As always, it was a great pleasure to feel welcome and “at home” in Nuremberg. Bro. Hans Eigner gave us and introduction to the socio-political situation of South Sudan. He helped us to better understand the way and the objectives behind the birth of the Peace Center of Juba and what is currently being done there to enable peace and reconciliation, as well as to help heal traumas.
We saw how we, CLM as a group, can concretely support the very important work of the center and of the schools connected with it. In the future this will be one of the principal points of our missionary activity.
We then concretized our reflections on our own contribution in Germany. It is clear that faith is not usually relevant and it is rarely a topic of conversation. How can we engage in conversations of faith and encourage people to speak about their faith? This, too, will be one of our main points.
During the weekend we had plenty of opportunities to pray and speak together. It was also a lot of fun to attend the open air classical music concert in Luitpoldhain.
Strengthened and with “homework” in our bags we returned to our “daily mission fields.”
At the meeting of the CLM, beside sharing time together, we worked fundamentally on two topics: What are the main points for the group’s work plan for next year and what does Sunday’s Gospel of Zaccheus tell us today from a missionary perspective?
The starting point we used for planning our work was the document with its conclusions from the European Assembly of Viseu, which was held in August of this year, which was attended by four CLM and by Bro. Friedbert.
As a result, in 2017 the group wants to prepare itself forcefully for the MCCJ Symposium on “Mission in Europe” and wants to foster the networking with MaZ (missionaries part-time). We also want to improve communications within the group.
The result of the biblical work was presented at the homily during the Sunday Mass in the community of St. Cunegonde.
Beside working, praying and sharing, we also had a lot of fun during this weekend and we even had a taste of a Peruvian drink.
The European Assembly of the Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) is taking place from August 21 to 27 in Viseu, the mother-house of the Comboni Missionaries in Portugal. There are 74 adults and 22 children from Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Poland and Portugal in the meeting. The Comboni Missionaries who work with the CLM in their respective countries are also present. Two representatives were invited from the Comboni Sisters and Comboni Seculars. It is a week with a detailed schedule of prayer, reflexion, sharing of experiences and relaxation.
The CLM organize their European assemblies every three years. They intend to mark moments of togetherness and joy and to give continuity to the reflexion of the main themes from previous meetings.
The last European meeting took place in 2013 at Krakow, Poland. That meeting singled out some issues that were considered priority to be deepened in groups and individually, at CLM level in every country of Europe. The issues were related with the CLM life. This week’s issues are: identity and vocation, formation, organization and coordination, economy and sustainability, communion and Comboni family.
The goal of all this work is to share the journey of every single group on each of the single issues. This sharing among people from different countries will assist the CLM members to feel better integrated in their missionary vocation.
The specific goals that are targeted at the end of the assembly are:
To celebrate the CLM vocation, starting from the characteristics that are common to all groups;
To share vocation experiences made by members from different countries in order to know the lifestyle of one another;
To reflect upon the journey already made in Europe and at intercontinental level, where they are aiming at and what is lacking to reach the goal;
To draw some inspiring lines to help the CLM to walk better united and to be engaged at all levels;
To strengthen the ties as the CLM European Movement and their sense of belonging to the Comboni Family.
“The meeting would not be possible – said Paula Ascensão – without the effort, availability and dedication of the Viseu community. The Comboni Missionaries opened their doors to us and they showed availability to host the CLM formation and meetings in their houses. When we asked to organize the European CLM assembly in Viseu, they gave a positive answer and they are helping us organizing it. It is thanks to them that the Portuguese CLM are able to welcome almost 100 European CLM here in our country. We are very thankful. And we ask prayers from all who are following us from afar, so that this European assembly may to be successful and produce much fruit.”
Meeting of the Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) in the house of Nuremberg from 18 to 21 March 2016
On Friday, March 18, it was time: the CLM came from all corners of Germany turn to our meeting. For four days, the group has prepared a stand for the presentation of the Comboni Family at the national meeting of Catholics in Leipzig and at the same time we were dedicated to see the preparing text for the continental assembly that Europeans CLM will have in Portugal.
The first came very motivated on Thursday night, and the last one arrived on late Friday night, with an ark in luggage. It was an atmosphere of joy where we were all willing and eager to celebrate this time together and the possibility of doing different activities. Since the last meetings were characterized by a more theoretical work, reflection and exchange of ideas, for this meeting we schedule to make more practical, concrete and creative works.
Saturday morning began with Mass with the Comboni Missionaries and the Pauline Sisters. Empowered by breakfast we face the two themes of the meeting: the national meeting of Catholics and the European CLM meeting. With great joy we welcomed the new “member” (newborn) Stella, along with their parents Irene and Ulrich, who participated with much encouragement.
With the help of a background song we express thoughts and ideas on the subject and theme of the meeting of Catholics, “Look, here is the man!” We put into practice the ideas for the stand of the Comboni Family, we also realized a game linked to globalization, rehearsing songs and prepare the material. We loved put African and American clothes on the mannequins and make posters for them.
On Sunday, we participated with the community in the Mass on Palm Sunday. During the Mass, topical issues as slavery, the situation of migrants and the World Church were spoken. Children put symbols on the altar while adults told the passion of Christ. We could recognize issues quite linked to our way as CLM.
From the information on the history of the international CLM movement and the preparatory text for the continental meeting of the CLM in Portugal came out much discussion on different topics, especially on the challenges of our CLM group. There is progress on our way and a long road ahead…
At night, we had a prayer together with the members of the local community in the house of the Comboni Missionaries. Afterwards we rededicate ourselves to creative work. Some made a small brochure on our CLM group.
On Monday, we left aside the work and made a special visit to the center of Nuremberg. A man who had lived on the street guided us by the city around the places where the homeless and supporting institutions are. He talked about his experiences of life and struggle. We also talked with social workers of “Lilith,” “Kassandra” and the ecumenical point “that serve women with drug problems, prostitutes and homeless.
This weekend we have been enriched by the gifts and commitment of each of our fellow CLM. Sharing: Look, there is the man – individual and group member; creative, full of ideas, solidary – living the mission.
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