Monthly newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
Evangelization: Ratio Missionis
Assembly of English-speaking Africa and Mozambique
The delegates from the provinces of the sub-continent of English-speaking Africa and Mozambique met in Gulu (Uganda) to discuss and decide on the most important points of the provincial reports on the “Ratio Missionis” (RM), according to the different provinces they represented, which should become part of the draft of the RM to be presented to the Intercapitular Assembly.
Fr. Fernando Zolli led the meeting, with the help of the ‘steering committee’ made up by the members of the commission: Fr. Sebhatleab Ayele Tesemma (delegate of ER, chosen as the confrere responsible for evangelization on behalf of the provincials of English-speaking Africa and Mozambique), Fr. Simon Mbuthia Mwaura (member of the core commission, from EG) and Fr. John Baptist Opargiw Keraryo (member of the enlarged commission, from MZ). The other members who represented the different provinces from the sub-continent were Fr. Alfredo Luis Estrada Meza (SS), Fr. Enrique Ibarra Hernández (MO), Fr. Elia Pampaloni and Fr. José Carlos Rodríguez Soto (U), Fr. Ivo Martins do Vale and Fr. Julio Ocaña Iglesias (ET), Fr. Mussie Abraham Keflezghi (ER), Fr. José Luis Román Medina (RSA), Fr. Rafael Rico Hernández (KE) and Fr. Salvatore Marrone (KH).
To help focus on the discussion, the general secretariat for evangelization prepared and handed out a useful summary of the different provincial and delegation reports.
The participants chose Fr. Alfredo Estrada and Fr. Julio Ocaña to be secretaries of the assembly. Fr. Ivo do Vale was chosen as time-keeper.
The meeting was enriched by planned visits around Gulu, such as that to the Displaced Persons’ Camps, the Vocational Institute run by the Comboni Brothers and the St. Monica Centre where a local Institute of Sisters offers training and shelter to girls and people who suffered the ravages of the guerrilla movement in this part of Uganda.
The moments of prayer gave the participants the opportunity to pray for the wholehearted involvement of all the Comboni Missionaries in the journey of conversion and renewal, which is the “Ratio Missionis”. Of relevant importance was the Eucharistic celebration presided by the Archbishop of Gulu, Mgr. John Baptist Odama.
Sc. Jemil Araya Jemil (ER) Elstree (GB) 28-04-2006
Sc. Paucar Simbaña Sergio Ivan (EC) Pietermartizburg (RSA) 30-04-2006
Sc. Tesfaab Bekit Sliman (ER) Pietermaritzburg (RSA) 30-04-2006
Annuario Comboniano Updates
The seat of the delegation now has a new email address:
NAIROBI 1 – Provincial House, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (Provincial)
KOROGOCHO – Changes to tel. no: 254 735 416174 (Fr. Paolo Latorre);
254 733 702972 (Fr. Daniele Moschetti)
TRUJILLO – Parroquia, new tel no: 51-44/211501; vocations ministry e-mail: email@example.com
Holy Redeemer Guild
June 01 – 15 KE 16 – 30 KH
July 01 – 07 LP 08 – 15 CO 16 – 31 MZ
June - That the contemplation of the pierced Heart of the Good Shepherd may be a school of meekness and humility during setbacks, of compassion towards the weak and of mercy in judging others. Let us pray.
July - For our fellow Comboni Missionaries working in youth vocation promotion, discernment and direction that the Lord of the harvest may make their work bear fruit. Let us pray.
Secretariat for Evangelization and Missionary Animation
The meeting was held on 26 and 27 April 2006 at the community of Fortaleza and eight confreres took part, representing some fields of the work of the province. The themes discussed were: youth and justice and peace; courses for suburban situations; ECOS, namely our MA newsletter; presentation and discussion of the data of the “macro-diagnosis”, which is the goal of our Six-year Plan.
The questionnaire, applied to other fields of work by means of personal interviews, made it possible to obtain qualified information for the creation of a socio-pastoral project which would include the guidelines of the aforementioned project.
All the replies from the interested communities clearly show that the methodology set in today’s context is guided by a constant interpretation of the challenges of the situation, in view of greater communitarian participation and aiming at defining the objectives, the priorities and the plan for collective activities. At the same time they indicate a lack of methodology regarding the community, the historical memory and the effectiveness of our work.
Visit of Fr. Teresino Serra
From 8 to 23 May our province was visited by Fr. Teresino Serra. It was a time of deep communion with the Institute, of awareness and study of the Ratio Missionis. During the sector meetings (Fortaleza, Balsas, São Luís), Fr. Teresino had the opportunity to meet the confreres and to encourage them to make of the Ratio an instrument of conversion and of personal and community renewal.
At the end of the visit he met with the provincial council to share his impressions and encourage the province to continue its journey towards the renewal of life at personal, community and Institute level, in the context of mission today.
We thank Fr. Teresino for confirming us in our missionary service.
New "San Daniele Comboni" parish at Guasmo-Guayaquil
On Easter Sunday 2006, a new church, entrusted to the parish of Stella Maris, Guasmo, run by the Missionaries of Mary Star of the Sea, an Institute founded by Mgr. Olindo Spagnolo MCCJ, former Bishop of Guayaquil, was erected, blessed and consecrated.
It is appropriate to recall Mgr. Olindo’s praiseworthy work as a pioneer of evangelization and a founder of the Church in this vast urban area near the main port of Ecuador.
The Archbishop of Guayaquil, Mgr. Antonio Arregui, the Vicar of Guasmo, Mgr. Longinos Schmidt SVD (who was largely responsible for the construction of this new centre), the Sisters of Stella Maris and a large group of people attended the moving ceremony. Mgr. Olindo was unable to be present due to his state of health.
The parish priest, Fr. Giancarlo Freundt, and his assistant, Fr. Alberto Sinche, will take care of this part of the people of God which has a sizeable Afro-Ecuadorian population.
On behalf of the Comboni Missionaries, Fr. Ramón Alberto Vargas Egüez congratulated and thanked the community for placing the parish under the patronage of our holy missionary and founder, whose example and love for the mission for the benefit of the Afro peoples are so inspiring.
The Comboni Sisters leave the Mother House
On 25 April 2006, the community of the Mother House of Verona greeted and cordially thanked the Comboni Missionary Sisters who, due to shortage of personnel, had decided to end their presence after 50 years of service that had begun on 10 January 1956.
The day was marked by two meaningful events. Firstly, the Eucharistic celebration on the feast of St. Mark, during which Fr. Romeo Ballan, superior of the community, read a brief chronicle of the 50 years, prepared by Fr. Lorenzo Gaiga.
In her speech, which followed, Sr. Carmela Coter, superior of the Province of Veneto, emphasised that, even if collaboration in one form was ending, it continued in other ways.
For his part, Fr. Alberto Pelucchi, provincial of Italy, explained the importance of the missionary service rendered by the Sisters during the past fifty years.
Secondly, the celebration continued in the refectory with a fraternal meal attended also by the elderly and infirm confreres of the C.A.A. During the meal, a personal gift was presented to the last three sisters to leave the Mother House and to the other Sisters present at the celebration, some of whom had worked there in the past.
Visit of Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala to Verona
During a visit of several days to Verona and nearby places, Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, Archbishop of Kampala, visited our community at the Mother House.
During the Mass, the cardinal expressed his appreciation for the work of the Comboni Missionaries in Uganda and prayers were offered especially for peace and solidarity in the North of that country. After lunch, Cardinal Wamala greeted and blessed each one of the elderly and sick confrere of the C.A.A., spending time especially with those who had worked in Uganda.
Commission for Immigrants
The annual meeting, organised by the Commission for Immigrants of the Italian Province, took place at Pacognano di Vico Equense (NA) from 10 to 12 May. The topic for discussion was: “Reception and Integration of Immigrants”.
The Venezuelan Edgar Serrano, professor of sociology at the University of Padova and member of the City Council, helped us to understand the various aspects of immigration in Italy. Whereas in other countries of the European Union immigrants are ethnically homogenous, more than 168 nationalities are to be found among those coming into Italy.
Professor Serrano identified the integration indicators (positive, negative and hostile) present in our society, in order to make us reflect upon the model of integration which the national council has prepared in an effort to find a practical answer to the situation of many people who come to Italy.
From this starting point we moved to a discussion on the experiences of some Comboni communities and presences (Castel Volturno, Lecce, Bari, Firenze and Licata) involved in the welcoming of immigrants. The contribution of several lay persons, immigrants and Italians, who collaborate with the Comboni Missionaries, was both meaningful and positive.
The “African Museum” in Verona opens again
The celebration organised at the Mother House on 19 May 2006 for the reopening of the African Museum of the Comboni Missionaries, had little of what one might expect. Instead, for all the participants (confreres, civic authorities, professionals, patrons of the museum, Africans from many nations and a great crowd of friends and supporters of our Institute, it was a multi-coloured celebration of Africa which lives, dances and wishes to express its own energy and will to live.
Many confreres and people close to the Comboni Missionaries had for some time sought the re-opening of the museum: this showed the esteem and the reputation enjoyed by this noble project.
First founded and opened to the public in 1938, the African Museum of the Comboni Missionaries had been conceived soon after the death of St. Daniel Comboni. His immediate successor, Mgr. Francesco Sogaro, had written to Fr. Sembianti to “establish at Verona an African Museum to collect interesting art crafts, information and curios which would be sent from Africa by the missionaries”.
When the museum was closed five years ago, it seemed that a very important aspect of the Comboni tradition had been lost and many people expressed the desire to reconstitute the multimedia mosaic of the Centro Comboni Africa (C.C.A.). As a result, the Museum was brought to life once more under the title of “Museo Africano” (MA), symbolised by a very original logo that embodies the profile of the African continent.
During his brief opening address, the Mayor of Verona, Paolo Zanotto, who honoured us with his presence, accompanied by three members of the City Council, very clearly expressed his appreciation saying, among other things: “This is a gift that the Comboni Missionaries have made to Verona”. He praised the great number of missionaries from Verona, regarded our Founder as Veronese by adoption and one who “looked upon Africa not only as a Christian but also as a person who admired it for its great culture.”
The vice-provincial, Fr. Giacomo Palagi, for his part, stated that “the reopening of the African Museum means, for us Comboni Missionaries, the reaffirmation of our calling to be a bridge between our culture and that of Africa. It is a bridge in two ways which permits the encounter of persons who today are close even geographically speaking, who live and express themselves in these cultures. Thus understood, the Museum – Fr. Palagi continued – aims at being rooted in the environment, now become multiethnic and multicultural, of Verona and the whole of the Veneto Region, continuing to offer its traditional service as a means of knowing and dialoguing with Africa, in order to become a privileged place of coexistence while respecting differences”.
Fr. Giuseppe Cavallini, director of the MA, concluded the short speeches by explaining a few new items in the museum: a large sculpture of Africa emanating a bright light at the entrance of the Museum; the great variety of colours in the displays of the exposition; the enactment of the African situation by means of the non-stop projection of scenes and images of Africa on large and small screens and, finally, a photographic display of African life in the multi-purpose hall next to the Museum. This is the first of a series of thematic displays which will be organised regularly during the course of the year.
Everyone, including the mayor, expressed their admiration at the new lay-out, especially for the beauty of its colours, the clarity and ordered sequence in which the objects are displayed that tell the story of the “life-cycle" in Africa, starting from maternity and birth and ending with a religious experience, the return to the forefathers and the supreme Being, which makes up the traditional feeling of every African people and nation.
During this summer the Museum will be open from Thursday to Saturday. With the new scholastic year (September) it will commence its usual timetable by being opened from Tuesday to Sunday. It will characteristically organise events of cultural and formative character and promote mission awareness in collaboration with Nigrizia, Piemme and Fatmo. The Mother House will also be involved as regards the possibility of visiting the Comboni Chapel and the nearby permanent display.
Sincere thanks to Italian province for its support, above all to Bro. Umberto Martinuzzo, to the lay volunteers, to all who gave of their time and energy, showing their love for the missions and the Comboni Missionaries, and to all of us at the Mother House.
International Congress on St. Toribio di Mogrovejo
From 24 to 28 April 2006, the Archdiocese of Lima has festively celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of its second bishop: St. Toribio di Mogrovejo. He was an outstanding figure and his merits were shown in speeches from the highest quarters.
Some years ago, Pope John Paul II named him patron of the Latin American Bishops for his great missionary and pastoral qualities. We see in him one of the founders of the Church in these lands of America.
The Congress was celebrated in the auditorium of the College of St. Augustine with around 1,200 people attending each day. Among those who helped us understand the various aspects of this bishop of Lima was Fr. Fidel González Fernández who spoke on the theme St. Toribio, model pastor in the Church of his time. His words were very much appreciated.
Among those present were the Apostolic Nuncio to Peru, several Peruvian bishops, bishops from other parts of the word and members of the academic world who underlined the validity of his arguments and, especially, the passion with which he presented them.
We prayed, through the intercession of St. Turibo, that we might be able to improve our missionary work in the fields of inculturation, the care of the indigenous populations and zeal to bring the Gospel to others.
First Professions of Novices
On 6 May 2006 the first professions of four novices took place at Huánuco. They were: José Félix Leytón Espinoza, Huver Ernesto Navarro Vigo, Carlos Alberto Nieto Gallego and Mauricio Castillo Contreras. The first two belong to the province of Peru-Chile and the other two to the delegation of Colombia.
The celebration was presided by the provincial, Fr. Rogelio Bustos Juárez, and concelebrated by Fr. José Antonio Girau Pellicer, delegate of Colombia, who came to Perù especially to accompany these young men as they took their first vows. There were about twenty concelebrants at the ceremony who were welcomed to the parish of San Pedro by a great number of the faithful, including relatives and friends of the newly-professed.
On the eve of Good Shepherd Sunday, when special prayers are offered for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, we thanked God for the gift of these four young men who have accepted the challenge of missionary life. At the same time, we thank their families and those responsible for their formation.
Carlos and Mauricio were assigned to the Kinshasa scholasticate, Huver to Nairobi and José Félix to São Paulo.
25th Anniversary of Palca Parish
On 15 May 2006, the parish of Santo Domingo of Palca (near Tarma city), celebrated its silver jubilee. A series of events had already been organised to mark the occasion.
The fifteenth of May was the central day, with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Mgr. Richard Alarcón Urrutia, Bishop of Tarma, and concelebrated by ten diocesan and religious priests. A number of speeches were made thanking the Comboni Missionaries for their great work during these 25 years.
A message from our confrere Fr. Hubert Unterberger, the first parish priest and noteworthy promoter of the work of evangelization and of human promotion - now living in Germany, was read out in the presence of the religious and civil authorities.
The present community is made up of Fr. Eduard Falk (parish priest), Fr. Hans Hieber and Fr. Hilmar Gulba, who have prepared a varied programme to foster mission promotion and the spiritual renewal for the Christians among whom they work. Thanks to all of them for their apostolic witness.
First perpetual vows in Pietermaritzburg scholasticate
Tesfaab Bekit Sliman, from Eritrea, and Sergio Ivan Paucar Simbaña, from Ecuador, are part of the first group of scholastics who started the Scholasticate in South Africa in 2002. On 30 April, 2006, they made their perpetual profession at the Parish of St. Martin de Porres in Woodlands. People from the nearby parish of St. Joan of Arc, where our scholasticate is located, also joined in the celebration. Both parishes have been entrusted to the Comboni Missionaries. The presence and active participation of the people showed the appreciation and love they have for the missionaries who have been present in the parish for only four years.
The two Christian communities were very much involved in the preparation of the celebration and could enjoy for the first time a remarkable event of this kind. People were deeply moved by the celebration itself and especially by its meaning: the total consecration of these young men to God.
The words of Daniel Comboni: “come day come night, come sun come rain, I shall be equally ready to serve your spiritual needs. Your good will be mine and your sorrows will also be mine” were chosen by the two scholastics as a reminder for their commitment to God and to the poorest and most abandoned people on earth.
Fr. John Converset presided at the celebration, representing the Provincial of South Africa. The Provincial of Ecuador, Fr. Bruno Bordonali, was also present. Their presence increased the joy and happiness of our scholasticate on this festive occasion.
The following day, 1 May, the other scholastics renewed their temporary vows in a simple celebration in the scholasticate.
IN PACE CHRISTI
Fr. Battista Rebucini (14.01.1921 - 09.05.2006)
Fr. Günter Brosig (07.10.1924 – 16.05.2006)
(see the section "IN THE FATHER'S HOUSE")
Let us pray for our dead
THE FATHER: of Fr. Célestin Ngoré Gali (TC); of Fr. Torres Alférez Juan Martin (M); Sabas of P. Paulino Sánchez Rodríguez (E).
THE MOTHER: Elvira Roa de Pesquera, of Fr. Pesquera Roa Eduardo (CN); Regine, of the Sc. Donatien Atitse Kokou (T).
THE BROTHER: Dino, of Fr. Alessandro Preda (†); Augusto, of Fr. Giovanni Cervelloni (†); Don Antonio Tosi, of Bro. Guido Tosi (†).
THE SISTER: Concettina, of Fr. Gennaro Campochiaro (I); Franziska of Bro. Ludwig Kästel (DSP); Merci, of the Sc. Claude Yadjimadji Ondongar (TC).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Clemente Girardi; Sr. Blessilla Borghetti; Sr. Maria Ulderica Marcolegio; Sr. Maria Stella Fortuna.