Comboni Lay Missionaries

Missioning Mass for the CLM Carolina Fiúza

Carolina
Carolina

My dear friends,

My heart is full and grateful for all the blessings and love I received on May 12, when in my parish – St. Eufemia – my missioning was celebrated… not only the ceremony itself, but the entire day and the mission promotion were full of sharing and missionary fraternity.

My thanks to all for being together in prayer. I feel fortunate… for belonging to you as family and for the many friends who fully love me. Thank you! For those who could not be present at the Eucharist, I share what I said to all.

Animacion Misionera

My dear Heavenly Father,

This is the prayer of your much-loved daughter, Carolina de Jesus Fiúza, who with the strength of this community is sent for two years to the people of Ethiopia.

From quite sometime your invitation has resonated within me saying:

“Go deeper at sea and throw your net to fish. Do not be afraid” come with me, you will fish people! Come, follow me!”

I thank you for this invitation and with great joy, like Mary, I say YES! May it be done to me according to your word!

To you my greatest THANKS for this Yes is the fruit of a mutual relationship. To You I repeat my THANKS for not giving up on me and for trusting in me. To you I give thanks for all these people who are here physically and spiritually. To You I give thanks for the thousand lives that, very often, without knowing, are a thousand lives for mission, just like Comboni was asking: a thousand lives for mission. I thank You for the courage and the strength that give to my Yes the confidence they place in me.

To you and to these people I give thanks and promise: promise to make mistakes and fail. Such is the human condition! But, I promise to always improve, learn, listen, keep silent, accept, understand, share what I am, accept what I am… and, above all, TO LOVE. I promise to give myself totally to the Ethiopian people and do what I can, with what I have, wherever I am.

I look at myself and see how small I am. But with my limitations, with what I have in my bag, I wish to give myself to you and go to the poorest and most abandoned, inspired by St. Daniel Comboni. I trust in the fact that you do not choose the able ones, but that you enable those you choose. Thus I trust that you will give me the ability to love this marvelous people of Ethiopia, where you reside since forever.

At times many do not understand why I choose to leave for the missions. I understand and accept their lack of understanding. And I appreciate the support which, even in a conditional form, they give me. Just like my dear father says, “Good can be done anywhere!” And it is not a lie…in fact, You Heavenly Father, You who are one Body, but with many members and with each member having its function, You call us all to be missionaries, in different ways. Today and to me the call is to go, to be the grain of wheat tat dies in the ground in order to bear fruit. And this isa mystery. Just like the mystery of the most beloved Son who died on the cross. Just like him, I too give my Yes ready to have the mission be born and grow at the foot of the cross. O My Father, will we ever be able to understand this mystery of the death of Jesus on the cross. Perhaps, no. In the same way, my Yes may not be understood by others. This is a mystery as well. Even for me the mission entrusted to me is a mystery. But I say Yes anyway. I do it with confidence because I know that never, never will you abandon me.

O my God, You know the GRATITUTE I have for many people. Without mentioning all of them, I especially am grateful to my family, who has agreed, who gave me missionary genes!

I thank you for the life of my parents, Edite and Manuel Fiúza, who gave me an education the best way they knew how. Without them, my life, my values, my gifts… all that I am, it would never have been possible. Many thanks for your life and the fruit of your creation, myself, the gift I am and which I want to bear fruit. I am grateful because it gives it the capacity of supporting me and loving me unconditionally, even without understanding my decision. I ask You to protect them, to look after them always, and give them always the strength to fight for life, just as they taught me to do.

I thank you for the life of my fiancé, Hélder Neves, who has supported me from the beginning and given me strength in times of serious doubts. I thank you for the love that binds us and can only come from you. I know that this Yes is not only mine, but from both of us. He too accepts of living the mission with me. And we accept this mission in great confidence. I ask you to protect him always, keeping him in your arms. And what you have joined, our mutual love, we will never dare to separate or damage. Gives the confidence and the trust to remain forever one!

I thank you for the life of all the parishioners of my “land, my beautiful land,” this beautiful St. Eufemia. This land that saw me grow and sustained me in life and in Christian faith. To the catechists, choir members, priests I met here (already 3 of them) and many people I see today, I wish the best… I am grateful for the life of each of you. Special thanks to Fr. Nuno Gil, whose joviality and strength to reach us all does not leave me indifferent. I pray that you continue to give him strength to continue leading the Kingdom here on Earth.

And finally, knowing that I could thank many more people, I thank you for the Comboni Family. I thank you for being the lighting this journey where I search for you daily and with love more and more. I thank you for the example given by each one of a life inspired by St. Daniel Comboni making it possible to understand more and more my missionary vocation. I truly thank them because the mission in Ethiopia trusts in me, And I ask that I may always be the best as a CLM.

O my God, you know that I take you within me more than anything. You know how much it hurts to leave the love I have here. But you also know how happy I am, because even where I go, love expects me there. I go to meet love, following in the footsteps of the one who sends me.

We well know that it is never a good-bye, but always a see-you-again.

See you again, my community. Never be afraid to say Yes, because God, a merciful Father, will never abandon us. I leave you a souvenir: a typical Ethiopian cross (sent to you by a Comboni Missionary Sister in Ethiopia) to help us remember that we all part of one cross, the cross of Christ. Pray for me and for the people and mission of Ethiopia. Be assure that we, too, will pray for you.

Carolina Fiúza CLM

Meeting of the Comboni Family in Spain

Familia Comboniana
Familia Comboniana

For another year the Comboni Family of Spain gathered in Madrid for a weekend together. Religious, seculars and lay members together dreaming of how to be family and sharing times of prayer, food and formation.

This year we were accompanied by a team of CONFER working on the theme of Shared Mission in various charismatic families.

Through their proposed dynamics and time spent in group work they helped us to understand the challenges of shared mission, the duties we have as a family, our strengths, our weaknesses, etc.

All of this emphasizing the importance of the process and without skipping steps. The importance to understand that it is not only a matter of performing concrete actions or facing concrete challenges, but the importance that they start from a comm life sharing, entertaining common ties and relationships, loving and understanding one another. To understand the importance of complement each other, which does not consist in abandoning what each branch is, its identifying traits, but rather putting at the service of mission our particular traits as a richness that makes us complementary.

It is always good to meet, to feel how each time we recognize each other better and understand being a Comboni Family through something transversal of our being Missionaries and Comboni missionaries. It is not something extra that the group needs to take into account, but a transversal entity that makes up out being and doing as missionaries.

We also recognized that, at the ecclesial level, we live in privileged time when many other charismatic families question themselves on how to be Church, in our case this is something that Comboni himself had in mind from the beginning. It is up to us now to pick up this charismatic and ecclesial intuition he had.

The attendance at the meeting was lower for a number of circumstances, including having it while having decided last year not to. But all those present at the end were happy to be there. We are convinced that we must journey as a family. We know that we have many challenges to face, including perhaps the resistance of those ho are not yet convinced, but still convinced that this is the journey Comboni wants from us.

Now it remains to us to carry out the commitments we set for ourselves, the lines to follow in our work,… To strengthen the participation in this yearly meeting coming from all over Spain, at times trying to meet in different areas where we have various branches. All this without forgetting the history and the journeys we have had as a Comboni Family, the work of mission and vocation promotion done together, the joint meetings of prayer and formation and the joing celebration we had as a family.

May the Lord accompany us in this journey and may Christ inspire us.

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Alberto de la Portilla, CLM

News from the Central Africa Republic mission

RCA
RCA

The CLM María Augusta writes for her parish paper, the Astrolabio.

I came to Bangui, the capital of the Central Africa Republic, because Fr. Fernando had an accident and is here in the hospital. The accident happened when he was returning from Mbaiki after attending the Chrismal Mass. Mongoumba belongs to the diocese of Mbaiki. The CLM Cristina and Fr. Maurice were with him and behind them there were seven people. Luckily, Cristina and Fr. Maurice were not hurt and had no great physical pains, but it is always difficult to absorb the accident emotionally. However, they were able to stay by Fr. Fernando, which was the important and necessary part.

The people following behind were hurt a bit, but fortunately there was nothing serious and only one was taken to the hospital, but with nothing major, by God’s grace. Fr. Fernando was thrown out though the glass on the door side and suffered a double trauma, one in the face including the eyes and one in the back. He underwent surgery on Easter Sunday and all went well.

Ana and I arrived in Bangui on Tuesday and stayed at the postulancy, because they were having the Comboni Assembly. We spent Easter worrying a lot, because we did not know how they were doing. When we saw Fr. Fernando he was still in a bad shape. Only today he came briefly to Comboni House, the Comboni residence in Bangui, because we have been very busy with him. By God’s grace, he is improving every day. Just the same, he must eat everything pureed because his upper jaw does not meet his lower jaw and so he cannot chew. We are hopeful that at the level of his head everything is working, because he speaks well and all his senses work… We thank God who protected all the travelers. God’s Providence was with them, because the accident happened 1 km from the Mbata mission and also because a vehicle went by that took them to the town hospital, where Fr. Fernando was sutured, and then all the way to Bangui.

Fr. Fernando will be moved to Benin for a CAT-scan of his head, to make sure he is well, and then to rest and get his energy back to continue the mission the Lord has chosen for him. I am confident that, by God’s grace, all will be well!

Cristina underwent some tests and all is well. She helped Fr. Fernando a lot! She will remain in Bangui to rest until she recovers enough to go back to Mongoumba.

Fr. Maurice is well, but very tired… up until Wednesday he spent night and day taking care of the wounded. Thanks be to God that on Thursday and Friday he could rest and begin to feel better…

Fr. Samuel returned on Wednesday, fully animated for the mission waiting for him. In July and August he will do mission promotion in the United States.

We hope that by then Fr. Fernando will be back in good health.

The assembly went well. A brother from Togo, a friend of Fr. Maurice, came to take part in it.

The twin girl I talked to you about in my last message, eventually died… The Lord welcomed her in his arms, because she suffered a lot.

Always united in prayer.

I wish all of you a Happy Easter!

A worldwide embrace to you all! Thanks for your prayers.

María Augusta, CLM

For Astrolabio

Year 5 – No. 147 – May 5, 2019

The parishes of Cabril, Dornelas do Zêzese, Fajão, Janeiro de Baixo, Machio, Pampilhosa da Serra, Portela do Fôjo,Unhais-o-Velho and Vidual

Meeting of the CLM in Nuremberg, May 3-5

CLM Germany
CLM Germany

At this meeting we enjoyed the presence of Thomas Mecha, who up to 2018 worked as an AGEH agent in Burundi in the diocese of Bururi in the field of Peace Development. There are over 2,000 basic committees who work in mediation and arbitration of land and family conflicts – an enormous potential! The report by Thomas and the debate that followed were very interesting and inspirational for us and for our activities in building bridges of peace.

We also worked on the CLM logotype at the international level, we received information from other CLM groups and we agreed on some monthly activities to improve communications.

Also very pleasant was meeting again with the coordinating team of the Province (that was also meeting) and with Fr. Juan Goicochea of Peru.

Thanks to Thomas, Bro. Hans, Father Günther and the community of Nuremberg!

CLM, Germany