This time she shares about Christmas spent in the Peruvian Andes.
We invite you to watch.
(with subtitles in Spanish)
The December meeting of the Comboni Lay Missionaries was entitled “Pastoral Animation in Missions” and was held on December 17-19. We started on Friday with a joint dinner, then began a workshop during which we got to know what the pastoral work was like on Ewa’s mission in Uganda, Ania’s in the Central African Republic and Adela with Tobias’ in Ethopia. It was a valuable experience for us. On Saturday December 18th, after breakfast, Magda reminded us of the life of St. Daniel Comboni on the basis of which we described the features of a good mission animator. The next item on the agenda was the testimony of Paula – missionary of the Light-Life Movement, who was in Kenya and helped with the work in the “Shalom” orphanage. Then Sebastian introduced us to the life of a lay missionary, Helena Kmieć, who won people for God with her singing, joy and service, and had her missionary experience in Hungary, Zambia and Bolivia …
Bogusia and Andrzej, who were in Ethiopia, also came to the meeting and shared their experiences from the mission with us.
Our Combonian children also had their own formation, and auntie Dominika took care of it, preparing eg. Nativity play. A beautiful performance by the children was the introduction to our Christmas Supper. Each of Comboni Friends and candidates brought something tasty to eat. We shared the wafer and sang and played Christmas carols together. There was also time for personal prayer in the chapel.
On Sunday, December 19th, we began with a common Eucharist presided over by Father Adam and Father Rene. Father’s Christmas greetings directed us to what is most important – to meet the Newborn Lord who gives us God’s love.
Our weekend was summed up with the catechesis of Sr. Joanna about the “Pedigree of Jesus”. She reminded us that Jesus comes to each of us, no matter what we are, to change us. It was a beautiful time we spent in a family atmosphere.
In the chapel of St. John Paul II in Krakow LMC Bartłomiej Tumiłowicz was officially sent on a mission to Africa.
Bartłomiej Tumiłowicz took up the challenge of being a lay missionary on the continent, from where “the spring of the Church will come”, as the patron of his parish, St. Pope John Paul II, said.
In his homily, bishop Robert Chrząszcz referred to the Gospel passage about the Apostles wanting to sit next to the Savior in His kingdom (Mark 10,35-45), noting that in order to get there, one must first put on the robe of humility during earthly life: – Do these words really turn the world upside down? Actually, it is not. It’s just getting it back in order. Jesus often broke established patterns of thought in order to introduce the order of the Gospel, which was the guarantee of true happiness. He wants to free us from the desires that enslave us. Today He wants to convince each of us that our greatness is not about domination and possession.
The hierarch indicated, for example, the patron of the parish, who with love undertook the great responsibility that was upon him: – “Whoever would become great among you, let him be your servant.” The patron of our parish community, St. John Paul II the Great. And we know that his greatness was not that he was pope, but he was great because he had an attitude of service. He wanted to serve man in the position where God had put him. Because the attitude of the service does not mean hiding in the shadows, not taking up positions or running away from activity. There is also no need to change work to a more servant one.
The clergyman emphasized that this humility helps us achieve great things. Referring to the task undertaken by the lay missionary, he remarked: – We know and believe that Bartlomiej is not going there to reign in order to suddenly be able to call himself a great missionary, or to consider himself important because “I will be a missionary”. He is going there to serve. Therefore, this mission is great, very important. The more we have this will to serve, to give ourselves to others in our hearts, the greater we become in God’s eyes.
The bishop said about the goals that the missionary has before him: – That is why today we remember St. John Paul II the Great and those other great saints who, through their service and their gift, showed greatness in simplicity and love for God. Today we also pray for Bartlomiej that good God will accompany him, that he will understand well this spirit of service, which will be very necessary for him there in his missionary work. That he could open the hearts of other people to Christ. But starting to open his own heart.
CLM from Poland
As Christians, as missionaries, we cannot watch calmly from our windows as the global economic system evolves, putting at risk food security and the effective rights of more and more populations. Faced with the complexity of this terrain, we need a minimum of training in these issues.
The Comboni Missionary Giulio Albanese, a journalist specializing in the field of economics, led the reflection on Economy: Land of Mission, at the meeting of the Comboni Lay Movement of Europe, which was attended last Saturday by participants from Poland, Germany, Portugal, Italy and Spain, as well as the CLM coordinator of Brazil, Flavio Schmidt. The anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers, which reshaped geopolitics, and the Time of Creation, in which the Christian confessions unite every year to pray, celebrate and act for the Common Home, were the framework for this initiative.
Albanese started from the recent historical process that has shaped the current landscape of the global economic system, initiated at the Breton Woods conference at the end of World War II. Along the way, the financial economy has progressively grown and distanced itself from the real economy. The latter is based on the fact that human labor creates wealth, while the financial economy is based on the fact that money itself generates wealth. The crisis that began in 2008 revealed the consequences of an economic system in which speculative financial products, such as derivatives, represent an economic flow of between 10 and 15 times the global GDP. Another worrying element is that the debt of the states, which is weighing down the economies of the southern communities in particular, is financialized and therefore subject to the uncertainties of the market. Government debt has become a financial product that is bought and sold, generating profits for other investors.
As a proposal to combat the flagrant issue of international debt, a legal document was launched from Italy at the end of the last century, within the framework of the Jubilee 2000, supported by the UN Commission on Human Rights, to argue that the international debt mechanism is contrary to human rights, so that its agreements could be denounced before the Court of the Hague.
The speaker shared from his missionary experience in Ethiopia how, while famine threatens the population, the state accumulates grain in warehouses to offer it to global agribusiness (which fixes its price on the Chicago Stock Exchange) and thus pay the interest on its debt. In another example, he denounced the risk of common goods, such as health, being controlled only by the market, which means that while in the North we are moving towards the third dose of the COVID19 vaccine, in Africa only 1% of the population has the second dose.
The Church has generated abundant reflection in the various social encyclicals, since Rerum Novarum at the end of the 19th century, and the magisterium of Pope Francis stands out for placing the poor and discarded person at the center, not as a pastoral object, but as a theological subject: God is incarnated in the poor. The concept of development, linked to technology and profit, must be replaced by that of progress, which refers to the person and his or her social aspect. In the face of a complex issue, such as the economic system, it is not possible to give a magic answer but, as Francis insists, to participate and initiate transformative processes.
In this context, Albanese proposed not to demonize the market, but to coexist with it and promote alternative economies from within, as the Vatican initiative of the Economy of Francis and Clare has been promoting. Not to promote a mystique of misery, which only promotes sharing the suffering of communities without taking another step. The Social Economy is a field with great development, in which companies arise whose objective is not to generate profits, but to solve people’s problems. The microcredits promoted by the Nobel Prize winner M. Yunus are a tool, as well as Ethical Banking (Fiare, Coop 57, Triodos…). We must also promote laws that can redirect business actions, because the deregulation promoted by liberalism leaves communities in the hands of unscrupulous companies. The European alliance of ecclesial entities CIDSE is working on this corporate regulation.
For religious congregations there is the task of responsibly reviewing in which initiatives they invest their resources. We currently have two divestment campaigns underway. The Laudato Si’ movement promotes divestment from companies that favor fossil fuels, while the Churches and Mining network, in which the CLM and the Comboni Missionaries of Brazil participate, seeks divestment from mega-mining companies, which threaten populations and the environment. And to bet on an integral evangelization in which the promotion of social transformation is present. The recent Map of Comboni social ministries presents examples of this type.
For the Comboni lay movement there would be the task of deepening how our lifestyles contribute to underpinning the global financial system or to come up with alternatives. The CLM in Italy has been working in this direction with an important prophetic component. In Spain, the platform Connected Yourself for Justice, in which the Comboni NGO AMANI participates, has also proposed to reflect in this sense. It is also necessary that we feel that we can influence the policies that can control the economic-financial system, from our closest family and parish environments, to the decision-making bodies, participating in actions together with organized platforms. In this sense, last year several CLM participated in a training on political advocacy promoted by the REDES platform.
The meeting concluded with a dialogue among the participants to advance in our formation as CLM and to strengthen ties with the rest of the Comboni Family in this area.
You can see the complete video of the meeting.
Gonzalo Violero, CLM Spain
On the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York, Comboni missionary and journalist Fr. Giulio Albanese MCCJ addresses the theme of the civil economy in the webinar “Economy, land of mission”, promoted by the European Coordination of Comboni Lay Missionaries. Albanese reveals the mechanisms of the “shadow banking” system, one of the main culprits of the increasingly insurmountable gap between the North and the South of the world, further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
We apologize for the technical problems inherent to a live broadcast to several countries and different internet connection speeds.