Towards the General Chapter 2009: first announcement
We begin our journey towards the General Chapter 2009 by invoking the light of God’s Spirit and St. Daniel Comboni’s companionship. In our preparation to the Chapter we start afresh from what is essential, we begin again the Gospel’s journey, which invites us to an ongoing conversion. To start afresh, as a matter of fact, means among other things to live again, to highlight and re-qualify the important values of our charism here and now. We’ll try to achieve all this by following that ideal indicated by Christ, the missionary of the Father, and exemplified by Comboni, the missionary of Christ. Together with you, we inform the whole Institute of the orientations of the General Council. The preparation journey of the General Chapter will proceed with the input of the (A) Thematic Commissions, (B) Preparatory Commission and (C) Pre-Chapter Commission.
The Four Thematic Commissions
are charged with the task of preparing a first draft of the sector entrusted to them, which will then be passed on to the Preparatory Commission. Each Commission will receive the necessary information and orientations from the GC and General Secretariats. They will work from January to September 2008 and will hold their first meeting before the Consulta of April 2008.
The members of the Thematic Commissions
are: for the Ratio Missionis, Fr. Rosich Vargas Enrique Javier (coordinator), Br. Eigner Johann, Fr. Beretta Fausto, Fr. Cerezo Ruiz Daniel, Fr. Masini Corrado, Fr. Mbuthia Simon Mwaura; for Formation, the secretary general for Formation (coordinator), Br. Binaghi Marco, Fr. Alenyo John Peter, Fr. Barrera Pacheco Luis Alberto, Fr. Kamanga Mutombo Stéphane, Fr. Padovan Giorgio, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie, Fr. Villaseñor Gálvez José de Jesús; for Government, Fr. Lurati Claudio (coordinator), Fr. Filippi Giuseppe, Fr. Sánchez González Enrique, Fr. Sindjalim Essognimam Elias; for the Statute, Fr. Glenday K. David (coordinator), Fr. Aldegheri Giorgio, Fr. Converset John Michael.
The Preparatory Commission
’s task will be to examine and prepare a synthesis of the material received by the Thematic Commissions in order to hand over to the Pre-chapter Commission a synopsis of the work done. This Commission will provide material and topics for reflection to be used during the first provincial phase of preparation to the Chapter. It will work from October to the end of December 2008. This Commission is free to call upon other confreres or experts in order to enrich their synthesis. The members of this Commission will be nominated by the GC in December 2007.
The Pre-chapter Commission
. The members of this Commission will be nominated by the GC at the end of December 2008 and will be responsible for the forthcoming and official preparation of the General Chapter 2009. They will begin their work before the Consulta of March 2009 and have their first meeting with the GC. In April-May 2009 they will take part in the continental assemblies together with the Chapter Delegates. In June 2009 they will begin the Roman phase in preparation to the forthcoming General Chapter.
Timetable - an outline
. January-December 2008: remote preparation phase to the Chapter steered by the Thematic Commissions and Preparatory Commission; January-March 2009: the Pre-chapter Commission will steer the provincial phase in preparation to the Chapter; April-May 2009: the Pre-capitular Commission will steer the phase of the continental assemblies in preparation to the Chapter; September-October 2009: the Roman phase of the General Chapter.
From a General Chapter an Institute has to emerge re-evangelised. This will be possible only if we celebrate it and lay it on Christ, the cornerstone. This will be possible if we listen to the voice of St. Daniel Comboni.
A Chapter will not be effective unless it is assimilated by the Institute. In general we can say that it will be assimilated in the measure in which we all have an active part in its preparation, in the measure in which we all contribute to the elaboration of a communal awareness, renewed by the vocation and charism of the Institute. A Chapter will not be effective if it is not accompanied by our faith, prayer and passion for the mission.
In Christ the Good Shepherd,
1 November 2007
Feast of All Saints
The General Council
October Consulta Appointments
Fr. Alois Eder
has been appointed personal secretary of Fr. General, as from 1 January, 2008, taking the place of Fr. Michele Sardella
. The Council warmly thanks Fr. Michele for his service.
Fr. Navarrete Arceo Miguel
, at present secretary general for vocations promotion and formation, has been elected provincial of Chad. Fr. Girolamo Miante
has been asked to take his place for the time being, as from December 2007.
Calling all past capitulars
The Commission on the Statute (Fr. David K. Glenday, Fr. Giorgio Aldegheri and Fr. John Converset), recently appointed to begin the preparation of the proposed by-laws for the 2009 General Chapter, is seeking the help of as many as possible of the confreres who participated in previous General Chapters. The Commission would like to hear the experience of these confreres, especially with regard to these points:
- what did you find most unhelpful about the by-laws used in the Chapter(s) you attended: please specify which Chapter(s)?
- what improvements to the by-laws do you consider most urgent to help the Chapter achieve its aim?
- what general observations or suggestions do you have about the method/dynamic used in the Chapter?
Needless to say, the views of non-capitulars are also most welcome. All contributions or communications should be sent to this e-mail address: email@example.com The Commission will meet for the first time in the week beginning 25 February 2008, but it is keen to hear any feedback as soon as possible and expresses its appreciation in advance.
Consultors of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
The Osservatore Romano, in the 21 November issue, has published the appointment by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, of the members of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. One of these is our confrere Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, Head of the P.I.S.A.I. Congratulations!
Holy Redeemer Guild
December 01 – 15 U 15 – 31 CN
January 01 – 07 A 08 – 15 C 16 – 31 BNE
- That the young people, who feel called to the Comboni missionary consecrated life, may find in our communities love for the gift of vocation and passion for the mission. Let us pray.
- That in our communities we may welcome the gift of the others and be a visible sign of unity, justice and peace. Let us pray.
Trophy to World Mission magazine
World Mission has been granted a trophy of the “Catholic Mass Media Awards” (CMMA). Our magazine, whose editor is Fr. José António Mendes Rebelo, was singled out as the best community / parish newspaper. The awards were handed out on 25 October at the Marie Eugene Theatre, Assumption College in San Lorenzo Village, Makati City.
The CMMA gives its trademark rock awards to recognize the country's best values-oriented works in student communications, television, books, radio, print, cinema, music, advertising and the Internet. In this year's edition – the XXIX – a record 850 entries in the different categories, the highest in the Foundation's history, were considered.
The editorial board feels honoured by the distinction and dedicates it to all our subscribers and benefactors. A special word of gratitude goes to those collaborators who give of their free time and skills to make World Mission an appealing and effective instrument of missionary animation in Asia and to all the volunteers who help us to promote it. To all – our true partners in mission – we express our deepest gratitude for their friendship and support.
Giving a hand for the Project of Solidarity for South Sudan
The superiors of several religious Institutes present in South Sudan have decided to start a joined venture called "Project of Solidarity " for this country. This project is geared towards the rehabilitation of public buildings, like health centres, hospitals and schools, all of them damaged during the civil war which ended only recently. The first thing to be done is to assess the condition of these structures. For this purpose, a team of three experts, hailing from different religious Institutes, has been set up. Among the members of the team is Bro. Johann Eigner of the DSP. He left for South Sudan on 11 November. The team will first have to assess the existing but damaged structures, secondly to draw up plans for their eventual restructuring and estimate the cost of the work. Bro. Hans is expected back to the DSP towards the end of December.
Closing down the community at Nuremberg
After long discussion it was decided to close down the community at Nuremberg by the end of this year 2007 and to sell the property to an already available investor. Actually, by the middle of December 2007 the house will already have been handed over to a new owner. The reasons for it are the ones heard often enough these days: we have too many structures and not enough manpower to run our places according to their original purpose. Moreover, it will be very difficult to find persons interested in buying some of our houses, due to the particular structure. Coming back to the topic of Nuremberg, many arguments have been exchanged, after which it became obvious that most of the confreres prefer to get rid of the house. It is foreseen that the tasks entrusted to the confreres of the Nuremberg community, e.g. missionary animation, vocation promotion and accompanying the lay missionaries, will be carried on in Ellwangen-Josefstal for the next couple of years.
The Hill of Serra, the Franciscan place in Malibu that hosted the mini assembly in California, and the woods of Mundelein in Illinois where the east coast assembly took place, provided for the province peaceful places filled with moments of encounter with God. As we worked on the second part of Ratio Missionis, moderated by Fr. Mario Malacrida and Fr. José Manuel Baeza Gama, God made his presence felt in our midst. The encounter, concrete and peaceful, was a gift.
It was a very gratifying experience to see, not only the excellent attendance, but that the participation of all was not just a pure act of presence but a contribution to our understanding of Comboni spirituality and community life, both of which are at the core of our vocation and identity.
The unquestioned trust of Daniel Comboni in the pierced heart of the Good Shepherd, his embracing the poor like he embraced the Cross, without fear or reservation, is telling us that a relationship with our brothers and sisters has to be rooted in a relationship with God. Good community life makes our relationship with God credible to us and to the people we serve. We evangelize by loving one another with preference for the unlovable.
It will take the rest of our lives to live this out, but these encounters, these moments of grace lived together, have helped us to see where we are, have clarified where we are going and – hopefully – have helped us to take some definite steps in that direction.
2007 United States Catholic Mission Association Conference
Fr. Peter Ciuciulla and Fr. Joe Bragotti as well as Mrs. Charla Patchman, assistant to the provincial, attended this year's USCMA Mission Conference in Austin, Texas. The theme, "Are not our hearts burning? Spirituality of mission in the 21st century" provided opportunity for participants to meet with other people, religious and lay, who share the same passion for the mission. They experienced that they are not alone and had a chance to discuss and deepen the meaning of mission today and the importance of its spirituality in our fluid and polarized world. Together they envisioned a renewed and deepened spirituality of mission for the 21st century They learned that laughing and not taking ourselves too seriously is a way to evangelize. Being happy announces a smiling God who wants to see us smiling as well.
Commemoration of deceased missionaries
What better way to remember our dear departed brethren than by our prayers? On 2 November, All Souls Day, the representatives of the Comboni Family met at the British Cemetery of Lima to thank God for the work and witness of missionary life of the departed confreres who worked in the province. Those who died and have gone to the Father are now 33. The celebration was presided over by Fr. Rogelio Bustos Juárez, the provincial, and was organised by the scholastics. There were also some Comboni Missionary Sisters present, evidence of the communion which exists among us.
On 10 November, the young scholastics Ferdinand Sito Atambise (CN), Yves Mambueni Makiadi (CN), Jhon Jani Castro Sánchez (EC), Serafim Aparecido Rodrigues da Costa (BS) and Rubén Simeón Aguirre Charre (PE) made their final consecration to God as Comboni Missionaries. In a moving ceremony marked by a great missionary spirit, each scholastic read the formula of profession he had prepared in prayer and reflection. In it they spoke of the work which God had accomplished during their long course of formation and of how He gradually shaped their lives so that they could now pronounce this ‘yes’ which binds them for ever to our missionary family. They also mentioned the poor who, directly or indirectly, contributed by their example to the formation of their personalities, the gratitude they felt towards the formators who accompanied them and the many people who occupy a place in their hearts.
As we thank God for the gift of these vocations, we entrust to Him these scholastics so that He may accompany them during their missionary life.
This year, the three novices Albert Arkadiusz Jasiński, Jacek Andrzej Pomykacz and Mariusz Szybka made their first consecration to the mission. Fr. Fabio Carlo Baldan, the vicar general, and Fr. Josef Altenburger, the provincial of the DSP, were present at the ceremony.
Jacek is continuing his formation at Casavatore (Naples), while Mariusz and Albert do so in Innsbruck. At present we have two postulants, a Brother novice in Mexico and nine scholastics, three of whom are in Innsbruck, three in Naples, two in Nairobi and one in Lima.
On 20 October, Maciej Mikolaj Zieliński was ordained deacon in his home parish by the bishop of Tarnów, Mgr. Wiktor Skworc, who is also president of the Episcopal Commission for the Missions. Maciej will assist in vocations ministry and will have time to prepare for his priestly ordination.
Among other important events were: the visit of a group of confreres from the DSP who are members of the secretariat of evangelisation; the annual retreat, led by Fr. Fausto Beretta; the days devoted to the Ratio Missionis.
As usual, we shall spend Christmas together. On 28 December we shall say goodbye to Adam Zagaja who will leave for Chad.
As you can see, in spite of our low numbers, we share what we can. At present there are four priests, one deacon and one Brother who have completed their formation. Two priests, one in Sudan and one in Chad. and one Brother who will serve the missions in Africa. Two priests and one deacon will serve in Poland.
Opening of John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre, Kampala
On 10 November 2007, at St. Augustine’s, the John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre (JPIIJP) was inaugurated with a celebration of the Eucharist presided over by Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, the patron. About 150 persons attended the celebration, mainly religious, journalists and other people concerned with issues of justice and peace. Archbishop John Baptist Odama, chairperson of the Commission of Justice and Peace of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, addressed the assembly underlining the role that such a Centre will have in giving a qualified contribution to the various activities that are going on in this field. Fr Giuseppe Filippi, provincial and chairperson of the Board of Governors of JPIIJP, thanked all those who participated in the three years long journey that preceded the birth of the Centre and outlined its aim and purpose. In particular, he underlined that there is no competition with any existing commissions or NGOs: the aim of the Centre is to foster collaboration with all, especially to spread and implement the Social Teaching of the Church. Best wishes to the new Centre.
Course on Islam in Layibi, Gulu
A Course on Islam was held at the Layibi Comboni Spirituality Centre, Gulu, from 12 to 17 November. It was attended by 22 persons and noteworthy was the group from West Nile, priests and lay people, headed by Fr David Baltz. The course was directed by Fr. John Richard Kyankaaga Ssendawula, director of Dar Comboni Institute in Cairo, and by Fr. Achilles Kiwanuka Kasozi, a lecturer at the same Institute. The participants were introduced on the basic tenets of Islam, its history and present influence in the world. They also had the opportunity trough questions and answers to apply the inputs to specific situation. A warm ‘thank you’ to the facilitators of the Course and to the Comboni Spirituality Centre for hosting the initiative.
IN PACE CHRISTI
Fr. Lorenzo Gaiga
(03.09.1934 - 13.11.2007)
Let us pray for our beloved dead
: Maria Orsola, of Fr.. Firmino Cusini (MO); Monica, of Bro. Matthias-Elie Adossi Koffissan Adékplovi (T).
: Giuseppe, of Fr. Pierluigi Cadè (M); Raymundo, of Fr. Andrés García Chávez (M).
: Maria da Conceição, of Fr. Manuel António da Silva Machado (P).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS
: Sr. Domiziana Lascioli, Sr. Angela Valsecchi; Sr. M. Camilla Mulattieri.
Visit our Website: http://www.comboni.org