Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus


Perpetual Professions

Bro. Dimanche Godfrey-Abel (EC-CA)

Quito (EC)


Sc. Chmiel Sebastian Jerzy (PO)

Kraków (PL)


Sc. Gbénou Yves Houénagnon (T)

Sogakofe (GH)


Sc. Lokpo Koudjo K. Jean Philippe (T)

Sogakofe (GH)


Sc. Opiola Paweł Roman (PO)

Kachebere (MW)


Bro. Soffientini Antonio (BNE-I)

Açailândia (BNE)


Sc. Barrios Morales Candelario R. 

San José (CR)


Sc. Magoma Maripe Donald (RSA)

Glen Cowie (RSA)


Sc. Turyamureeba Roberto (U)

Ellwangen (DSP)


 Priestly Ordinations

P. Muhindo Nzoli Innocent (CN)

Butembo (RDC)


P. Kikola Mafundamene Perpetue (CN

Kinshasa (RDC)


P. Musaka Zoé (CN)



Holy redeemer Guild

September                01 – 15 NAP                   16 – 30 PE

October                    01 – 15 P                        16 – 31 RSA

Prayer Intentions

September - That the Comboni Missionary Sisters, gathered together for the celebration of their XIX General Chapter, sustained by the faithful presence of St. Daniel Comboni and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, may be able to accept the prophetic journey which Mission requires at this time. Lord hear us.

October - That the missionary passion of St. Daniel Comboni may renew in us our commitment to evangelisation and enable us to promote everywhere a truly evangelising culture, capable of regenerating life in abundance. Lord hear us.


Fr. Rodolfo Coaquira Hilaje, “Testimonio espiritual de un misionero”, pp. 160, Grafica Ava S.A.C. Lima, Perù, May 2010. In a creative manner and in 27 short themes, Fr. Rodolfo offers to the youth in particular, but also to all people of good will who seek God, his human, missionary, pastoral and Paschal experience, starting from the Bible and Comboni.

Fr. Vittorio Moretto, “Una fede feriale”, Ed. EMI, Bologna, 2010, pp. 252, 13 Euro. This has been published by the EMI, and is the Italian version of the book published in Mexico in 2009 by El Arca, entitled Más que una apuesta and subtitled La dicha de un intercambio desigual. The text conveys to the reader the certainty of encountering the person of Jesus Christ in the concrete situations of life. It is almost a spiritual legacy and is written in a simple and friendly style. It will be a most useful means for those who seek a sound and convincing answer to their existential doubts or feel the foundations or their faith are being eroded.


Perpetual Vows of the first Filipino Comboni Sister

The solemnity of the Assumption 2010 will be remembered in the Asia Delegation as an occasion when the whole Comboni community in the Philippines came together in unity and solidarity. The reason was the occasion of the perpetual vows of Sr. Anita Conception, the first Filipino Comboni Sister.

The vows were set to take place in her parish of origin, Our Lady of Purification, in Binmaley, Pangasinan, in the main island of Luzon. A group of around sixty people (Comboni priests, postulants and friends) travelled six hours by bus all the way from Metro Manila. The trip combined a very fitting visit to the nearby shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag. By the early afternoon everybody was ready to celebrate the solemn Mass of Sr. Anita’s vows in the beautiful and spacious parish church of Binmalay, where her relatives, friends and parishioners gathered for the celebration.

Fr. Miguel Angel Llamazares González, the Delegate superior, was the main celebrant and Sr. Anne Marie Quigg, a Comboni sister from Dubai, was the one commissioned to receive her vows. (It is worth mentioning that Sr. Anita met the Comboni Sisters for the first time in Dubai, where she worked as a midwife for years).

The celebration was preceded by a week of mission and vocation promotion activities in the area, done by Fr. Romulo Panis Vela, Fr. Randito Recalde Tina and Fr. Nolasco Jovilla Robiso, our young Filipino confreres who very willingly contributed to prepare for the wonderful occasion of Sr. Anita’s vows and to make the Comboni Family better known in the Philippines.

After some time with her family, Sr. Anita will return to Matany, Karamoja (Uganda), where Fr. Nolasco Jovilla also serves.


25th anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr. Ezechiele Ramin

The celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr. Ezechiele Ramin started on 25 June, 2010, with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Mgr. Geraldo Lyrio Rocha, president of the Bishops Conference.

The previous day at Cacoal, Rondonia, there was the inauguration of an exhibition about the works accomplished by the Fr. Ezechiele Ramin’s Project in the diocese of Ji-Paraná, which, for the past 21 years, has prepared men, women and young people in the fields of work, life and justice. In this same diocese there followed many other celebrations, social events, reflection and vocational meetings based on Fr. Ezechiele’s thought: “If Christ needs me, how can I refuse?” On the anniversary of his death, 24 July, there was a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Bishop of the diocese Mgr. Bruno Pedron and by the Bishop Emeritus, Mgr. Antonio Possamai, in the presence of 5.000 people, among whom many Comboni Missionaries and Comboni Sisters and a group of people who came from the native town of Fr. Ezechiele (including his brother Antonio). The “Letter of the Superior General”, Fr. Enrique Sánchez González, a testimony of the bishop Mgr. Bruno Pedron, one from the local Parish Priest and a letter from the Bishop of Padua were read.

Similar celebrations were also held in Rondolândia, MT, in the parish of Nossa Senhora Auxiliadora.

Fr. Alcides Costa, provincial of South Brazil, concludes his report: “We are certain that Fr. Ezechiele is very much alive even today in the Christian communities, in centres of human rights, in schools, in streets and towns which bear his name. As he once said: If my life belongs to them, my death will also belong to them.”


Toward the III Youth Forum

In response to the urgent appeal made by the bishops of Central Africa on behalf of the youth in their concern for the Christian formation of future African leaders and at the request of the families, the parish of Notre Dame de Fatima plans to organise the III Youth Forum at Paul’s Seminary from 25 to 29 August 2011.

The youth of the parish and further afield will reflect for these five days on “The benefits of the Sacraments”. This is a pastoral concern: to prepare the youth to make their own the Christian values derived from the Word of God and the sacraments, in order to respond in the future to the call of God and the needs of society.

It is by living the graces received from the sacraments that they will become better people and be able to influence society. The purpose of this Forum is to assist the youth to return to the sacraments so that they may become clear and courageous witnesses to Christ in the present situation of Central Africa. A team of priests, male and female religious, Christian couples and young people actively engaged in carrying out the four main tasks of the Forum: welcoming and logistics, formation, fraternal encounters and the encounter with Christ, has been formed to prepare for this great encounter.

Two hundred and twenty participants are expected, mostly High School and university students. Last July all the participants met to plan the Forum. If all goes to plan, a wedding will be celebrated during the closing Mass. Two young people from the parish of Fatima, wishing to live the benefits of the sacrament, will make their marriage vows before God and the Christian community.

Vocations Camp for Youth

A vocational camp for youth wishing to become Comboni Missionaries was held in the postulancy of St Joseph at Bimbo from 18 to 25 July. It was a week marked by a threefold encounter: with Christ, with Comboni and with self. There were many significant moments which favoured this encounter: reflections on vocation, the spiritual life, the person of Comboni, the Comboni mission and self knowledge.

Several missionaries shared their experience with the youth: Fr. Ugues-Sylvain Songho, Fr. Claude Bernard Wakouzou and Fr. Gilberto Ceccato as well as the scholastic Géraud-Léger Lemoungo, Sr. Annette Petiabo, a Spiritan, and Sr. Emmanuelle, of Saint Paul de Chartres. Testimonies and reflections were supplemented by films on great missionary figures.

There were 25 young people making up two groups: that of final third level year students and those in high school. The decisive moment of the meeting was the encounter with Fr. Léonard Ndjadi Ndjate, vocations director, to reach a conclusion of the discernment with a view to the presentation of candidates for admission to the propaedeutic course.

In a climate of trust one point became clear: the more the present vocations crisis throughout the Church strikes the family, the more the latter lacks motivation to accompany its vocations.

As a result, the quality of the response of some youths is affected, causing them to be afraid of making a choice. The challenge now is to motivate the families so that they may become involved in awaking and sustaining missionary vocations.


Initiative for Change

On 20 June, Rajmohan Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, held a conference entitled “Build Cooperation and Trust”, at the National University of Bogota. Among those present were his wife Usha and a number of people who work for “Initiatives for Change” in USA, Mexico, Guatemala, the United Kingdom and Ukraine and spoke about their work, the experiences and options for change. All agreed that change is possible but first it must start from each single person.

Bro. José Manuel Salvador Duarte, head of Justice and Peace in the Delegation, took part in organising this event, so positive and enriching, in which Comboni Priests, Brothers and Sisters, Secular Comboni Missionaries and postulants took part.

The conference was organised by the Administration of Bienestar Universitario, by the University chaplaincy and the Committee for “Initiatives for Change”, in Colombia.

XI National Missionary Congress

The XI national Missionary Congress was held from 2 to 4 July in the Collegio del Pilar of Bogota. It was organised by Pontifical Mission Societies and by the National Missionary Centre of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia.

The motto of the Congress was: “With Jesus on the journey and at table”. The themes developed during the three days were: Jesus reveals the love of the Father for us in the today of Colombia, and Jesus Christ invites us to the mission of today in Colombia.

There were over 800 participants coming from the 76 ecclesiastical jurisdictions of Colombia: bishops, priests, male and female religious and lay people.

As a Comboni Missionary Family (Fathers, Brothers, Priests, Seculars), we took part in the Congress with a “stand” to publicise promotional materials and magazines such as Iglesia Sinfronteras e Aguiluchos.


Congolese Refugees Assisted by Fr. Mario Benedetti

“Dear Father, I am now back here at the Sisters’ house and so was able to read your message. These recent days have not been at all happy; quite the opposite. The rebels came to within 20km of the camp and that was enough to make the people get ready to leave. The rebels made the people flee the village of Ukuo and then burned their houses. The people fled, leaving their field of groundnuts, sorghum and the like. The result is hunger! The rebels were then pursued by young Sudanese men armed with bows and arrows and rifles they use to shoot birds. They had very little ammunition.

The Ugandan soldiers also pursued those rebels up to this morning. A few days ago, we went to bed fully dressed, ready to flee. One night they woke me to tell me the rebels were near. There is always this tension. Poor people! There is very little water as the pumps have not been working: perhaps someone will come and repair them in a few days. They distributed sorghum and lentils, cooking oil, salt and soap, things which will have to last a month. People also came from the Central African Republic, many from Obo: here, too, there is hunger and people living in tents ... In a nutshell, every day there are many unexpected things happening. We pray for peace but who knows when it will come? Every day we pray and hope that the Lord may remember these people. That is all for this evening. I still have Mass to say. Greetings and all best wishes. Good night”. (Fr. Mario Benedetti)


Perpetual Profession of Bro. Godfrey-Abel Dimanche

On 24 June, at the end of the Comboni Assembly of the Province of Ecuador held at Quito from June 21 to 24, in the presence of 32 confreres, besides some friends of Bro Abel working in the Afro pastoral in Quito, some Comboni Sisters and Seculars, Brother Godfrey-Abel Dimanche consecrated himself to God for life. The ceremony was held during a solemn Mass and using the book: “MCCJ Feasts and Liturgical Celebrations”. It was the solemn feast of the birth of St. John the Baptist which led the provincial, in his homily, to underline the meaning of prophecy in consecrated life and the religious vows in this time of secularisation and the difficulties the Church experiences in transmitting the Gospel to cultures.

The presence of the Provincial of the Comboni Sisters, Sr. Bertha Peralta Cantos, who has worked for eight years as a missionary in Central Africa, where she came to know Bro. Abel’s family personally, as well as the numerous confreres of the province of Ecuador, provided a concrete missionary and familiar meaning to the celebration. The symbols, offertory gifts and hymns were all in tune with missionary life in Africa, Bro. Abel’s native continent.

Sixty-fifth Ordination Anniversary of Fr. Efrem Angelini

On 29 June, the solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul, in the parish church of “El Carmen” in Manabi, Archdiocese of Portoviejo, the sixty-fifth ordination anniversary of Fr. Efrem Angelini, dean of the missionaries in Ecuador, was celebrated together with the parish community and a number of confreres.

Fr. Efrem has worked in Italy and Mexico for a number of years as formator and spiritual director of many Comboni seminarians. He has been in Ecuador since 1970 and has worked in the parishes of Muisne, Limones, Inmaculada de Inaquito, San Pedro and San Pablo in Portoviejo and in the “Centro Stella Maris”, founded by Mgr. Olindo Spagnolo, where he collaborated in the formation of sisters and priests for fifteen years. Since 2003, he has been serving the parish of El Carmen, first as parish priest and then as confessor. His service is appreciated by the many people who flock to him for advice and confession. The Comboni community of Ecuador and the parishioners who gathered round Fr. Efrem on this great day, thank him for his humble, silent and most effective presence.

On 16 July, the feast of the Most Holy Virgin of Mount Carmel, the bishop, Mgr. Lorenzo Voltolini, during the celebration of Mass with a congregation of 7,000 faithful, presented to Fr. Efrem a crucifix blessed by Pope Benedict XVI as a sign of appreciation for his apostolic work in the diocese of Portoviejo. Long and loud applause demonstrated the affection of so many Christians of the parish of Carmen for Fr. Efrem.

City of Guayaquil shows its appreciation of Fr. Vincenzo Balasso

During the so-called feasts of the month of July in the city of Guayaquil, the city with the highest population – over three million – in Ecuador, Fr. Vincenzo Balasso received from Mayor Jaime Nebot a gold medal and a baseball bat in recognition of the work he has been doing for four years now in the troubled quarters of the periphery of Malvinas.

Fr. Vincenzo, throughout the year and especially during the holidays, organises “useful holidays” for hundreds of young people of the suburb and in recent years has succeeded in preventing many from joining street gangs. Together with a group of lay people, he promotes sport, drawing, painting, first aid, crafts and other activities about which the local daily newspapers have spoken much. More than 450 children and youths frequent the parish catechesis and each class has a football team.

In a small area, children, fathers of families and catechists participate in parish activities, creating a community of solidarity and friendship.

Fr. Vincenzo is also known as “the priest of the people of African descent in the Malvinas”, a city quarter characterised by conflicts and violence. A large circulation periodical wrote on the front page: “His most famous altar boys were members of the national football team: Felix Borja, Alejandro Castillo and the Bolanos brothers. As he did with them, so he has done by catechising children, adolescents and young people through football”.

A group of 40 young girls who are taking part in the catechesis in preparation for Confirmation were contacted by the “Foundation of the Southern League” and now receive baseball training at the national stadium with professional trainers: they are the first girls in Ecuador to play baseball. They recently played against the girls of the official team of Porto Rico.

During the ceremony, in a packed stadium, the Mayor and various leaders spoke of the work of Fr. Vincenzo with the youth. “If all the parishes worked for the youth, like that of Fr. Vincenzo” - said the Mayor -, “violence would disappear from our city in a matter of a few years”.

Those present applauded the many young people who abandoned the street gangs and committed themselves to study and work. As the Mayor presented the award, the whole stadium chanted: “With Fr. Vincenzo it can be done!”


Three scholastics receiving the institution of “Reader”

On the 12th of July, three scholastics of second year in Asmara have celebrated a remarkable step in their formation journey: they received the mandate of “Reader” and the ecclesiastical authorization to read the Word of God in the liturgical assembly.

The celebration has taken place within the Mass in the Scholasticate house at 6:15 p.m. It has been led by the Delegate superior Fr. Sebhatleab Ayele Tesemma, accompanied by the two formators and Frs. Aristide Guerra, Tesfaab Bekit Sliman and Habtu Teklay Tiluq. During the homily, Fr. Sebhatleab explained at length the meaning and the role of the readers in the community.

In the afternoon there was a meeting to share one’s experience with the Juniors of the Comboni Sisters, who had come from Egypt, Jordan and Ethiopia for their regional meeting.


World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

During the week 19-24 July, 2010, Barcelona became the world capital of studies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. The WOCMES 3 (World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies) has been organized by the famous European Institute of the Mediterranean, based in Barcelona, which is one of the most important centres for studies concerning both European and Arabic countries of the Mediterranean.

During the week, the campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona saw the gathering of about 2600 scholars of the Arabic-Islamic world (among them more than 650 Muslims), coming from about 72 countries, divided into more than 500 panels. All fields of research and study were treated, with wide room for intervention, discussion and exchange of viewpoints. This is the 3rd Congress of the WOCMES, after the first which was held in Mainz (Germany) in 2002, and the second in Amman, in 2006.

During the Congress, two outstanding scholars in the studies of these regions were awarded: Roger Owen (professor of the History of the Middle-East, Harvard University) and Joseph Van Ess (emeritus professor of Islamic Studies, Tübingen University). Fr. Giuseppe Scattolin, Mccj, presented a research paper on the topic “Spiritualities as a field for inter-religious dialogue”.

Along with the ordinary lectures, other events (such as films, sketches and exhibitions, etc.) accompanied the Congress, giving it a more practical and concrete colour.


Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination

From 16 to 28 June, 2010, sixteen of the remaining twenty-four out of forty six Comboni priests ordained in 1960, met in Limone to spend a week together and to celebrate their fifty years of priesthood.

Of the 46, eight returned to the home of the father, five became incardinated in dioceses and seven left the Institute. Some had participated in the International Congress for Priests in Rome at the conclusion of the Year of the Priesthood. Some had not met for over fifty years.

A day of sharing was organised in which each one spoke of his mission experience, followed by a day of retreat, a day of Comboni spirituality and a nice trip to Bressanone, including a very interesting visit to the monastery of Novacella where Mitterrutzner lived. The visit of the Provincial of Italy was most welcome. All agreed that Limone is the ideal place for such celebrations and that the experience was a true renewal of energies.

Palermo - An inserted Community

On 1 July, 2010, Fr. Luigi Consonni and Fr. Danilo Volontè arrived in Palermo to launch the new Comboni presence in Sicily. On 24 July, the arrival of the Comboni Missionaries and the official installation of the new parish priest, Fr. Luigi Consonni, in the parish of Santa Lucia was celebrated.

The solemn Eucharistic celebration was presided over by the Archbishop of Palermo, Mgr. Paolo Romeo, former Apostolic Nuncio in various countries such as Burundi, Colombia, Guatemala and Italy.

Among the participants were: the provincial, Comboni Sisters and Comboni Lay Missionaries in Palermo. In his homily, the Archbishop spoke of the great confidence he has in the Comboni Missionaries, due in part to what he knew of us and our missionary service in the countries where he was Papal Nuncio.

The parish seems to present a really missionary situation, due both to the location of the churches in the port area and the nearby prison, the famous Ucciardone. Furthermore, the parish community has, in recent years, experienced difficulties with profound effects: the majority of the faithful became disillusioned with the Church and lost its sense of community. The environment is suitable for an “insertion” experience and provides a wide range of missionary work in evangelisation and social revival. The parish has more than 5,000 inhabitants living in two areas: the first is the “borgo vecchio” or “old town”, which is the market area. It is run-down with pockets of poverty and the results of migration; the second is the residential area with people of middle income. At first sight it would seem to be an area of first evangelisation requiring the “pastoral of the streets”. However, our presence has already apparently produced a desire for re-awakening and signs of hope on the part of some people.

The purpose of the Comboni community as an inserted missionary presence in Sicily also includes missionary animation in Sicily, in collaboration with the Comboni Sisters and the Comboni Lay Missionaries. The Auxiliary Bishop, Mgr. Carmelo Cuttitta, has already expressed his desire to entrust us with the task of the pastoral care of the youth of the diocese and missionary animation.

Troia - A Record and an Award

The town of Troia, with a present population of 7.500, holds a record in the Comboni Family: 10 Priests, 2 Brothers and 13 Comboni Sisters.

This shows how the Comboni charism, when lived, bears abundant fruit by way of vocations: Fr. Bernardo Sartori and Fr. Ezechiele Ramin carried out part of their missionary service in this city, to mention but a few.

On 12 August, the City of Troia, in a solemn celebration, conferred “The Great Silver Rose, 2010”, the greatest award the city can give, on the Comboni Missionaries who were born there. This award is given to citizens who distinguish themselves in the fields of culture, science and social commitment. The ceremony, in a packed square of the city, was graced by the presence of a Senator of the Republic, the Mayor and other authorities of the city and the Puglie region.

The provincial, accompanied by the confreres of our community, some confreres native of Troia and some Comboni Sisters, received the Great Silver Rose. The explanation of the award begins with a historical description of our presence and concludes thus: “The seed sown in the fertile soil of Troia has borne abundant fruit in conversions and vocations: ten Priests and two Missionary Brothers and thirteen Comboni Sisters are tireless witnesses to the Charity of Christ in the world. The Comboni Missionaries are a gift from God and are like a flagship of our City which feels it belongs to the “Global Village” through the active solidarity of so many of its children who have chosen to be the “last of all”, bearing witness everywhere, even at the cost of their lives, to the precept of charity and that universal brotherhood which knows no limits. The Great Silver Rose represents an act of true gratitude and affection which springs from the heart of the entire community of citizens”.

The provincial Superior expressed appreciation for the welcome which the citizens have always afforded our missionaries and expressed the hope that the award might not only signify appreciation for the past but also the desire to build together a world of faith, justice and peace.


Sudanese Episcopal Conference – Extraordinary Assembly

The bishops of Sudan met in Juba from 15 to 22 July for an extraordinary meeting. Their purpose was to make a common reflection to be presented to the people of the country, as it prepares for the referendum (9 January, 2011) which will decide whether South Sudan remains attached to the North or is to be a separate country. The meeting produced the letter: “A Future full of Hope. A Message of Hope and a Call to Action”.

The bishops noted especially that the country is at a turning point. Whether the result of the referendum will be unity or separation, the Sudan will not be the same as before. It cannot remain unchanged. If the result be unity, say the bishops, it cannot be the unity experienced so far, where one part imposes itself on the other with the other in a passive role. The causes of the sufferings of the past fifty years must be faced and resolved.

If the result is separation, there must be change and an end to corruption, tribalism, nepotism and marginalisation. Politics must place itself at the service of the common good.

The bishops have not taken sides. In their message they refer to the social teaching of the Church. They invite the citizens, especially the politicians and most of all Christian politicians, to take a broad view, avoiding once and for all the temptation of seeing power as a means to personal or group advantages.

El Obeid - Consecration of Mgr. Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria

As mentioned in the July FC, on 15 August Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria was consecrated Coadjutor Bishop and Apostolic Administrator of El Obeid. The Bishop of El Obeid, Mgr. Macram Max Gassis, was forced to leave the country in 1992. In his absence, Rome appointed an Apostolic Administrator in the person of Mgr. Antonio Menegazzo. In 2007, Mgr. Menegazzo, then seventy five years old, resigned while continuing to run the diocese. A few months ago, at long last, Rome chose a new Apostolic Administrator who is also Coadjutor Bishop, that is, with the right of succession.

The consecrating bishops were Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Mgr. Macram and Mgr. Menegazzo. Concelebrating with them were Mgr. Rudolf Deng Majak, president of the Sudanese Episcopal Conference and Bishop of Wau, Mgr Vincent Mojwok, bishop emeritus of Malakal, Mgr. Daniel Adwok, auxiliary bishop of Khartoum and Mgr. Roko Taban, apostolic administrator of Malakal. There were also present 65 priests from all over the diocese and many religious and laity. To accommodate the huge number, the ceremony took place in the grounds of Comboni College.

The diocese of El Obeid has an area of 889.000 square Km and a total population of 7 million. It forms part of five states: North Kordofan, South Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and the three states of Dar Fur. It borders on Chad, Libya and the dioceses of Khartoum, Malakal and Wau. Catholics number about 120.000 and there are fifteen parishes. The Comboni Missionaries are present in two parishes: El Obeid and Nyala in Dar Fur.

El Obeid became an independent ecclesiastical circumscription in 1960, when it became an apostolic vicariate under Mgr. Mason. When Mgr. Mason was expelled in 1964, the Vicariate was run by a series of apostolic administrators until 1988 when Mgr. Macram, already Apostolic Administrator for four years, was consecrated bishop. Mgr. Menegazzo ran the diocese as apostolic administrator starting in 1992 but in 1996 was consecrated bishop while remaining apostolic administrator.

This was Mgr. Macram’s first visit to the city since he had to leave the country in 1992. During his years of exile he continued to work in the diocese but in the Nuba Mountains area which were under the control of the rebels.

The challenges facing the new bishop are many, such as the war in Dar Fur, which shows no sign of letting up, and the referendum of the Nuba Mountains and Abide, which will decide their future. The progress of the Christian community is also uncertain as much will depend upon the referendum and the period following.

Various bishops and leaders of other Christian churches in the territory were also present for the occasion. As is well known, the British would have given the Nuba territory to the Catholics but the then bishop could not accept, due to lack of personnel, and so the area was entrusted to the Anglicans.

Mgr. Michael Didi is the first Bishop of Nuba and the first non-Comboni in charge of the diocese. He belongs to the diocesan clergy of the diocese of Khartoum since he entered the seminary there. In his first years of priesthood, before being sent to Rome to take a degree in Canon Law, he worked zealously among the displaced people in the area of Omdurman. When he returned from Rome he became a professor and later rector of the national theological seminary. He chose as his Episcopal motto: “Fiat voluntas tua”. Ad multos annos, Mgr. Michael!


Cincinnati Medical Mission Group leaves for Uganda

A 27-member group of doctors, nurses, medical students, a pharmacist and a dietician left from the Comboni Mission Center in Cincinnati for Uganda on July 8th and returned on July 23rd. Headed by Dr. Dallas “Buzz” Auvil, the primary purpose of the 15-day trip was to educate grassroots people of Kabingo, Uganda, about things like the basics of health and hygiene, the need for clean water, and oral rehydration

Dr. Auvil and his team members saw a great value in training a core indigenous team who could then train others in turn. They prepared a basic manual from which village health workers could work once the team returned to the U.S.

In addition to training personnel, the team took 54 suitcases of medicines and medical supplies for the clinic in Kabingo. Fr. John Richard Kyankaaga Ssendawula was instrumental in offering advice and moral support for this much needed project.

Fr. Richard and Dr. Auvil met three years ago when “Buzz” went to Uganda with Embrace the Children, a charitable organization founded to help destitute children. Many people in Kabingo, some of them in their seventies, had never seen a doctor, so Dr. Auvil spent a lot of time in the simple clinic, treating a variety of conditions. This whetted his appetite to develop a project that would do more.

The two men stayed in contact, and through the years, they created a plan of action to help improve the health conditions of the people of Kabingo, a remote Ugandan village that suffered tremendously from the effects of the Idi Amin’s regime.

Besides setting in motion a plan to improve village health conditions through preventive long-term measures, the medical group treated 1500 patients. Fr. Richard finds it interesting that this group’s philosophy matched so well with that of the founder of the Comboni Missionaries, St. Daniel Comboni, who said, “The only way to save Africa is with Africa.” The team is already dreaming of another trip!

The NAP and abuse prevention practices and response

The NAP has been awarded “Praesidium Accreditation” by Praesidium, which confirms that an individual order or institute has been found by an independent team of specialists to meet or exceed all Standards for Accreditation. Praesidium is the national leader in abuse risk management and has worked with thousands of companies worldwide for over 20 years.

To attain accreditation, the NAP underwent a long educational process and a rigorous assessment to clarify their responsibilities, identify best practices, and evaluate the extent to which they are meeting these defined standards. Each accreditation standard was independently verified by Praesidium.

The NAP was found to be in compliance with the highest current national standards for protecting children. They have acted upon the call to more accountability and transparency in how to protect children, handle allegations of sexual abuse, reach out to victims, and supervise members who have sexually abused.

The province will be accredited for three years, and during this time will uphold fundamental values and stringent safety practices that demonstrate their commitment to protecting from abuse those they serve.

Comboni Lay Missionary evening

The Comboni Lay Missionaries of the NAP had a mission evening on July 27th. Over 40 people were in attendance to learn from Cynthia Miller and Bart Hisgen about their missionary activities in Trujillo, Peru. The husband-and-wife team, with their children, has been working in Trujillo since 2008. They have organized a small school for children not currently enrolled elsewhere, a women's knitting co-op, community gardens, and they assist in pastoral activities in their neighbourhood chapel. They spoke for an hour to a very interested audience and then gave a PowerPoint presentation. A social time followed, which gave people opportunity to talk directly with the missionary couple. The event was scheduled to end at 9:00, but the gathering afterward was quite lively and lasted two hours longer.


2010 World Cup FIFA Referees visit St. Daniel Comboni Parish

The first ever FIFA World Cup to be hosted on the African continent came to a close on 11th July 2010. South Africa should be proud for having hosted this prestigious world event, beyond the expectations of sceptics who doubted the country’s ability for it. This event has in several ways positively improved the image of the African continent, particularly that of South Africa. The World Cup was also a blessing in disguise for the St. Daniel Comboni parish in Mahube Valley, Mamelodi East, near Pretoria.

On Sunday 5th of June, a delegation of FIFA referees and their support group attended Mass in our parish. The delegation was led by FIFA referees’ president Mr José Maria Garcia Aranda. The parish community felt privileged and delighted to welcome the referees. The visitors were introduced at the beginning of the celebration. The climax of this moment was when referee Oscar Julian Ruiz, from Colombia, was introduced. He was the one who officiated during South Africa’s historical win over France. He got a thunderous applause and ululations.

As the celebration progressed, the initially formal stance of the referees went ablaze. They could not resist dancing to the lively tunes of the parish choir Izwi Lethemba. They started clapping, waving their hands in the air and swinging their waists in dance like the rest of the assembly. It was a joyful Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Fr. Andrew Bwalya and flanked by Fr. Jaime Calvera Pi. After the Eucharist, Mr José Maria Garcia Aranda, the delegation’s leader, thanked the parish community for the Mass and the welcome they got. That morning had been, in his own words, the best they had during their one month stay in South Africa. He later presented sports equipment as a gift of the delegation to the parish. However, we were shown neither a yellow nor a red card.

At their invitation, the priests and the choir later joined the referee delegation and the rest of the referees, about 80 of them, for dinner at their hotel. The dinner had been organised also as a farewell for the referees who were not staying until the finals. It was the turn of the referees to entertain us, by singing songs of their countries, cracking jokes and dancing. It was indeed a different ball game from the one we are all used to see. Our choir was also given the chance to do a mini-concert in which different South African cultures were presented. The referees were elated and showed appreciation by buying the Choirs’ musical CDs and DVDs. The 2010 FIFA world cup maybe over but its memory will linger on for all of us at the St. Daniel Comboni Parish.

Let us pray for our beloved dead

THE FATHERS: Agustín, of Fr. José Juan Valero Maciá (P); Ugo, of Bro. Fabio Patt (A).

THE MOTHERS: Carmen, of Fr. Jorge Carlos Naranjo Alcaide (KH); Perpetua, of Fr. Mula Eutiquio Muso (KE), Giannina, of Fr. Ampelio Cavinato (KE); Lettensae Nagasi, of Fr. Teckie Hagos Woldeghebriel (ER); Guillermina, of Bro. Arturo Velazquez Gonzalez.

THE BROTHER: Cleto, of Fr. Carlo Giana (†).

THE SISTER: Steffi, of Fr. Anton Ellinger (DSP); Birke, of Fr. P. Melese Tumato Shulla (RSA).

THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. M. Giovanna Rigamonti; Sr. Giancarmen Segato; Sr. Enrichetta Olioso; Sr. M. Silvia Castelli; Sr. Esperanzia Cracco; Sr. Anna Silvia Scrinzi; Sr. Zeghereda Tesfazghi Iman.