM International Day in the Verbo Divino Parish, currently Comboni parish, both areas known as periphery of southern Guayaquil where families of low economic resources live.

Animation to the community of Valdivia for the Christmas celebration.
View of the Verbo Divino church where the CLM exposition took place.

In addition, on Friday, December 30, we will be sharing with the different missionary and pastoral groups that meet at the Afro-Ecuadorian Cultural Center of Guayaquil, in order to meet as a family and with other lay people who share our Comboni charism.

Photo of the group that participated in the talk about CLM

Happy Holidays to all!

Abg. Susana Ortega Delgado, CLM

CLM Ecuador experience during Holy Week 2022

LMC Ecuador

After overcoming the pandemic and having the opportunity to share in person with the communities, we shared this Lent and Holy Week with some communities in the Province of Esmeraldas.

But let’s see the images that say more than words.

During Lent and Holy Week the CLM and accompanied by a candidate and friends of the mission; we were once again present in the community of San Lorenzo in Esmeraldas north of Ecuador visiting and encouraging several rural communities in that region of the country, during that period of time we carried out activities such as:

Tour through the communities, accompanied by groups of young people:

Visit to families of the visited populations.

Talks and prayer of the Stations of the Cross during Lent.

Palm Sunday Procession

With the accompaniment of local Afro music groups.

Holy Way of the Cross personified on Holy Friday

Additionally, I attach a video that was prepared by the youth group, with the graphics obtained during the tour with them during the liturgical time mentioned above.

Meanwhile, other CLM in Guayaquil participated actively in the parishes, in which they do apostolate or accompaniment, in the activities that took place during the days of Holy Week.

We thank God for these moments in which we could once again live the experience of personal contact and walk together with the people of the peripheral areas of our country.

CLM Ecuador

Christmas missionary service 2022 in San Lorenzo

LMC Ecuador

Our Christmas missionary service took place in San Lorenzo in the Province of Esmeraldas located in the northeast of Ecuador, very close to the border with Colombia. The group was composed of John, a member of CLM Ecuador, Maria Piedad, a CLM candidate, and Benedicta Cevallos and Jovita Castro, lay friends of the CLM. (See photo)


The period we were there was from December 13 to 26, 2021; the communities visited were: San Javier de Cachavi, Chillavi del agua, Nueva Esperanza and Urbina; populations that are part of the mission of the Comboni Province in Ecuador.

Missionary team that visited communities of San Lorenzo, here with local people.

Regarding the economic activity, now many of the inhabitants work in the oil palm plantations, which is not a traditional crop in our country, but has displaced the crops on which the agricultural activity of the province of Esmeraldas was traditionally focused. The labor activity of the people is mainly related to the agro-industry for the elaboration of derivatives and the export of oil.

However, these oil palm crops are one of the deforesting agents of the Ecuadorian forests, in addition to severely affecting biodiversity not only in the area of the aforementioned communities, but throughout the region of this Ecuadorian province. In addition, river contamination caused by both legal and illegal mining has resulted in the use of wells for water supply, as well as the purchase of 20-liter jerry cans for human consumption.

Cachaví River in San Javier. Canton San Lorenzo, Province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

San Javier is a picturesque town, its people are very cheerful, pleasant, and in the midst of their limitations and difficulties they try to continue their daily walk, without interruptions that stagnate them.

Street of San Javier de Cachavi

Youth Group in San Javier de Cachavi.


The Afro musical culture, dances, lullaby singing and the execution of their own musical instruments, are a source of energy for the people; and their execution are displays of popular religiosity on behalf of the people, particularly in the days of Advent and Christmas, as the villagers took to the streets to show their dances and music with motifs of the posadas in particular the communities of Chillavi del agua and Nueva Esperanza.

In the communities of San Javier and Urbina, we gathered with the people night after night around the celebration of the novena of the Child, in which we reflected on the Word of God through the reading of life experiences that allow the participants to concretize the Scriptures with the daily life of each one.

Musical and dancing group in Chillavi del Agua

Community of Chillavi del Agua – Catechists and community leaders.

Chillavi del Agua, children’s group at the foot of the river.

The other community visited was Urbina:

Group of children in Urbina – San Lorenzo.


One of the activities that took place in these communities, is the visit to each of the houses of these villages, a very warm activity by the reception of its inhabitants, even received by those who are not Catholics, showing our hosts joy, attention to our presence. In the talks that took place, they told us their life experiences, anecdotes of other missionary visits, as well as the difficulties both at the family level and in the life of their communities. God and his Word were always present in each visit, but not before emphasizing to them that God the man has come to this world for all and not only for a few.

THANK YOU ……………….

In spite of the difficulties arising from the poverty in which they live, all these communities are places of effort and work on the part of their inhabitants, who received us with much warmth and desire that Christmas does not go unnoticed and/or hidden by mundane social events, but that the arrival of the Son of God is transcendent for each one of their lives.

The CLM in Ecuador thank God for having allowed us to participate in this missionary service, which we lived with great joy and responsibility on the part of all the missionaries who were sent to these Afro-Ecuadorian communities, a sending that had its origin in Fr. Otorino Poletto Provincial in Ecuador MCCJ.

CLM Ecuador

Missionary path in Mount Sinai – CLM Ecuador

LMC Ecuador

Monte Sinai is a marginal urban settlement located in the northwest of the city of Guayaquil, whose origin and expansion was through the invasion of land in the 90’s of the last century, it is estimated that in this area are living about 133,000 inhabitants in an area of 9,325 ha. on land formerly used for agriculture. Located one hour from the commercial center of the city, “it is the most rural part of Guayaquil” according to one of the city’s newspapers. Its growth has been halted in part because it was declared a reserve and security zone by presidential decree in December 2010, due to its proximity to a water transfer to the neighboring province of Santa Elena.

According to Hogar de Cristo Corporation’s socioeconomic research (2012), 99% have incomes below the basic salary, 54% are poor. The family group is composed of 5 people, of which 48% of families, only one of its members works; 52% have completed primary education and 48% of the houses are made of bamboo (see attached images).

The website “International Alliance of Inhabitans” in December 2017 writes:

“Monte Sinai has 133 000 inhabitants corresponding to 26 000 families that present a housing deficit of 62.65%. This means that more than 83 000 people lack a house that allows a dignified life. This means that more than 83,000 people do not enjoy the fundamental right to have a home that provides shelter, a roof, security and, above all, dignity”.

Monte Sinai does not have basic services, only electricity service to the houses, public lighting is scarce; and the streets are mostly dirt, some streets are covered with asphalt.

Walking along other streets in the sector. On the left is Fr. Joseph MCCJ, originally from Kenya.

The pastoral work of CLM has been located in the parish of the Transfiguration of the Lord, our walk is in the Chapel of St. Francis.

At the present date we are traveling around the place that is quite extensive, introducing ourselves to the villagers, letting them know of the presence of the CLM in the place.

Walking through the streets of Monte Sinai. This graphic shows the following statement: “Monte Sinai is the most rural part of Guayaquil”.

Another of the difficulties that the inhabitants of Monte Sinai have to live with is the lack of road and sanitary infrastructure works that allow them to have a dignified life for them and their families, the images that are presented are eloquent. This is what can be appreciated from the tour of knowledge of the place.

Cine Foro, the first activity with Afro youth, inside the central church.

CLM Ecuador