Monthly newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus



Latest on Fr. Teresino’s state of health

The Superior General, Fr Teresino Serra, has undergone coronary tests at San Martino’ hospital, Genoa.
His health is good, though there are still irregularities in secondary arteries which give rise to attacks of angina and tiredness. As a result, a new treatment has been prescribed which should improve his blood circulation. The doctor has advised him to rest for a while.
As a result, Fr Teresino has had to forego, reluctantly, his planned visits to Central Africa and Chad.
Let us remember to pray for Fr Teresino during the coming weeks that he may be able to rest and enjoy a peaceful Christmas season, confident that he will return to his work with renewed vigour early in the New Year.

General Secretary
The MCCJ Bulletin of October 2006, a special issue on the Intercapitular Assembly in Mexico, will be despatched early in January 2007.

Perpetual professions
Bro. Gianni Albanese (I) Roma (I) 08.12.2006
Sc. Lomas Garcia José Jaime (M) Guadalajara (MEX) 10.12.2006

Holy Redeemer Guild
January 01 – 07 A 08 – 15 C 16 – 31 BNE
February 01 – 15 BS 16 – 28 CA

Prayer intentions
- That the Inter-assembly of the Secular Comboni Missionaries may be experienced as a time of grace to renew the aims proposed by the General Assembly and to strengthen the process of reorganising the Institute. Let us pray.
February - That the decisions of the Intercapitular Assembly of the Comboni Missionaries may become a means of growth towards a more radical and authentic religious lifestyle. Let us pray.


Ad Gentes in Asia

Recently the collaboration of the Delegation has been sought by another Institute engaged in expanding its commitment to first evangelization in Asia.
The Marist Brothers of Schools (F.M.S.), with about 4700 members in seventy countries worldwide, have decided to make a substantial new investment of personnel in Asia in the three years before their General Chapter in 2009. So far, 170 Brothers have responded to their Superior General’s invitation for volunteers for this mission. Once it has been decided that a Brother is suitable to participate in what is known as the Marist Ad Gentes Project, he participates in a four-month orientation program in Davao, the Philippines.
The first orientation course, attended by sixteen Brothers from Europe, America and Africa, ended on 8 December 2006 with a “missioning” ceremony conducted by their Superior General, Brother Sean Sammon: the first group of Brothers have been assigned principally to Bangladesh, Cambodia and China. The second course with fourteen Brothers will last from January to June 2007.
Our Delegation has been asked to lend a hand in the orientation courses by leading the week-long retreat which immediately precedes the “missioning” as well as animating a week on missionary spirituality towards the beginning of the course. The participants have also made use of the special issue of World Mission magazine prepared for the Asian Mission Congress.


The provincial council is complete again

After the General Council in their November Consulta appointed Fr. Josef Altenburger as the new provincial, we proceeded to elect Fr. Josef König, of the community at Neumarkt, as vice-provincial. To complete the number of the members of the provincial council, Fr. Alfred Putz of the Graz-Messendorf community was elected.

Living in newly renovated house of Brixen-Milland
During the one and a half years of reconstruction work on the house of Brixen-Milland, reopened last November, the community lived in the nearby Xaverianum, the building that served as a minor seminary in the past and lately used as the "House of Solidarity Luis Lintner". Only a week after the blessing of the house the community was able to move back into the “old but renovated” building: thus since the middle of November they do really enjoy their renovated dwelling.

Comboni Lay Missionaries
Every year around August-September most of the Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) of the DSP depart for their places of missionary commitment. This concerns particularly the ones who commit themselves to the missions for one year or a little more. The CLM with a three-year term of service move out to the missions at any time. All CLM who were due to leave for their missionary commitment in the year 2006 have arrived to their respective places by now.
The CLM of the DSP are thirteen: eight women and five men. Two of those with a three-year commitment work in São Luis (Brasil) and one in Matany (Uganda). Two of those with a one-year commitment work in Arequipa (Peru), one in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), one in Arua (Uganda), four in Nairobi (Kenya), one in Amakuriat (Kenya) and one in Mokopane (South Africa). Some of these CLM are real specialists in building, law, teaching, pastoral and social work. Nearly all of them are working with our confreres and they often collaborate with them in special projects.


Centenary of the birth of Mgr. Agostino Baroni

On Sunday, 26 November 2006, the parish community of San Giorgio di Piano marked the centenary of the birth of their citizen, Mgr. Agostini Baroni, with a Eucharistic celebration. The Mass was presided by Fr. Giovanni Vantini, assisted by the parish priest, Don Luigi Gavagna, and Fr. Mario Andrighetti of the Bologna Comboni community. Mgr. Baroni’s sister, Imelda, was also present.
In his homily, Fr. Vantini enthusiastically outlined the figure of the confrere bishop, presenting his achievements, first as an educator teaching and directing the Comboni College in Khartoum, and then as a pastor guiding the archdiocese of Khartoum. He also emphasised the commitment of Mgr. Baroni to dialogue and peace and to the sick and handicapped, for whom he spent his entire life after his retirement from the archdiocese.
The commemoration was organised by the parish missionary group which, through the memory of the great missionaries of the past (besides Mgr. Baroni, our deceased confreres Fr. Amleto Accorsi and Fr. Ferruccio Accorsi were also from San Giorgio), promotes awareness and sensitivity to missionary problems among the Christian community.

Christmas Mass at Padova Railway Station
On Sunday 24 December, at 10 p.m., the usual Christmas Mass organised by the Comboni Missionaries was celebrated in the entrance hall of Padova railway station. As in previous years, all the groups, associations and individuals who committed themselves during the past year to helping the needy and building a more human world according to the plan of God, were invited. The purpose was, therefore, to reveal the face of a city capable of service, hope and dialogue.
The celebration aimed at making room for the people from the city of Padova “for whom there is no room” as well as for those from Italy and from the world. Thus, making room for Christ, the Emmanuel who is born into our history, involves allowing everyone to live fully and with dignity.
The celebration was followed by a moment of festivity and sharing.


Scholastic involved in accident

The scholastic Gregor Bog-Dong Schmidt had a miraculous escape when he was involved in a traffic accident near Eldoret, while travelling during the night. Gregor was on his way to Amakuriat to get to know better the work of the confreres in that area and especially the pastoral work among the Pokot. The bus in which he was travelling struck a lorry parked by the roadside, which it ripped away its entire left side. Fifteen people were killed outright. Gregor might well have been among them, were it not for the fact that, when he boarded the bus, he sat on the left side, but moved to the right side to sit near a new acquaintance.
He only suffered bruises and slight injuries to his head. After receiving medical assistance, he proceeded to Kapenguria.
We thank the Lord who, once again, has protected one of the workers of his vineyard!


P. Mario Marchetti
(19.02.1922 – 26.12.2006)
His necrology will be published in the next Familia Comboniana.

Let us pray for our beloved dead
: Gilberto, di Fr. Tomás Herreros Baroja (KE).
THE MOTHER: Maria Guadalupe, of Fr. Angel Camorlinga Maldonado; Rosa Lucia, of Fr. Guglielmo Maffeis (U).
THE BROTHER: Francesco, of Fr. Stelvio Benetazzo (I) and Fr. Luciano Benetazzo (C-Parigi); Luigi, of Fr. Tarcisio Pilati (KH).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Maria Pia Uoldeab, Sr. Marcelinda Treccani.

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Familia Comboniana n. 638