Comboni Lay Missionaries

New CLM in formation in the NAP


DarrelWe have a new CLM taking the formation course in the NAP, preparing himself to go to mission.

Darrel J. Vandeveld is a lawyer and retired Army officer who graduated from the University of California, San Diego, and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

He comes from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he raised his four children and served as the head of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office in Erie, from which he recently retired.

After September, 2001, Darrel served in the US Army in Bosnia, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  He retired from the Army Reserve in 2015 as a Lieutenant Colonel.  In his final assignment for the military, Darrel was assigned to a capital murder trial at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State.

Darrel has served as an elected member of his local school board, and has served on the boards of non-profit organizations, including the Pennsylvania Artists’ Collective Alliance, an organization dedicated to providing local artists with performance spaces and other resources.

He is a member of the St Joseph Bread of Life Community in Erie.

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)  

The third day of our CLM continental meeting of America


The Morning Prayer marked the beginning of our day with a very dynamic and colorful day that filled us with optimism.  Then we worked in groups, CLM were divided into five different groups in order to contextualize and synthesize on previous points that were previously agreed on.  The second part of the morning was used to form us in how to properly manage our web site:  Alberto de la Portilla, our coordinator of the central committee facilitated a training on how to access our web page and showed us the great advantages it offers making it possible for CLM to be connected from around the world.  Also the functions, the benefits it offers such as all the useful content that can be of interest, that can be found through this medium of communication.


In the second part of the day, we have been anxiously waiting to visit the Sanctuary of the Virgen de Guadalupe, (an emblem of the Mexican town).  Our pilgrimage began in the late hours of the afternoon and went throughout the evening.  The mass which was presided by the Provincial of Mexico and concelebrated by four participating Comboni priests it was a very exciting time in which we all participated. This visit to the Sanctuary injected in all CLM a spirit of mission in all of us.  At the end of the day we concluded with a visit to the Comboni Sisters at the Provincial house.  We celebrated with them their special moment of the new election in a new chapter in Rome, the election of their Mother Superior.


(Valentín y Yessenia)

The second day of our CLM continental meeting of America

rosario misionero

Today we started the day with a mass celebration with everyone carrying out our commitment as CLM.  During mass the idea that predominated was that a CLM is always a missionary, not mattering whether or not the CLM is carrying out mission work in or outside of his/her country of origin.  The activities of the day began with group work based on a previous study guide that was presented to the CLM for completion before our IV Continental meeting in Mexico. Each of the groups presented and informed according to the topics that were included in the study guide. We were enriched by the constructive information that all groups exposed and shared of what goes on in each of their countries. It is always enriching to see what others are doing in their countries and how they have progressed in this area of mission work since our last continental meeting.  Each representative of each country exposed and presented with such clarity on topics that were previously chosen for discussion.  In the second part of the morning we moved on to discuss the agreements that were previously made in Guatemala in   2014 for each country.  CLM from Columbia is the only country that was not able to send a representative to our meeting but they have sent their report via email and was read out-loud by Alberto.  Fisher, the coordinator of Peru presented theirs with such clarity and after is followed by a brief discussion of the same.  Yessenia De La O, representative for Paul Wheeler presented the report for Nap.  Cristina both a member of our International Committee and the representative for Brazil presented their report.  Mexico also presents their report with clarity and it’s followed by a small dialogue.  The next presentation is done by Mirella the coordinator of Guatemala.  More group work follows after to answer aspects not yet discussed based on the study guide. In the discussion floor groups exposed what was agreed in their respective groups that they were assigned too, in order to make a follow up on the agreements made in Guatemala 2014, whether if agreements were accomplished or not. After each presentation an enriched dialogue followed which helped to clarify some aspects of past agreements made in the meeting of Guatemala in 2014.

Valentín y Yessenia de la O