Monthly newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
General Secretariat for Formation
Course for Europe-based Educators
The course for educators (vocations promoters and formators) of the European provinces, joined by a confrere from the province of Mozambique, was held at Pesaro from 22 June to 5 July, 2008.
Twenty-one confreres participated and, together with the coordinating team, endeavoured to share their experiences and study some important themes regarding vocations ministry and Comboni formation today. Pesaro 2008 is the fourth course following the meetings at São Paolo 2006 and Africa 2007, held at Layibi (for Anglophone Africa and Mozambique) and at Cotonou (for Francophone Africa): a concrete response to the invitation of the last General Chapter to get working on the ongoing formation of the Comboni educators (CA 2003, 62.1). The total number of participants in these courses was eighty five.
This high degree of participation allows us to begin a new phase: the creation of a common Comboni formative plan which, with the involvement and creativity of each one, may offer our young candidates values and policies shared by all, within a type of educational accompaniment which identifies us and in which we recognise ourselves.
We were assisted at the Pesaro meeting in our reading of the state of the youth in Europe by Don José Luis Moral, a Spanish Salesian, professor at the Salesian University, Rome. By means of a method which was simple, pleasant and profound, he showed us how to face the world of youth today, or, rather, how to get up to date with the situation. He also proposed ways of building up religion and faith among the youth.
The two days of study were an intense introduction to the work of the course: while trying to understand the world of the youth of which we are part, its strong points and the well known challenges which await us, the purpose of the two weeks was to offer to all the opportunity to re-read their own educational experience, to become aware, above all, of the importance and the need for a personal journey of growth, of accompaniment if desired, and then to become companions to and educators of other people.
Three themes, presented with competence and professionalism by Fr. Siro Stocchetti, were dealt with: the formative models and the integrated model of education, self-knowledge and the formative colloquy. All of this was deepened through various dynamics: personal and group reflection, workshops, sharing and presentation of themes.
The Comboni formative journey finds in the Ratio Fundamentalis its foundation and the main lines of the formative model of integration. It is a source of satisfaction to be able to stress the continuity of these years, despite our feeble efforts and inconsistencies, and, at the same time, to have discovered, in a more original, broader and deeper way, the content of this model which is moulding our educational journey.
The two workshops during the last few days were most interesting. In the first we tried to focus our attention on St. Daniel Comboni and the youth and to re-read his experience within the integrated model of education and finding reasons for inspiration today.
In the second workshop we began with a question: to what extent does the integrated model of education derive from and work towards a clear model or style of mission? Through the integrated model of education we have studied the various aspects which may comprise a model of mission: objective, image of God, realization in the local context, attitudes, methodology, strategies and means. The reflection was enriched by Biblical and Comboni references. The result was profound research which united the formative journey and the mission, in line with what we are living in the Institute through the process of the Ratio Missionis in view of the next General Chapter in 2009.
This is a useful contribution in which formation and mission may proceed clearly together as parts of a single process of personal growth of the Comboni Missionary.
All were well pleased with this beautiful experience lived together, even if some would have preferred to have had more time. Doubtless, we grew in the knowledge that we may still be a good European province, which, despite the difficulties and a degree of social aridity at present, still has much of what is essential to live out and present to the youth of today. The presence of Fr. Teresino Serra, Superior General, and of Fr. Odelir José Magri, assistant general, confirmed the importance of investing in people and in their ongoing formation.
There was brotherhood, communion, prayer and hospitality, not forgetting the lighter moments: the European Cup, an outing to San Marino, visits to the beach, etc. which helped us to enjoy the experience more. Many thanks to the Pesaro community and the Italian Province for the welcome and for picking up the cheque for the entire course.
Comboni Secular Missionaries: new Central Council
From 6 to 13 July 2008 we held in Carraia (Lucca) the 8th General Assembly of the Institute of the Comboni Secular Missionaries. It was an extraordinary meeting that takes place every six years to review and plan the life of the Institute and our missionary service.
The Institute this year celebrates a special recurrence, the 25th anniversary of its Pontifical Approval, another reason for looking back on the journey made and for projecting ourselves with renewed effort towards the future.
The Assembly’s meetings were enlightened by the Word of God and the Writings of St. Daniel Comboni, wisely presented and commented by Fr. Francesco Pierli, a Comboni Missionary.
The Assembly’s delegates were 20, representing all the secular missionaries who live in Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Congo.
One of the aims of the Assembly was the election of the new Central Council. The persons elected were: Isabella Dalessandro, general responsible, Maria Pia Dal Zovo, Maria Caggiano, Lucia Milani and Mariella Galli, councillors.
The revision of the Directory, in view of a reorganisation, was the phase that allowed us to look at the various aspects of the life of the Institute as a whole, in a not an easy time for consecrated and missionary life. The swift transformations of our society invite us, also, to speed up and streamline our structures, so that our service to the Church and to society in missionary cooperation may be ever more efficient and in accordance with today’s expectations. (Teresa Zenere, the Assembly’s Secretary)
Fr. Sánchez Ramírez Luis Alberto (M) Sahuayo (México) 12.07.2008
Fr. Serafim Aparecido Rodrigues da Costa (BS)
Nova Brasilândia, Rondônia (BR) 12.07.2008
Fr. Bwalya Andrew (MZ) Lusaka (Zambia) 12.07.2008
Fr. Castro Sánchez Jhon Jani (EC) Borbón (Ecuador) 16.07.2008
Fr. Sito Atambise Ferdinand (CN) Isiro (CN) 27.07.2008
Fr. Akpako Théotime Parfait (T) Cotonou (Bénin) 09.08.2008
Fr. Mambueni Makiadi Yves (CN) Kinshasa (CN) 10.08.2008
Holy Redeemer Guild
September 01 – 15 NAP 16 – 30 PE
October 01 – 15 P 16 – 31 RSA
September - That the commitment in Mission Promotion of the Comboni Secular Missionaries may encourage generous young women in following and embracing the mission with the passion of Comboni. Let us pray.
October - That Comboni’s love for the Church may guide us to serve the local Churches, encouraging them to open themselves more and more to the mission ad gentes. Let us pray.
Fiftieth Anniversary of Religious Profession
On the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, the Comboni community of Mbata, in the diocese of M’baïki (RCA), joyfully celebrated the fifty years of religious life lived by Bro. Hermenegildo Cordero Bautista, a Comboni Missionary originally from Mexico who has been working in Central Africa for the past thirty years. Various events were organised for the occasion: religious concerts, testimonies, games and films. The various Comboni communities and other religious, priests and friends of Bro. Hermenegildo were present. The highlight of the feast was the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Giovanni Zaffanelli, provincial. In his homily, the celebrant invited the congregation to thank the Lord for the gift of the missionary vocation of Bro. Hermenegildo: “He is for us an example of faithfulness to God and the mission”. In his address, Bro. Hermenegildo, moved and radiant, thanked the Africans who welcomed him during his missionary service in RCA. When asked to what he attributed his many years of faithfulness, he humbly answered: “Fervent prayer and the fraternal support of the community”. After the Mass, the Comboni community of Mbata offered refreshments to those who had come to share with Bro. Hermenegildo the joy of belonging entirely to Christ and his mission. The mission, of course, continues. As we offer him our congratulations, we thank him for his testimony.
Notre Dame de Fatima: opening of ACERAC
From 29 June to 6 July, Bangui had with them the bishops who gathered there for the VII Assembly of the Association of the Episcopal Conferences of the Region of Central Africa (ACERAC). On Sunday, 29 July and feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, the conference was opened. The bishops, accompanied by ACERAC experts, came from Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Central Africa, and stayed at the parishes of the Archdiocese of Bangui. Our Lady of Fatima parish received the Comboni bishops Mgr. Michele Russo (Bishop of Doba, Chad), Mgr. Guarino Perina (Bishop of M’baïki, RCA) and Mgr. Juan José Aguirre Muñoz (Bishop of Bangassou, RCA). They were welcomed on their arrival by Fr. Léonard Ndjadi Ndjate, the Vicar for the parishes, the pastoral council and a crowd of the faithful from Fatima parish.
Accompanied by hymns and acclamations, the procession reached the presbytery; there it paused briefly while the bells announced the commencement of the Eucharist. Presided by Mgr. Michele Russo, the celebration was lively and incorporated various local cultural elements. The main celebrant centred his homily on the need for the faithful to take upon themselves the responsibility of the parish: “We have everything necessary and you have everything necessary available: human resources, timber, diamonds, gold and the faith. With all of this you are capable of taking upon yourselves the responsibility for your church, your priests, your small Christian communities, your poor and the many needs of your Christian community”.
During the offertory, the sixteen small Christian communities of the parish generously brought to the altar a variety of offerings for the parish. Shortly before the Mass ended, the other two bishops also spoke to encourage the people to continue faithfully on the path of responsibility. Afterwards, a meal prepared by the faithful was offered to the bishops and invited guests, including the poor. The president of the pastoral council presented each bishop with a gift on behalf of the parishioners as a souvenir of their visit to the parish.
Workshop of the congregations attached to our houses
During the last weekend of June, about 30 representatives from four parishes connected with our Comboni communities participated in a workshop that took place at Mellatz. The topic dealt with changes in the Church and parishes, characterized by a dwindling number of priests and the agglomeration of several parishes to form a new pastoral entity. Under such circumstances it is hardly possible to provide due spiritual care and the celebration of the Eucharist everywhere. Yet there are persons in the parishes who are blessed with certain charismas which, so far, have been little or hardly used. Even the present Pope, when still a lecturer, and other authorities have been pointing out such problems, suggesting the formation of new ministries in the Church by making use of the talents of the faithful. In our workshop we discussed particularly the celebration of baptism, marriage and the Eucharist. The participants were encouraged to discover new ministries which they too can carry out. Indeed, changes within the Church usually begin from grass root level.
Lay Comboni Missionaries
Summer is usually the time for our new Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) to pack their things and fly to places in Africa or South America. Before doing so, however, they have participated in a good number of preparatory workshops. In fact we are known in Germany for providing a really good preparation to our candidates. Among other things, we require that they are people rooted in their home parish. When all preparations have been completed, the new lay missionaries usually bid fare well to their parish as they are sent by the parishioners to their missionary places of work. What we ask of them is that they commit themselves to witness their faith in Christ to people outside their country for a few months or a few years.
This year two young men, Dominik Bauer and Armin Maier, will go to Kivuli Centre for Street Children in Nairobi, Kenya. Further there are other two young women who are about to leave for the missions: Barbara Neumaier and Stefanie Schwemmer. Stefanie will go to Arua, Uganda, to work with the Comboni Missionaries and the Comboni Sisters. Barbara, instead, will go to Nairobi-Kariobangi, Kenya, working at the Chesire Homes for senior citizens. These CLM have planned to stay in the missions for one year, while Barbara will stay for eighteen months.
Apart from the CLM mentioned above, there are two others who wish to commit themselves for three years each: Barbara Ludewig, who works in the pastoral field in Sâo Luis, Brasil, and Peter Gruska, who has committed himself to work in the technical department of Matany Hospital, Uganda. Both have already been at their places for some time.
One last remark. Our lay missionaries usually come back as persons who have grown in their personality. It is the poor people around them, in Africa and South America, who have enriched them so much and have helped them to open up to a wider horizon. Indeed, this is a normal experience: When we encounter people in a concrete way, we are mutually enriched.
Priestly ordination of Jhon Jani Castro Sánchez
On 16 July 2008, the patron feast day of the Blessed Virgin of Carmen in Borbo ecclesiastical parish, deacon Jhon Jani Castro Sánchez was ordained priest by Mgr. Eugenio Arellano Fernández, Bishop of Esmeraldas, accompanied by more than a score of priests, both Comboni and diocesan from the northern zone of Esmeraldas.
In the 53 years of our presence in the Comboni parishes of Borbón, Santa María de los Cayapas, Limones and San Lorenzo, there have been many difficulties while the fruits have been less abundant as regards the growth of the faith among the people of the place. There have been some priestly and religious vocations: a few Comboni sisters and some of other Institutes, and three diocesan priests at present working in the Vicariate.
Fr. Jhon Jani, the son of an Ecuadorian father and a Colombian mother, is the first Comboni Missionary. He was born in the civil parish of Concepción and was, for many years, the boatman of Fr. Juan Benjumea Ramos. The people of Concepción described him thus: “He was different from the others; he was always with the priests when they visited the community; he was always humble, simple and helpful. He was never seen in the bars or engaged in foolish things like the other young people.”
The ordination ceremony lasted four hours, also due to the fact that the statue of the Madonna of Carmen, patroness of Borbón, was transported on rafts by Mgr. Arellano with Jhon Jani, the concelebrating priests and a large crowd of people. The journey on the river which passes through Borbón lasted more than an hour and afterwards hymns (arullos) were sung with traditional dances of the people of African origin of Esmeraldas.
The celebration was ended with a meal provided by the apostolic groups of the parish community.
Many of the villages on the rivers and near the sea were represented by their leaders, such as catechists and committed laypeople. May St. Daniel Comboni guide him on his journey at the service of the Church on the African continent.
There was a great feast in the parish of Santa Maria in Stelle (Verona) on 20July 2008. It was both religious and popular. The parish community had been hard at work during the six previous weeks preparing for the perpetual profession of Bro. Damiano Mascalzoni (SS). The Parish Priest coordinated the event at which Comboni Missionaries from the Mother House and others participated through missionary animation initiatives. Fr. Alberto Pelucchi, provincial superior of the Italian province, presided, accompanied by many confreres, Comboni Sisters and many friends.
Comboni and other celebrations
- On 5 July, in the town of Cerna (Verona), headquarters of Radio Telepace, the church dedicated to Our Lady Star of Evangelization was consecrated. The director installed a relic of St. Daniel Comboni in the church, together with those of other saints and blesseds who are important in the history of the Church of Verona and associated with the means of social communication.
- During June and July, Telepace transmitted for the first time and with various repeats, six episodes dedicated to St. Daniel Comboni, in the series called: “Great Venetians of the Eighteen Hundreds”, directed by Professor Pietro Galletto who reconstructed the personality of Comboni by means of illustrations and documents. The episodes, of around thirty minutes each, are available on DVD from Telepace.
- The town of Corbiolo di Boscochiesanuova (Verona) remembered, in mid July, the 130th anniversary of the death of don Antonio Squaranti (1837-1878), a great missionary of Comboni, a close friend of his, rector, formator and administrator of the Institute of Verona. Mgr. Comboni had appointed him is Vicar general and tried to protect him from the harmful tropical diseases but don Antonio died at Khartoum at he age of 41 years. He was commemorated by the people of his town together with Fr. Elio Boscaini and Fr. Giancarlo Ramanzini.
- On 30 July, seven days after the death of Mgr. Olindo Natale Spagnolo, a requiem Mass was celebrated in his native parish of Fratte di S. Giustina in Colle (Padova), in thanksgiving for the gift of the missionary life and works of our confrere bishop. In his homily, Fr. Romeo Ballan presented the figure of Mgr. Olindo as a missionary animator in Italy and in Spain, as a missionary parish priest in Esmeraldas and Guayaquil and as a missionary bishop and founder of two missionary Institutes.
- With the fierce criticism levelled against Famiglia Cristiana by the governing majority in Italy, Nigrizia and other Comboni Missionaries published a statement supporting the policies and editorial line of the Pauline magazine.
Omar Al-Bashir under investigation by the International Criminal Court
Sudan is never short of surprises. On 10 May, there was the attack by the Darfur rebels who reached the capital Khartoum unchallenged with 309 Land Cruisers and around 3000 soldiers. A week later, on 17 May, there was the battle of Abigei, which resulted in the forced exodus of its 50,000 inhabitants and the destruction of the city. Two months later, on 14 July, the media announced to the world that President Omar Al-Bashir was due to be investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Aia-based public prosecutor Moreno Ocampo made the announcement. Al-Bashir was accused of genocide in Darfur which resulted in 35,000 deaths. He was also accused of the “slow death” of a further 100,000 people and of having forced two and a half million people to flee their homes, allegedly with the collaboration of the Janjaweed, the Arab militias who have terrorised the “African” population of Darfur, burning villages, raping women and killing indiscriminately.
The reaction of Khartoum, as expected, was not long in coming. It was pointed out that Sudan was not a signatory to any agreement recognising the ICC. In fact, Sudan repeatedly refused in the past to hand over persons accused of similar misdeeds.
Not content with a mere juridical response, Khartoum and the main cities of North Sudan organised mass demonstrations to denounce the Western-inspired defamatory campaign against the Sudan, of which the latest accusations against Omar Al-Bashir were just the latest of many. Furthermore, not only Al-Bashir and his governing party but other political parties also showed solidarity with the president. However, their reasons from doing so were not all the same. Some opposition parties agreed with the ICC accusations but felt that the arrest of the president would create a political vacuum with incalculable results. Besides, this could compromise the peace agreement signed in 2005 with the SPLA.
The upshot of the matter is that no action will be taken. However, just the fact that the accusations have been made is a message in itself. Al-Bashir´s political standing has undoubtedly been weakened. It is also a message to other heads of state who consider themselves above the law.
Will it help to end the war in Darfur? Many hope so. However, it is saddening to see that people continue to die in Darfur while the world takes less and less notice.
Summer mission event: “Refugee Trail: Darfur to Cairo”
This summer has been more than successful when it comes to mission education and collaboration on the part of priests and staff here in the NAP. Our busy mission appeals season brought to us Fr. Achilles Kasozi Kiwanuka and Fr. John Richard Ssendawula Kyankaaga, who have been travelling to various dioceses, but beyond that, they made themselves available as presenters at our summer mission education event “Refugee Trail: Darfur to Cairo”. This well planned event took place in three areas of the NAP: La Grange Park, IL, Cincinnati, OH, and Covina, CA.
There was ongoing communication and collaboration among the staff members as plans formed and went through the process of being carried out. A constant flow of ideas, concerns, suggestions, last minute tweaking and follow-ups after the presentations all nurtured a feeling of unity but also supported individuality. The hard work in all three locations, coupled with the actual presentations by the two very experienced missionaries, made for triple success.
The event was well attended in Chicago, Cincinnati and Covina. People learned about the political web in Sudan that has ensnared countless victims and how, for many of those victims, the only way to save themselves is to leave their homeland. They also got a feel for the many difficulties faced by the refugees as they arrive in neighbouring Egypt where the government is not a welcoming host.
This multi-site mission event is the first of its kind in the NAP, but its success points strongly to using this type of format for future presentations.
Meeting of new members and returnees
The annual meeting of new members and returnees took place at our Study Centre, Pretoria, from the 30 June to 5 July 2008 with four priests and four scholastics, the latter from Pietermaritzburg as participants. Among the goals were: to reflect on the changing socio-economic situation of South Africa and the issues facing the Church and society. To that end the participants visited the Apartheid Museum, the National Cultural Museum and the newly established Freedom Park. Fr. Francis Thuli Manana gave a tour of some of the “informal settlements” of Phiri parish in Soweto, where he is the priest-in-charge.
Fr. Manana and Fr. Giuseppe Sandri also presented some of the realities of South Africa and of the province, highlighting issues faced by the province and the Church.
Fr. John Michael Converset presented an overview of the history of South Africa and of the Church’s presence. The staff of the Justice and Peace Offices of the Bishops Conference provided information of their goals and activities. Sr. Thandi Elsie Moyo, FIC, presented the youth ministry and the AIDS ministry in RSA.
We visited some of the inner city ministries of the ecumenical Tshwane Leadership Foundation, and had an evening celebration of the Eucharist at St. Daniel Comboni Parish in Mahube Valley where Fr. Jaime Calvera Pi is the priest-in-charge.
The participants felt that the program helped to expose the extremely complex reality of South Africa which is still very much a mission situation.
Continental workshop on the Ratio Missionis
From 9 to 15 July the Southern Africa continental workshop on the Ratio Missionis took place at our Study Centre in Pretoria. The animators from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi-Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa met under the supervision of Fr. Enrique Javier Rosich Vargas, secretary general of the general secretariat of evangelisation, and of Fr. Sebhatleab Ayele Tesemma, the continental coordinator. They made a synthesis of all the proposals presented by their provinces. These proposals were scrutinised, put together and elaborated in view of handing them to the core and enlarged commissions. The mentioned groups will meet in Italy in September this year to make the final synthesis. The atmosphere created was that of fraternal work, mutual understanding and collaborative partnership. There was a pleasant blend of work, prayer and agape which made it possible to feel the fortitude, courage and kindness of our Founder, St. Daniel Comboni. The animators were also pleased with the presence and the contributions given by Fr. Fabio Baldan, the vicar general. Concern was felt at the end of the workshop as to what to do next. The answer was to allow time for reflection. The animators sincerely hope that the final synthesis will not neglect the efforts made by the whole Institute to foster the hopes of all its provinces for an authentic renewal.
Ordination to diaconate
On 2 August the community of the scholasticate gathered to celebrate the ordination to the diaconate of Sc. Clément Kazaku Bosh Bébé, from Congo, in the parish of St. Martin de Porres in Pietermaritzburg. Clément will finish his studies by the end of November and then go home to be ordained to the priesthood. He will return to work in South Africa for his first missionary assignment.
The celebration was presided over by the auxiliary bishop of Durban, Mons. Barry Wood. The provincial superior, Fr. Giuseppe Sandri, the community of the scholasticate, confreres, priests from St. Joseph Theological Institute and members from other religious Institutes were present. The faithful of St. Martin de Porres and other Comboni friends filled the church. There was a lot of joy and excitement.
In his homily, the bishop challenged Clément and the whole congregation to have a generous and compassionate heart, attentive to the sufferings of humanity near and far.
World Youth Day in Sydney
Fr. Tumato Shulla Melese writes of his experience with a group of young people from South Africa which took part in the World Youth Day with Pope Benedict XVI.
“On 9 July 2008, with two other priests from the Dioceses of Aliwal North and Polokwane and a group of fifty-six young people from Port Elizabeth diocese, I flew from Johannesburg to Sydney, Australia, to attend the World Youth Day celebrations. We arrived at Sydney International Airport after a fourteen-hour flight. We were hosted first for a few days in Lonceston where, after the welcoming service in the parish church, each family took two pilgrims home with them. The joy they showed in receiving us into their homes was wonderful.
On our arrival in Sydney, our group was led to one of the Catholic schools where we stayed for a week: we gladly slept on the floor in sleeping bags and took cold showers (in Australia it was winter time). We spent much time meeting our fellow pilgrims from so many parts of the world. Language limitations were generally not a big problem. Despite the great number of pilgrims, there prevailed a sense of peace, trust, joy, friendship and unity that was indeed the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
We carried heavy packs on our backs, we rushed to catch transport and then sometimes waited for hours in the crush of the crowd, but it was a joyful experience, difficult to describe. It was also a strange experience for us from SA: no theft, no robbery, no fight, no gun, no death - just the joy of being together. The security forces on standby throughout the city of Sydney could not believe that such a huge crowd could behave so well, without causing them any hassle for five full days.
One of the biggest celebrations took place on Saturday, the 19th of July. We walked together for 11kms, praying the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary, followed by a night vigil with the Holy Father in preparation for Sunday. That night we slept in our sleeping bags in the open air under the stars.
I thank God who gave me and those young people from South Africa the opportunity to give witness to God’s love for his people.”
Seventy-five years of the Catholic faith in Karamoja
Mgr. Henry A. Ssentongo, bishop of Moroto, Karamoja, writes to Fr. Teresino Serra informing him that this year they are celebrating seventy-five years of the Catholic Faith in Karamoja. Courses, programmes and celebrations are being organised for different categories of people. The occasion will also serve as a new springboard for deeper evangelization in the Region.
“On 19 April 2008 we held a colourful celebration at Kangole to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival in Karamoja of the first gallant Comboni Missionaries: Fr. Luigi Molinaro and Bro. Enrico Lorandi. A Pastoral Letter was issued and special letters were addressed to the Clergy and the Religious. On behalf of the Diocese, on my own behalf and of the people of Karamoja, I wish to express our deepest gratitude to your esteemed Institute for bringing us the Faith and for the gift of yourselves. Our sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks go to all missionaries, past and present, for their invaluable contribution towards the evangelization and development of Karamoja. We ask the loving and merciful Father to bless them all and to grant those who have finished their earthly journey eternal rest and reward”.
The bishop invites our Superior General to attend the official diocesan celebration to mark this anniversary, which will take place at Moroto on Saturday, 22nd November 2008. He asks our Ancestor in Faith and Apostle of Africa, St. Daniel Comboni, to intercede for all.
Handing over Aduku Parish
On Sunday, 20 July 2008, the ordinary of Lira Diocese, Rev. Giuseppe Franzelli, with the participation of Comboni Missionaries and diocesan priests, as well as religious sisters, political leaders and a big crowd of Christians, celebrated the ceremony of handing over the parish of Aduku from the Comboni Missionaries to Lira Diocese.
This Diocese has a total population of 1.7 million people, of whom over 950.000 are Catholics. There are 18 parishes of which, after the handing over of Aduku, 11 are under the responsibility of the diocesan clergy and 7 of religious: 2 under the Apostles of Jesus and 5 under the MCCJ. The diocesan priests are 38, the Apostles of Jesus 3 and the MCCJ 21 of whom 3 are Brothers. Professed women religious are 111 from three religious congregations: CMS, MSMMC and SMI.
This meaningful event took place in the context of the coming celebration of the centenary of the Catholic Church in Northern Uganda and the current celebration of the 40th anniversary of the erection of Lira Diocese, which was marked by the ordination of two deacons and two new priests on 12 July this year.
During his speech, the Bishop underlined the great missionary work and zeal of the Comboni Missionaries who brought the faith and helped it grow in the whole of Northern Uganda, together with the development of schools, health facilities and social welfare. He also said that the handing over of the Parish of Aduku is a source of great joy for St. Daniel Comboni who wanted the salvation of Africa with the participation of the Africans.
He thanked in a particular way all the Comboni Missionaries who have worked in this parish, those who have died and those still alive, and encouraged the new parish priest, Fr. Geoffrey Onimo, to carry on the pastoral care of Aduku Christian community with the collaboration of the curate, deacon, catechists, religious sisters and the laity.
Representing the provincial, who was in South Africa for the continental meeting on the Ratio Missionis and visiting the Scholastics there, the vice-provincial, Fr. Sylvester Hategek’Imana, thanked the 36 Comboni Missionaries that have worked in Aduku Mission from its beginning and gave a hug to the outgoing parish priest Fr. Giuliano Pisoni and also to Bro. Pietro Dusi who had tirelessly worked to organise the event. Fr. Sylvester thanked the new parish priest for accepting the challenge to continue the evangelizing work started by the missionaries. He also read a letter the provincial sent for the occasion.
During the ceremony the bishop handed over to the new parish priest the keys of the church and of the tabernacle, a Bible and a crucifix, and led him to ring the bells of the church among the rejoicing of all who were present. On his part, Fr. Onimo thanked the witness of the Comboni Missionaries and the trust the bishop had placed on him, and expressed his willingness to carry on the parish work, recalling the methodology of St. Paul who kept on supporting and encouraging the churches he had evangelised.
After the Eucharistic celebration, Fr. Onimo cut a ribbon at the entrance of the house of the mission and received the keys of the same in a symbolic ceremony, followed by speeches and lunch.
IN PACE CHRISTI
Bro. Fernando Acedo García (11.03.1941 – 25.06.2008)
Mgr. Olindo Natale Spagnolo (25.12.1925 – 23.07.2008)
Fr. Domenico Mario Andriollo (13.11.1939 – 30.07.2008)
Bro. Giuseppe Restani (16.12.1916 – 20.08.2008)
Bro. Lino Colussi (08.06.1922 – 22.08.2008)
Bro. Giuseppe Coppini (10.05.1922 – 26.08.2008)
Their eulogies will be published in the next issue.
Let us pray for our beloved dead
THE FATHERS: Sante, of Fr. Ampelio Cavinato (KE); Eutiquio, of the Sc. Mula Eutiquio Muso (A); James, of Fr. Milla Aventore Jimmy (SS); Amarilis, of Fr. Celestino Prevedello (KH).
THE MOTHERS: Annunziata, of Fr. Sandro Cadei (T); Maria, of Fr. Avelino Gonçalves da Silva Maravilha (TC); Maria, of Fr. Ernesto Ascione (I); Giannina, of Fr. Claudio Lurati (C); Giulia, di P. Raffaele Minurri (I).
THE BROTHERS: Giovanni, of Fr. Ponziano Velluto (U); Giuseppe, of Fr. Carlo Pasinetti (KE); Giovanni, of Fr. Salvatore Bragantini (DCA); Sesto, of Fr. Felice Pezzin (I); Luigi, of Fr. Erminio Tanel (I).
THE SISTERS: Teresina, di of Fr. Bruno Carollo (I); Flora, of Bro. Rodolfo Guerrino Fasolo (BNE); Fatima of Fr. Degblor Shane Kwaku-Mensah (T); Sr. Benvenuta De Berti (comboniana), di P. Aleardo de Berti jr (I).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. M. Ermelinda D’angelo, Sr. M. Cherubina Rabba, Sr. Camelia Tebaldi; Sr. M. Palmina Donzelli; Sr. Amelia Bottacini; Sr. Maria Grazia Palumbo; Sr. M. Benvenuta De Berti.
Fr. Marco Trentin, Former Comboni Missionary in Brazil, who died at Pordenone on 17.06.2008.