Our July meeting was determined by three things: continuing our work with the peace posters, participating in the zoom meeting of the CLM in Europe and sharing spiritually and personally with the MCCJ community in Nuremberg.
For the work on the peace posters we have improved and closed more clearly the scheme that links the posters. We also decided on the steps of this project until the end.
The participation in the meeting through zoom gave some of us the first possibility to feel personally the internationality of the CLM movement. The representatives of each country spoke about the challenges of the “mission in Europe” in the context of their country and how they try to respond to these challenges.
Together with the MCCJ and the Pauline Sisters we prayed for vocations, celebrated Mass and cultivated unity in a “grill” party.
After the long break due to Covid 19, this meeting did us all a lot of good.
One year after the general assembly in Rome and the greetings of Pope Francis we celebrated with the Comboni-Family the Comboni Lay Missionaries movement day together with volunteers in the global south and north, who decided to be inspired by Saint Daniel Comboni, strengthened by a movement of lay Christians and lifelong dedicated to spread the good news of the Gospel.
We started with a World-Cafe with statements from Pope Francis about mission today, mission in shrinking communities, mission in post-colonial Europe and in times of global climate change. Those arriving had the opportunity to comment on selected statements at several tables. The idea was to exchange ideas in several small groups at parallel tables.
Afterwards, a short video of the Pope’s greeting in Rome in December 2018 (compiled by Christina from Brazil) and the greeting of the Central Committee of the Comboni Lay Missionaries were read out partly as an introduction to the feast. It dealt with the reading of the third Advent and the joy with which the gospel is to be proclaimed as well as the growing together of the CLM nationally and internationally. The new international logo of the Comboni Lay Missionaries was presented. This was the result of a cooperative process last year and was selected from several proposals.
The word service was initiated by a “search order”. Those present were invited to collect various objects during a walk, from which a crib should then be designed. Thus, the current times and the past were brought together as well as aspects of global integration and injustice, pollution and mission today. The two MaZ-in-service, the returning MaZler *, the CLM international and the numerous Comboni friends, who had responded to the invitation but unfortunately could not be there, were included in the prayers.
The feast continued in the dining and living room. A “shepherd’s meal” was prepared there. This again illustrated the upcoming Christmas. Thanks to many helping hands, there was a delicious, social get-together, rounded off with cake and children’s Christmas punch (as two families brought their four children as well). During the evening and the following day, congratulations and pictures came from CLM celebrations in Mexico, Kenya, Guatemala, Portugal, Spain, Egypt, Italy and from Rome were shared live via WhatsApp while the feast.
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!
With still great vigor and enthusiasm Christoph, Fr. Günter and Barbara told us of how they experienced the general assembly of the CLM in Rome. It was great to be present and meet the CLM of the other 19 countries/provinces, to share and to pray together, to discover what is most useful in our future development and what steps are necessary or possible. The difference between the groups is great and it is at one and the same time a challenge and an enrichment. To be able to keep in touch by way of WhatsApp is marvelous. Barbara gave us a first introduction to the proposals of the assembly and then the group started examining the steps/decisions most important to us.
Pilgrimage of the CLM and the MCCJ
Bro. Hans, Fr. Günther and Willi gave us information over the pilgrimage we will have this coming September. Concrete proposals were made and have decided on the main points. There is room for 18 participants, registrations can be placed with Willi (CLM) or with Fr. Günther (MCCJ).
After lunch we had enough time to enjoy the sunshine and walk around the lake of Wörther See.
Africa – A continent of Peace Initiatives
We gave a good amount of time to the continuation of our work connected to our peace project. The next step will be Bro. Hans’ conference at the peace center of Lindau. Together we prepared for him the basic idea and the methodology to be followed. The lecture will introduce the valuable experiences of the continent connected to activities of peace and reconciliation. The CLM will contribute a “Network of Places of Peace” (we shared the work for him).
Dynamics connected to Globalization
Christof was our guide in a better understanding the pro-active pedagogy connected to themes such as globalization and peace.
Humans are meant for joy – joy is meant for humans
At the end of the day we reflected on a theme prepared by Franz von Sales on the “joy of our faith.” Joy is our Godly inheritance – the only one that can give us happiness. Joy has such a strong connection with our heart, that it cannot be at peace without it. God created joy for our own wellbeing.
With joy, we await our next meeting in May (3-5).
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.”
Barbara, CLM Germany
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