Comboni Lay Missionaries

Celebrating Easter

LMC Mexico
LMC Mexico

To celebrate Easter it is necessary to be prepared, that is what we have done as a group of Comboni Lay Missionaries in Sahuayo (Mexico), we have continued working from our current reality, it has not been easy to have to adapt to a mode where we have to put distance to protect each other, we have covered our face but not our Spirit and that is how we have done the activities that are needed to continue walking in our missionary journey. Our information retreat, which had already been scheduled for the second time, was favorably carried out, thanks to Quique and Vero who set the date as coordinators in consensus with the group, when the time came not all those who had been contemplated participated, more people arrived who questioned our Being and Doing as a group.

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In the Formation Juan José has been the one who prepares our themes for growing, we also ask for the support of the Comboni Missionaries who have always been part of our formative and spiritual growth and on this occasion the Comboni Sisters were also present and shared with us the theme Comboni Family, they made us experience the richness of our Charism and the aspects to be improved, these moments of growth helped us to keep in mind that God has a specific mission for each one and that in the group we can put in common what each one has for a better use of it.

As a culminating moment we have been able to celebrate the Missionary Day (JORNAMIS) where young people have the opportunity to share topics that help them to grow, share their dreams, express what they think of what the world offers them today, learn about vocations to discover their calling and make the commitment to be useful to those in need making us aware that we are brothers in Christ. This space has been recovered after months of paralysis due to the pandemic and today it is once again an apostolate for the CLM Monica, Manuel and Ricardo who have the grace to work with young people.

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When the time came, Holy Week was already at the door where we had the opportunity to celebrate in different ways, with the Family, working and some of us were able to go to a mission in the communities of Guerrero where we have already worked as Laity and also to communities near our city that are more isolated than usual for us. It filled us with strength to live with people who share with us what they have without expecting anything in return, opening the doors of their homes to share food with each of us, supporting us in everything we needed and most significantly sharing our faith. These were experiences that allowed us to experience the Risen Jesus from our particular life, moving that which should be purified and transformed with his Love.

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CLM Beatriz Maldonado Sanchez

Sharing the calling of a missionary marriage

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On November 29th, we had the opportunity to be part of the formative sessions of the young people who will participate in the missionary work of the Archdiocese of León during the month of December (Misiones PROJUV, León, Guanajuato). We were invited to share a lecture in which we talked about the main qualities that we should have as missionaries. In it, we shared some ideas and examples on how the virtues like humbleness, coherence, purity and generosity can help us to surrender ourselves fully to the service of God and of our brothers and sisters.

For us it was a very special experience, because it was the first activity that we have had representing the Comboni Lay Missionaries. We are in our period of formation, in which we prepare ourselves spiritually and intellectually to respond to the missionary call that God has placed in our hearts. Therefore, having the opportunity to share a little of what we have received filled us with joy and hope.

The interaction with teenagers and young adults was very enriching. In addition to the content of our conference, the dialogue with them made us realize that the mere fact of presenting ourselves as a couple of lay missionaries is already an example that can inspire them to fully commit to the vocation of sharing the Gospel. Many came to share their vocational concerns, and for us it was an honour to show them how it is possible to be committed lay people, working in the world with our eyes towards the Kingdom of Heaven.

This experience helped us to confirm that the Lord calls us at any moment of our existence and from any path of life. We, as a married couple, know that this calling acquires a deep meaning in knowing that our conjugal love can and should be lived as a witnessing to make God’s love known everywhere. Let us dare to answer to this calling!

Kasia Ludwin & Adán Aguilar

National reflection meeting of Comboni Lay Missionaries in Mexico

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On Saturday August 1, 2020, solemnity of Saint Alfonso María de Ligorio, the Laity from different parts of the country of Mexico, we held a national meeting, to share our experience in the pandemic. Lay people from: Michoacán, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Morelos and Mexico City participated, accompanied by our national advisor: Gustavo Covarrubias MCCJ. We started with prayers to promote the missionary spirit, starting with the prophet Naum 1, 7. Then, we share the way in which we are living our vocation as Comboni Lay Missionaries.

We were enlightened by reality, meditating on the different social, political and family scenarios that we face and the way in which we can live them just as Saint Daniel Comboni would have done. Taking three strategies: Prayer, solidarity and cooperation and being signs of Hope in the world. Subsequently, we meditate on the Word of God to translate into concrete commitments in our missionary work: Prayer, meeting the other, working little by little in different missionary days, always giving priority to health, taking as reference the valuable and worthy which is human life.

Lastly, we share the panorama of mission at the international level and close with a moment of prayer to invoke the maternal protection of Our Mother Mary of Guadalupe, committing ourselves to remain consolidated as a single Comboni missionary family.

“Without the laity the mission work is sterile” (EC 1219).

Juan José Mendoza Buenrostro

Comboni Ladies Auxiliary and Benefactors

LMC Mexico
LMC Mexico

Extraordinary in your actions, baptized and sent

Echoing the message of Pope Francis to live in an extraordinary way the month of October, during which we celebrate World Mission Sunday, the Comboni seminary of San Francisco del Rincón, Gto., held the yearly meeting of the Comboni Ladies Auxiliary (known as Damas Combonianas in Mexico) and Benefactors.

Starting very early in the day, about 350 people arrived from several areas of the States of Guanajuato and Jalisco to share a day of fun, prayer and meetings. In attendance were Comboni priests and brothers, seminarians, religious and lay people and, above all, friends who share the same filial relationship with God as an ecclesial act, which is communion and source of a new life together with many other brothers and sisters. (From the message of Pope Francis for World Mission Sunday 2019). As one of the Comboni women said: “Coming here, I feel at home.”

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They are, in the words of Pope Francis, “a Church going out to the farthest borders, requiring a constant and permanent missionary conversion.” Perhaps they do not leave their country to proclaim mission, Christ’s Great Work of Mercy, but they are always going out to meet others and to ask for support for those who have been chosen to witness to the prophetic vision of the Church in faraway lands.

Mrs. Macaria Bendita, a Comboni dama of the Dolores Hidalgo, Gto. group, is a great example of this Church going out, of constant and permanent conversion. For about 50 years she has been sending literature to friends and acquaintances inviting them to support the missions by prayer and financial help. She commented that engaging in this activity has been a source of great joy for herself and for her family.

Later, during the welcoming and coffee session, everyone was invited to listen to presentations and take part in missionary activities and songs. “How beautiful it is to see over the mountains the messenger announcing peace.” (Isa 52:7) These words seemed to come alive looking at the Comboni women and other benefactors as they listened attentively and with enthusiasm to the Comboni Missionary Fathers Mario Alberto Pacheco Zamora and José Arellano. Both of them had a lot to share from their experiences in the Philippines and in Egypt respectively.

Mrs. Macaria herself commented on how these witnesses are a source of joy and increase the desire to keep on working for the missions.

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In the course of the Eucharist, Fr. Enrique Sánchez recognized, thanked and encouraged the work of the women and other benefactors, saying: “With your prayers, sacrifices, work and affection and with the collections you do for the missions, you are like the wheels of a car, like little ants who with anonymous and discrete work, you are not even aware the good you do for the missionaries, allowing them to realize their vocation without having to worry about tomorrow. You are the people who make it possible for the Comboni Missionaries to continue to bring the good news to many nations of the world.”

The Eucharist was followed by a meal, the cutting of a cake, a raffle and music. In this context it was possible to notice the communion and festivity generated by the gathering. It makes the participants feel important and recognized in their work and, as Mr. Armenta, a benefactor of the San Felipe group added, makes them feel at home.

LMC Mexico

The example of these women and benefactors invites us to think about the meaning of ourselves as being baptized and sent. That very important message that Pope Benedict XV gave us in the encyclical Maximum Illud, 100 years ago, referring to the missionary mandate to go into the whole world and freely proclaim the message you received without excluding anyone, is still relevant in today’s society. We are not called to proclaim the gospel in order to “conquer,” like in the days of colonization, but with the conviction that our belief in Christ, alive and risen, is a richness to be shared, communicated and announced.

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Maricruz Torres Armenta

CLM San Francisco del Rincón

October 2019

New Comboni Lay Missionaries

LMC México
LMC Mexico

On last August 17 and 18 a retreat of information was held to help new people get to know the Comboni charism as Lay Missionaries. About 30 people attended coming from Tabasco, Michoacán, Jalisco and Guanajuato. We started with some integration activities and animation, then we moved to our first workshop given by the CLM José Dolores (Lolo), who gave us seven tips to reach interior peace. After that we greatly enjoyed a holy hour where we strongly experienced the presence of God. To end the first phase, we moved on to supper and a camp fire, to spend some time together and tell some of the stories that have left a sign in our lives and hearts as missionaries.

The next days, we started with a community prayer to offer to God our family and our mission. It was followed by a workshop given by the CLM Juan José, who spoke on Comboni spirituality.

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The Eucharist followed, celebrated by the Fr. Lalo, who currently works in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which filled us with emotions and joy. During his homily he told us something about his experience there and moved us with his message. Following that, we had a short presentation on the work, formation, promotion, mission, etc of the Comboni Lay Missionaries at the international level, given by the CLM Daniela Becerra, who also gave us a little tour of Kenya, Africa. The CLM Lolo and Maricruz spoke about this experience and taught us something about the Swahili language. Before that, however, the CLM Verito Arenas, coordinator of the CLM in San Francisco del Rincón, spoke on the work they do locally.

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Following all that, the group was divided into two in order to write a letter of commitment. One group was guided by the CLM Beatriz, of the National Formation Team, and it was made up of CLM who have already finished two years of basic formation. They wrote their petition to the coordinating team of Mexico to be allowed to continue to work permanently one more year in the community. The other group, made up of those who had been newly invited to become CLM, listened to the witness of CLM Adriana, the National Coordinator, who spoke of her life and experience in Peru. After writing their letters, the two groups joined again so that the new ones could witness the commitment of each CLM. The joy and emotion were such that several were deeply moved by this. After hugs and congratulations to the new CLM, we closed our retreat with some time of celebration where we could share the joy we had experienced during these days. We wish to thank all the participants and are grateful for the support we received from some benefactors. We will keep praying for you, for the new Lay people and for missionary vocations…

LMC México

“I die, but my work will not die”

St. Daniel Comboni