Comboni Lay Missionaries

A Part of me is called Peru

LMC Peru

LMC Peru

I often think of the meaning of the lives that crisscross my journey. I often think of the conditions where we meet and how simplicity brings us closer.

I could list a countless number of situations I have already experienced here. Some were mastered, while others will keep on ripening until I will understand them.

Many lives are already part of me, and many are the smiles that belong to me, the hugs I do not avoid and renew my strength. With the intention of just dropping in, I spend hours to no end conversing on the doorsteps. For me, mission is timeless.

The doors of our house are open, doors that open to receive the greatest joys of passersby and welcome the sufferings of those who seek refuge from us. They ask of you the only thing you have to give, yourself.

LMC Peru

When night falls, that is when I like revisit my day and, even though often I fall into tears, they are tears of contemplation of the marvels God is working in me and, through me, it’s impossible to ignore it, and not thank God for it all. Many a times I see, countless times, the little miracles and signs that have reached me through these people who are now part of me.

Mission is hard, and you would lie if you said otherwise. Mission is arid, here, where the landscape is covered with the roofs of what is left of homes close to be disintegrated by the strong wind.

In August, part of a year’s work falls apart, when nature blows so strongly that it is impossible to resist. Without fear, they roll up their sleeves, without giving up, and even though what they have is little, nothing is stronger than the will to move onward.

I am not lying, mission is hard. At time it becomes cruel, it hurts. You see the suffering in the eyes of these brothers of mine and the helplessness in the face of what they have to bear with.

LMC Peru

Many are the times when I simply listen, give a hand, my shoulder. Many are the times when we smile together, as we share this love of God so concrete and free. Many are the hugs, the hands shaken. Many are the moments of silence and mutual commitment, in the simplicity of sitting on the ground and be one with them.

Yes, mission is hard. It is in this hardship that I met the deepest meaning of my presence on Peruvian land. It was in this arid land that I placed my dreams and my hopes. In this little corner of the world that I pray daily for the integrity and the rights of people similar to me, created by God. It is a constant state of being fragile and be integrated in the simplicity and humility of those who have nothing. Without expecting anything in return.

Mission is hard, but this is the mission I always dreamed of, this constant discovery of who
I am and of what I am doing here. It is to know that I am nothing and often see how miracles just happen, naturally. It is trust that makes us flesh of the same flesh.

A little at the time everything falls into place, a little at the time everything happens simply, not in human but in heavenly times.

With love and gratitude

LMC Peru

CLM, Neuza Francisco in Peru

Message of the MCCJ Intercapitular Assembly to the CLM

Intercapitular MCCJ

Message of the Intercapitular Assembly
of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
to the Comboni Lay Missionaries

“Let us join hands together. Let the vow, the objective and the commitment of all who love Jesus Christ be one: to win unhappy Africa for him”
(Writings 2182)

Intercapitular MCCJ

Dear brothers and sisters Comboni Lay Missionaries,

We greet you with the peace of Christ.

At the end of the Intercapitular Assembly, we wish to send you this message of greeting, first of all to thank you for the journey we have done together during these last years spurred by the same love and the same passion of St. Daniel Comboni, and also to wish you a good preparation for and execution of the activities of your upcoming General Assembly to be held here in Rome on December 11-18, 2018.

During the Intercapitular Assembly, that had as its objective to evaluate the work done from our last General Chapter of 2015 up to now, we reflected upon and evaluated the #35 of the Chapter Acts that states how we, the MCCJ, “acknowledge the journey travelled by the Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) and we intend to continue accompanying their processes of formation, structuring and self-reliance which help to consolidate their identity as a Lay Family, that is Missionary and Comboni, at the service of the Mission.” We affirm once more our commitment to walk with you and with all the other members of the Comboni Family, respecting our particular characters and autonomy, in order to achieve our common missionary ideal.

We are aware of your desire to move ahead in growing in unity among yourselves, looking at Jesus Christ and at Comboni, in order to be a cohesive movement, both at the local and at the international level. This unity will be the best way to prepare yourselves for the missionary service among the poorest and most abandoned in your own countries and beyond your borders.

We renew our wishes of all good things for the preparation and execution of your 6th General Assembly and we assure you of our closeness, friendship and prayers.

The Intercapitular Assembly of the MCCJ

Rome, September 29, 2018

The beauty of the Imperfect Mission

LMC Peru

LMC Peru

“The greatness of the mission does not belong to us, but rather to the One who sends us,” Fr. Ivo.

A year in mission. How much time fits in this lapse? How many lives have been held in our own? How many arms were linked with our arms? How many lives have we given? And how many have we received?

We stopped planning our lives to allow life to direct us, to allow God to touch us and the people to meet us. We allowed ourselves to be met just as we are, with our wounds, scars and imperfections.

This is who we are, and this is how we embraced our mission, together and imperfect. We walked in the certainty that “we are all wounded and through these wounds light comes in.” We never wanted to be perfect. Instead we allowed God to touch our imperfections and through them lead us to our brothers, who are now our friends and neighbors. Today they are our family.

The beauty of an imperfect mission is in us, resides within us. Beauty is not in the moment you realize that you and your life are the mission, but rather in the ability to walk on your own little by little without fear letting your wounds, scars and frailties be part of what makes you who you are, an essential part.

Then mission become a solitary journey, with yourself, a journey of two, because you know that you were chosen for a greater love, a journey of three, you, God, your neighbor, in the certainty that the other exists to walk with you.

It allows you to be, to know yourself a little better to let yourself be discovered a little at the time, and join to your neighbor always ready to proceed together. And together, hand in hand with God, we reach the other and the other deliver you in an imperfect, complete fashion.

It is this journey of three that we meet our neighbors, our brothers. They become our home and journey together. They are the people who, in imperfect ways, complete us, make us grow. It is in being imperfect that we keep on meeting others, moving on and growing with each person we meet. This way, mission is not only teaching or learning, but rather growing together, knowing that the union of our imperfections results in the perfection of the whole.

This is the logic of God who made us in such a way that we need others in order to love, be, live and be happy.

LMC Peru
Paula y Neuza. CLM Peru

 

Missioning Mass for Pedro Nacimiento

LMC Portugal

LMC Portugal

After a great weekend, from the Community of Ervedal, Alentejo, the parish that saw the CLM Pedro Nascimento grow up and today sends him off, our CLM Rufina shares with us the emotions of this special occasion.

Today Alentejo, and more concretely Ervedal, has celebrated.

It was already expected that it would be a success, but for sure it went well beyond all expectations, especially when you take into account such a beautiful church, so well decorated, where they are already the Extraordinary Mission Year, and whose pastor succeeds, certainly as a result of the work carried out over the years, to gather all the parishes under his care to take part responsibly and joyously in the missioning of Pedro Nacimiento to Ethiopia.

Without a doubt, the most important moment was the Eucharist presided over by Archbishop Francisco Senra Coelho with the participation of other invited priests, especially Fr. Francisco Medeiros, a Comboni Missionary from the diocese of Viseu.

The ceremony included also two deacons, relatives, friends and many CLM who, together with Pedro are part of the “Thousand Lives for Mission.”

A reception followed for everyone where lunch in the good local style was served, which we enjoyed a lot.

Pedro, as a CLM and being as well from Alentejo, I cannot forget to thank God for your missioning on this Extraordinary Mission Year, certain that it will be a time of growth and enrichment that will allow you, together with your Ethiopian people, to carry out a mission abounding in love, filled with the Comboni charism and enlightened by the smile the Lord lovingly placed on your face sweetening this soul of Alentejo that is so typically yours, in difficult moments.

As Pope Francis says, “Mission is to go meet the other.”

And how it has been mentioned in the Pastoral Note of the Episcopal Conference of Portugal on both the Extraordinary Mission Year and Mission Month, “Everyone, everything and always in mission.”

Therefore, go, my friend, go.

Let us keep in touch! Happy Mission!

A kiss

Rufina (October 14, 2018)LMC PortugalThank you, Rufina, Thank you, Pedro. Thank you for your commitment

Celebrating the memory of the birth of St. Daniel Comboni

Comboni

TO GIVE LIFE SO THAT ALL MAY HAVE LIFE

Solemnity of St. Daniel Comboni

10 October 2018

“I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice and there will be only one flock and one shepherd.”

(Jn 10:14-16)

 

Comboni

Dear Confreres
Celebrating the memory of the birth of St. Daniel Comboni introduces us into the great mystery of the life of the Good Shepherd with a pierced heart who gave his life so that all may have life and life in abundance, especially those who do not yet belong to the table of Christ’s body, the poorest and most abandoned, so that all may become one flock under one shepherd.

We Comboni Missionaries, faithful to this tradition, to the charism and pastoral practice of our Founder, are invited to renew ourselves in this missionary commitment every day to be “at the margins of society as witnesses and prophets of fraternal relationships, based on forgiveness, mercy and the joy of the Gospel” (CA ’15 No. 1).

The mission at the margins of society required from Comboni the ability to remain firm in difficult times and fidelity to the price of life itself, because he had his gaze fixed on the pierced heart of the Crucified One, a vision of faith of the events and the embrace of Africa with a heart marked by divine love. An incarnate holiness that runs through the paths of poverty and human marginalisation, welcoming the other, the different, the poor, in an embrace of communion and dialogue; a holiness that is the divine passion present in a human heart.

This is what we have tried to express in the reflection and prayer of the Intercapitular that we have just concluded. We have been constantly attentive to the voice of the victims, the marginalised, and the great multitudes of human beings whose life is threatened by a heartless system that causes the predictable and violent death of the weakest.

This reality continues to prophetically question our presence and the quality of our missionary service, as it has questioned Comboni in his time. To respond, however, to these challenges, we need to approach each day, to the mystery of God’s love, revealed in Jesus Christ, with the spirit, gaze and heart of Comboni, with an open heart overflowing with love and the mercy of the Pierced One and, like Him, let us also be pierced by so many situations of poverty and neglect.

For St. Daniel Comboni it was clear that the contemplation of the mystery of God, crucified for love, had as its purpose to lead his missionaries to a definite way of doing mission: to witness a life lived in ‘spirit and truth’, fruit of a vivid and convincing prayer, to practice humility and obedience, as signs of a deeply Comboni spirituality. That is, to irradiate with one’s life the mystery of God Crucified in order to bring to Christ, the source of Life, all those who are hungry and thirsty for justice.

It is with these feelings that we wish to celebrate this solemnity of St. Daniel Comboni as a Comboni Family. Enter into this mystery of the Good Shepherd with a pierced heart and drink the lifeblood that renews us, that makes us look at reality through the eyes of faith, hope and charity, that heals and humanises us, that makes us become mission, “cenacle of apostles”, gift for others. “I make common cause with each of you, and the happiest day in my life will be the one on which I will be able to give my life for you” (W 3159).

May St. Daniel Comboni intercede with the Father for each one of us, for the whole Comboni Family and for the missions that are presently going through difficult situations: Eritrea, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

Happy Feast day to all.
Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie; Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins; Fr. Pietro Ciuciulla; Fr. Alcides Costa; Bro. Alberto Lamana.