Comboni Lay Missionaries

“God invites me to discover my missionary vocation”

Monica Mexico

I am Monica Cervantes Suarez, I am 18, and I was born in the city of Sahuayo, Michoacán. I am about to start my university studies majoring in integrative medicine. I wish to share with you my experience in this missionary journey. Beginning when I was denied access to the career I wanted, I started looking for something else that would fill this void I felt, because I was far removed from God, and even though my parents are active in Church family movements, I kept a distance from all that.

I must confess that, if I had any missionary inclination, it was more out of curiosity about knowing different cultures and traditions, above all for the adventure, for seeing new places, etc. I had the opportunity to attend a national mission congress for children and adolescents with the them: “WITH JOSELITO IN THE MISSIONARY HEART OF VOCATION.” I really did not know what I was doing there and at the beginning I felt out of place, but everything changed within me when I realized that I needed to discover my life’s mission.

After this experience, I decided to get in touch with the CLM Beatriz, who had spoken on the Missionary Vocation and given an account of her life at the Congress, to ask her to let me attend the mission camp. Having received a positive answer, I started with my formation to attend the Holy Week Mission Camp. I was waiting for my departure day with much enthusiasm but, when the time came, I felt both a lot of fear and at times joy, because what I had been awaiting for so many years was about to come.

We arrived at the parish of Metlatonoc, a community of Vicente Guerrero, where I stayed for a week. We faced several difficulties to get there, including a long journey, and steep uphill roads where we had to leave the car and walk to the place. But staying in the community I had the chance to discover that there is greater joy in giving than in receiving and also that a missionary learns from the community that accepted us with joy and enthusiasm. We worked as a team. We worked with the girls, forming three teams to share the themes and the eucharistic celebrations. Because we had no priests, we did not have the Eucharist, but we had the celebration of the Word in which I was chosen to lead the Easter Vigil. I felt a great responsibility and, wanting everything to turn out well, I was very nervous. Just the same, by the end I felt the peace and joy of having lived this great experience. Without a doubt, the Lord was able to seduce and trap me so that I may continue to serve. Coming back, I could look at life differently, trying to see always the positive side of things. I continued to follow the missionary activities and the meetings that have helped me to discover my vocation.

I just finished attending another National Youth Missionary Congress in July, in Villa Hermosa, Tabasco. The theme invited me to go beyond myself: CHRISTIAN YOUTH AT THE PERIPHERIES OF THE WORLD. There I could share experiences with people of my age who, just like myself, have questions as they try to discover their journey in a life of service in mission.

Now I am anxiously waiting for the formation retreat that will take place at the Comboni Seminary of San Francisco del Rincón, Gto. There I will start the process of formation as a Comboni Lay Missionary, since I feel that I identify with the missionary charism of St. Daniel Comboni.

Mónica Cervantes Suarez

25th Anniversary of the CLM in Mexico – 2017

LMC Mexico

Today, 25 years from the beginning of the CLM in Mexico, we gathered in Sahuayo, Michoacán to start our 19th National Assembly with great joy, faith and enthusiasm that spur us to continue in this vocation, because, as St. Daniel Comboni said, “This work will not die.”

On June 30 we reflected on our commitment to the lay vocation. In this journey, the call is the compass guiding our steps and pointing to the right way, since our vocation is to do what lines up with our passion that, in one way or another, contributes to the building of a better world: to give help and light, to generate wellbeing, to be guides and spread harmony. We all need to find our vocation, because it brings us to enjoy life more. The advice on this matter was: “If you are doing what you have a passion for, keep on doing it even better.” To follow one’s vocation involves getting to know one another and develop our talents. What am I good for? It means to feel called by God, as special people over whom God placed his sight.

LMC Mexico

Later, on July 1, we reflected on what must set apart a CLM, and we agreed that the CLM must show a fraternal spirit, act in solidarity and empathy in order to free and walk with the poorest and most abandoned. As for his personality he is a brother who gives confidence, makes you feel part of the family and shares with you sorrows and joys. Even more, he must be loving, generous, and feel the freedom and the joy of serving. In this vocation, not everything is easy, so that even we may not like to stay in it, God wants it and he keeps us going in difficult moments.

Along these same lines, we began to develop a work plan based on the lay missionary experience of the group. In order to progress with this plan it is necessary to observe, to be realistic, to listen and learn from simple things in order to finally to be able to act with patience. Not always can the missionary solve problems, but a process may be started so that there will be change. So, from the work experience among the indigenous communities of Guerrero, we identified these areas of activity: education, employment, nutrition, women’s promotion and inclusion of the disabled.

At the same time, we had the joy of sharing this festive occasion with a group of friends who accompanied us and worked during these days on a life project and reflected on the lay vocation, seeing whether it could be with the CLM. Besides listening to the witness of missionaries, they also took active part in the moments of prayer and celebration.

Finally, the big day arrived, July 2, when we had the opportunity to listen to the missionary testimony of the Mexican CLM who pioneered this work. It was a blessing to enjoy the presence of the Cornejo Castillo family, Olivia Ayala, Martha Navarro and Manuelita Valladares who, by their witness and commitment, left footprints to be followed in this journey.

LMC MexicoThe Thanksgiving Mass was presided over by Fr. Enrique Sánchez, the MCCJ provincial. Without any doubt, it was a very emotional time to say THANKS to all those who have written parts of this history and to those who are still writing it.

We are also grateful for the presence of Bro. Joel Cruz, mccj and Fr. Gustavo Covarrubias, mccj currently moderator of the CLM in Mexico, and all those who joined our festivities in prayer and from the heart.

Life is made up of moments. It was in July 1992 that the first formation meeting of the CLM took place, followed by July 1996 when our first CLM Silvia, Pablo, Oli and Ana Luz were assigned to Guatemala. In this same month we have given thanks especially for those who have accepted the missionary call to go to the mission ad gentes.

LMC Mexico

LMC Mexico

Aguilectores in Sahuayo 2017: living the values in the family with Black Smoke


Last weekend, the Aguilectores (readers of the Comboni´s missionary magazine for children) annual meeting was held in an atmosphere of joy, sharing moments of prayer, games, dynamics, food and topics of current interest, which led them to become aware of their reality.

It was inaugurated with a moment of animation with songs and dances for children. This help to integrate them in teams with missionary colors to begin the contest of drawings, whose theme was the values ​​in the family. This motivated them to join as a team, to get points and be the winning team, their prize is to publish them in our magazine.

In their analysis of reality, Internet, social networks, as well as mobile phones that have been addictive for most of them, could not be lacking. Therefore, they agreed to select three rules to use them properly, recognizing that they are useful today for our life. The rules are as follows: 1) make a schedule to use them, 2) obey at the first moment to our parents / guardians, 3) use internet in the company of an adult.

The main theme of our day was “LIVING THE VALUES IN THE FAMILY WITH BLACK SMOKE”, teacher Rosita and her children explained some of the values ​​that have great importance for a healthy family coexistence, such as: Belonging, faith, forgiveness, honesty, curiosity, respect, flexibility, communication and generosity. All the children participated very kindly giving contributions of their own family experience, revealing to us how important it is for them to belong to a natural family.

At noon, we celebrated the Eucharist for the children, at the end we continued with a march through the streets near the park. The prayer of the rosary was interspersed with songs and batons. Concluding the event with a fraternal meal among the children and collaborators making alive the joy of the gospel.

Because of the affluent of participants, we have started a new project of missionary formation for children every Saturday from 09:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with headquarters in Uganda Martyrs’ Park.

We will wait for you!

Carlos Manuel Castillo Villanueva.

Concluding the CLM continental meeting of America

LMC AmericaOur morning mass was presided by Father Arlindo in a very unique way, it was a reinvigorating start.  The morning activities are followed with a short review of how the Central Committee and the Continental committee function according to the countries and their respective representatives. Alberto de la Portilla, guides us with an explanation of the process and functions.  Everyone becomes involve in dialogue and it results in a very beneficial and fruitful discussion.

The next part of the morning is, everyone including the coordinators and or representatives of each country come together to debate on issues that were previously discussed in the previous continental meeting to conclude with a new continental proposal. The other members who assisted each country were also present in the debate.

The next part was, the new members of the Continental committee were elected by a consensus, and the two newly elected members were Marta from Mexico and Mireya from Guatemala.

The next task at hand was to approve the Motions previously worked on, in Guatemala.  These motions are for the approval of the Continental final document of commitments.  We move cautiously revising each motion of the past days’ work in group dialogue.   We worked on this both in the early and later part of the day.  After we concluded with the work at hand we took the official group picture, and finalized the day with group prayer.

In the night we concluded with a celebration to our IV CLM Continental Meeting of America.

LMC America

Fr Valentin and Yessenia

The Fourth day of our CLM continental meeting of America

LMC America

We have begun our morning invoking the presence of Saint Daniel Comboni so that we as CLM may live and follow a style of life that he lived.  We have begun the first part of the morning with some presentations of mission experience of some of our CLM.  Carol and Minerva share their mission experience and work that they do among the Misteco village, in Mexico.  They describe and share the difficulties, obstacles, limitations and fruitful gifts they have both experienced and received.  Their work among the village of the Mistecos is to accompany them by being present and being there with them.  Carol and Minerva both live and share their lives with the village of the Misteco, respecting their culture and working together among them without excluding their culture values, religion, and way of doing things. Then we have a guess speaker, Juan Manuel Garcia a professor coming from a Pastoral School of the indigenous people in Mexico City, whom gives CLM formation in the area of pastoral work within this people.  In between our formation class we were assigned group work, it enabled for some dialogue, and reflection of this type of pastoral work.  The various groups coincided with some thoughts such as obstacles, limitations, and realizing the importance of this kind of work.  The main focus and teaching that the CLM remained with is that “God’s heart is opened to all that want to know of him” which was a very enriching knowledge.  In the second part of the day we have two psychologist speakers, they provided useful information and knowledge on how to communicate more effectively among each other (CLM).  They used group interaction, as a dynamic to bring us together and practice our communication skills that we already possess in a more effective manner using strategies and methods.

LMC America

At the end of our day we concluded with Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament and were infused with an explosion of gratitude.

(Valentín and Yessenia)