Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
5th CONSULTA: 6 October – 5 November 2010
The General Notes will be sent to provincials/delegates as soon as ready. They will appear in the Familia Comboniana of December.
Fr. Villarino Rodríguez Antonio was elected and appointed Assistant General in place of Fr. Odelir José Magri.
Nominations of Provincials and Delegates
for the triennium 2011-2013
A Fr. Llamazares G. Miguel Angel
BNE Fr. Bombieri Claudio
BS P. Alcides Costa
CN Fr. Tacchella Eliseo
DCA Fr. Leandro Araya Leonardo
DSP Fr. Altenburger Josef
E Fr. Eguíluz Eguíluz Ramón
EC Fr. Zendron Claudio
EG Fr. Annis Paul
ER Fr Tesfamariam Ghebrecristos Woldeghebriel
ET Fr. Ocaña Julio
I Fr. Masini Corrado
KE Fr. Maina Mwariri Joseph
KH Fr. Giorgetti Angelo
LP Fr. Devenish Martin James
M Fr. Bautista Lucas Erasmo Norberto
MO Fr. Rodríguez López José Luis
MZ Fr. Dário Balula Chaves
NAP Fr. Baeza Gama José Manuel
P Fr. Alberto de Oliveira Silva
PE Fr. Barrera Pacheco Luis Alberto
RSA Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins
SS Fr. Moschetti Daniele
T Fr. Miante Girolamo
U Fr. Hategek'Imana Sylvester
New Bishop of Sobral (Brasil)
The Holy Father has appointed Rev. Father Odelir José Magri, M.C.C.J., former Vicar General of the Comboni Missionaries in Rome, bishop of Sobral (Brasil).
Fr. Odelir was born on 18 April, 1963, in the city of Campo Ere, in the diocese of Chapeco, Santa Catarina. Having completed his preparatory studies, he made his religious profession in the Institute of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, on 26 June, 1988.
He completed his philosophical studies at Curitiba and those of theology at Paris (1988-1992), gaining a licentiate in philosophy. He took a four-year course for seminary formators organised at São Paulo in collaboration with the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained priest on 17 October, 1992.
From 1992 to 1996 he exercised his priestly ministry in Congo Kinshasa, DCR where, in 1996, he was formator of postulants. Returning to São Paulo, Brasil, he was formator of scholastics and parish priest (1997-1999), provincial councillor (1999-2001), Novice Master at the novitiate of Contagem in Belo Horizonte and community superior (2000-2003), and vice-provincial (2002-2003).
He has been Assistant General since 2003 and was appointed Vicar General in 2009 (Appointments by Benedict XVI, 11-10-2010).
Ordinations to the Priesthood
Fr. Chmiel Sebastian Jerzy (PO) Rzeszow (PL) 16.10.2010
Fr. Miąsik Maciej Tomasz (PO) Rzeszow (PL) 16.10.2010
Fr. Perales Argüello Oscar G. (M) Cuauhtémoc (M) 30.10.2010
Fr. Calero Santos Elvis Robert (PE) Carabayllo (PE) 30.10.2010
Holy redeemer Guild
November 01 – 07 SS 08 – 15 TC 16 – 30 T
December 01 – 15 U 15 – 31 CN
November - That the memory of our departed Sisters and Confreres may be for us a precious inheritance in the light of which we wish to continue our earthly pilgrimage. Lord hear us.
December - That the peoples with whom we share our hopes and fears may see in our life the presence of Emmanuel, the God who has come to live among us. Lord hear us.
Loribamoi, Father Raffaele di Bari
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the death of Fr. Raffaele di Bari, the Missionary Centre of Barletta Archdiocese has published a book entitled “Loribamoi. Padre Raffaele Di Bari: una vita per l’Africa” (Loribamoi. Father Raffaele di Bari. A life for Africa). ‘Loribamoi’ means: the one who creates communion. The book has 296 pages with splendid illustrations and includes testimonies from Italy and Uganda, extracts from his numerous writings and from Italian and foreign newspapers. Edited by Don Ruggiero Caporusso, a former Fidei Donum priest, the book is expected to prove a very useful tool for missionary animation. Price: €16. Those who wish to order the book should contact: Don Ruggiero Caporusso - Parrocchia SS.mo Crocifisso - Via Zanardelli, 33 - 70051 Barletta. BT - Tel. 0883-33.33.82 - Cell. 338-42.94.366 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quaderni di Limone
“Il Carisma Comboniano in un Mondo Globale, Verso un nuovo paradigma di missione” (The Charism of Comboni in a Global World; towards a new paradigm of mission). This booklet revisits three fundamental aspects: reading the ‘signs of the times’; the missionary praxis of the historical Jesus and the re-reading of the charism in a multicultural context; and a world increasingly affected by globalisation. It contains the contributions of some experts, of the European Group for Theological Reflection (EGTR), some members of the Comboni family and most of the European Chapter members due to participate in the XVII General Chapter of the Comboni Missionaries (September-October, 2009). The booklet comes with a DVD containing the data, contributions, photographs and articles from “Nigrizia” magazine and other newsletters of the European provinces. Most of the booklet is dedicated to contributions.
Those wishing to order the booklet should contact Fr. Fernando Zolli of the Florence community.
Hall of Fame for World Mission
After having been distinguished as the best local Community/Parish Newspaper for the last three consecutive years, World Mission was awarded a Hall of Fame trophy at the 32nd Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA). The annual awards ceremony took place at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), in Quezon City, on October 13. The UST, the most ancient Asian university, is preparing to celebrate its 400th anniversary next year. Fr. Miguel Angel Llamazares, delegate superior of the Comboni Missionaries in Asia, and Fr. David Domingues, the dynamic promoter of the magazine, received the prize. World Mission expresses its gratitude to the Archdiocese of Manila, organizer and patron of the event, for the prize, and dedicates it to the magazine’s editorial staff, collaborators, subscribers, friends and readers.
We recall also that on September 16, World Mission’s editor, Fr. José Rebelo, was distinguished with the International Award for Excellence in Journalism by the Geneva-based International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP), in a function-cum-dinner, during its triennial world congress in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The historic congress, in which 48 nationalities of all five continents were represented, was officially opened by the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaore.
Fr. Odelir is appointed Bishop
The Comboni Missionary province of Brasile Nordeste (BNE) wishes to express publicly its joy and pleasure at the appointment of Fr. Odelir José Magri, hitherto Vicar General of our Institutes, as bishop of the diocese of Sobral, Ceará, Brasil.
After the death of the late lamented Mgr. Franco Masserdotti sand the retirement of Mgr. Aldo Gerna – the last two Comboni bishops –, we are happy to see that another Comboni missionary is now a gift of the Spirit to the Church in Brasil.
May the Spirit of the Risen One, the intercession of Our Lady Aparecida, the prophetic witness of Saint Daniel Comboni, of the many martyrs and missionaries continue to inspire, enlighten and bless the steps of our new pastor and servant of the Kingdom.
Seminar on handling and resolving conflict
A formative seminar for social intermediaries was held at the parish of Our Lady of Fatima from 13 to 16 September. The purpose of the seminar was to enable young Christians to deal with and resolve family and social conflict.
The main speaker, Marcel Kabundi, jurist and director of corrective services in Canada, made it clear that serious crimes belong to the field of justice and the judicial system. However, the possibility of having Christians capable of playing the role of intermediary, through communication and cooperation, in situations of conflict, is a golden opportunity for society and the Church and also the African family.
Feast of Saint Daniele Comboni
The feast was celebrated in two phases, one spiritual and one festive. Faithful to tradition, the Comboni communities of Bangui (Fathers, Brothers and Sisters) met at St Joseph’s House at Bimbo on 8 October, to engage in moments of prayer, reflection, reconciliation and the Eucharist. We brought before the Lord our joys and sufferings in this mission in the very heart of Africa.
On Sunday 10 October, at the parish of Our Lady of Fatima, we solemnly celebrated the Eucharist, with Fr. Giovanni Zaffanelli presiding. In his homily, the main celebrant pointed out the need to evangelise as a community of apostles. He spoke of the mission as fraternal communion. Comboni wished that his missionaries be holy and capable, willing to live together the one ideal of the mission.
The Feast of Comboni
The feast of 10 October was celebrated in all the communities and, where possible, meetings were held in connection with our activities of formation and missionary animation.
At Kisangani, on 9 October, the postulancy officially began the activities of the year in the presence of the Comboni Sisters and representatives of the various communities of religious on the Plateau. On the following day, Sunday, there was a solemn celebration in the parish of Blessed Anuarite, enlivened by the community of postulants with a display of books by Afriquespoir.
At Kinshasa the anniversary was celebrated in two stages. On Sunday, 10 October, at the provincial house in Kingabwa, about thirty lay people, collaborators and friends of the Comboni Missionaries met for an interesting exchange of experiences and suggestions for the greater involvement of the laity in missionary animation.
The next day, 11 October, the communities of Kinshasa met at Kimwenza where the pre-postulancy and postulancy are housed. At mid-morning there was a reflection on the importance of making memory of that which the history of the Founder and the Institute has handed down to us. During the Eucharist, the postulancy (the second of the province) was officially inaugurated and 10 young postulants were welcomed by presenting them with a Bible and a booklet introducing the Rosary.
The Comboni anniversary was also remembered during some programmes of the Catholic Radio Elikia and in the Catholic TV transmission of the documentary of the canonisation.
Furthermore, on 10 October, the First Missionary Congress for youth of the dioceses of Kinshasha and Kisantu, held at the hospitality centre of the Premonstratentian Fathers, was officially closed with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Abbot Alphonse Kibwila, Director of the diocesan office of the PMW.
For four days, 120 members of Jeunesse du monde, under the leadership of Comboni missionary Fr. Enrique Bayo Mata, reflected upon and discussed the great theme of the missionary commitment of the youth. It was a most interesting experience at which the youth of the Community of Emmanuel, the Friends of CIAM, Cenacles of Missionary Prayer and Consolata and Comboni lay supporters took part.
90 years of presence in Ellwangen-Josefstal
The Solidarity Feast at Ellwangen-Josefstal has already become a tradition. The highlight this year was the 90 years of presence of the Comboni Missionaries in Ellwangen. Many people, more than in former times, had come to participate in the feast of 10 October.
Josefstal was our first house in Germany. The diary says: “On Christmas 1920 the contract was signed that the Comboni Missionaries would buy the old mill. On 2 February 1921 the missionaries started living in the newly acquired run-down premises. Fr. Isidor Stang was the superior and Fr. Josef Ettl was in charge of the boys who wanted to join us. Bro. Isidor Kronsteiner was master of the cowshed and of the pigsty, taking care of the two cows and of a single pig. Otherwise there was plenty of junk strewn around the buildings. In fact, the money earned from selling the scrap iron allowed for the purchasing of a third cow.”
Visit of the General Superior
Fr. Enrique Sánchez González, General Superior spent from 7 to 23 September visiting the Comboni communities scattered throughout Ecuador and also directed a retreat for the majority of the confreres of the province. It was a time of grace and reflection for all of us. Fr. General informed us about the challenges facing the Institute today and invited us, being filled with spirit of Comboni, to be faithful to the commitment to spread as quickly as possible the charism and the mission of our Founder.
On the morning of Tuesday 21 September, we engaged in fraternal dialogue on the themes of the Institute followed by the closing Mass of the retreat at the Basilica of Our Lady of Quince, patroness of Ecuador.
The final days of the visit were spent in visiting the communities of Quito, the Postulancy, the Youth Centre of Carcelen and the community of the provincial seat.
Fr. Enrique Sánchez also had the opportunity to meet the permanent committee of the CEE, headed by the Archbishop of Guayaquil and President of the Episcopal Conference of Ecuador, Mgr. Antonio Arregui.
The province of Ecuador is grateful to the General Superior who, despite the fact that the visit had to be rushed somewhat due to previously arranged commitments, helped us to strengthen our charism and our love for the mission.
On Tuesday, 5 October 2010, the 7th anniversary of the canonisation of St. Daniel Comboni, the XIX General Chapter of the Comboni Missionary Sisters ended. To mark the occasion, the Chapter members went on pilgrimage to Limone sul Garda, crossing the lake on the Malcesine ferry, just as the Founder used to do when returning home from the seminary in Verona.
Two days previously, in the evening, the reliquary containing the white cassock which Comboni was wearing when he died, and which was preserved with care and devotion by Sr. Francesca Dalmasso who was present at the death of the Founder on 10 October, 1881, in Khartoum (Sudan), had been taken into the parish church of Limone.
The two evenings were enlivened by Sr. Maria Rosa Venturelli who gave a Powerpoint presentation of the story of the white cassock and, on the second evening, led an hour of prayer on the theme: “The Cloak of Elija”. Those present were allowed to touch and venerate the relic and take photos. It is now preserved in the General Headquarters of the Comboni Sisters in Rome.
On the fifth day, at 11am, there was a solemn Eucharistic Celebration, again in the parish church of San Benedetto, in the presence of Don Raffaele Donneschi, Director of the Diocesan Missionary Centre of Brescia, the Parish priest, Mgr. Eraldo Fracassi and of Fr. Enrique Sánchez González and his Council. Others present included the Secular Comboni Missionary Maria Pia dal Zovo, representing the head of the Secular Institute and the Mayor of Limone Sig. Franceschino Risatti, with representatives of the civil authorities. It was also wonderful to see the presence of the people of Limone and Comboni Sisters coming from Arco and S. Felice.
The Holy Mass was enlivened by the Chapter members themselves who with hymns, symbols and prayers, in the little church of Limone, brought out the missionary and universal nature of the Church. At the end of the celebration, Sr. Luzia Premoli, the newly-elected General Superior, presented the Chapter members with olive branches as a sign of communion and sending out.
“Nigrizia Onlus Foundation”
On Thursday last, 7 October, the newly-established “Nigrizia Onlus Foundation” was inaugurated in Verona in three separate events during the course of the day. The foundation began at the Collegio Missioni Africane with the purpose of giving a voice to the Afro world and to continue to work according to one of the three fundamental precepts of the Founder of the Institute, St. Daniel Comboni: “Save Africa with Africa”. The Gospel message and the struggle for the defence of the civil rights of the weakest coincide and become definite and concrete word, action in welcoming, solidarity and sharing.
The Foundation is a reality in which the Comboni Missionaries work side by side with the laity to receive and help, regardless of religion, language, race, gender, political opinion, personal or social situation all those who find themselves in disadvantaged situations and discomfort to grow through carrying out specific projects; to inform and communicate the many-faceted reality of the Afro world; to spread the Comboni practice of caring for one’s neighbour and the weakest according to the precepts of the Gospel concerning sharing, welcoming and solidarity.
To this end, the Foundation unites all the realities that function within the bosom of the Institute: Nigrizia, PM - Il Piccolo Missionario, - The African Museum, the library and the information website Nigrizia.it, Bandapm.it and Afriradio.it, Missionari comboniani – Missionary Action and Nigrizia Multimedia which produces audiovisuals.
Today, the voice of Africa which St. Daniel Comboni wanted to be heard as widely as possible, has found, besides the traditional channels of magazines, new forms of contemporary communication: visual arts, the Internet, web radio, social media and music, in a word, all the culture that the Foundation, while pursuing institutional purposes, now includes in one cohesive reality.
Competition for Young Artists on “Africa e Daniele Comboni”
The Diocesan Museum of San Fermo of Verona and the Comboni missionaries of the Mother House are promoting a Competition for young artists on the theme of “Africa e Daniele Comboni: un’appassionante avventura” (Africa and Daniel Comboni: a passionate adventure). The competition is taking place against the twofold historical background of: the fiftieth anniversary of independence of many African nations; the 180th anniversary of the birth of Comboni; the 130th anniversary of his death.
The purpose of the competition is to promote, thanks to the beauty and power of art, knowledge of the human, cultural, religious and Christian values of Africa, following St. Daniel Comboni. It also aims to enrich the store of images of Comboni with new artistic creations. The techniques allowed are: painting, sculpture (including ceramics) and design.
It was launched early in October and entries must be submitted before 1 March, 2011, to be displayed in the church of San Fermo in Verona from 18 March to 3 April, 2011. Artists under forty years of age and of any nationality are allowed to enter.
Details and conditions on how to enter are to be found on the Comboni website:
www.nigrizia.it, www.bandapm.it, www.combonifem.it
The prizes will be awarded in March, 2011. First prize: € 1,500; Second: € 1,000; third: € 500. A jury will also award a prize called “Premio Africa 50°” (Africa 50th prize).
For further information contact: Missionari Comboniani (Casa Madre), Vicolo Pozzo 1 – 37129 Verona
(e-mail: email@example.com); or to: Museo Diocesano S. Fermo-Verona (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Comboni celebrations in Verona
The public celebration of the feast of St. Daniel Comboni (Sunday, 10 October) took place this year at the parish church of St. Stephen in the care of the Don Nicola Mazza Pious Association. Many of the faithful attended the Eucharist presided over by Mgr. Antonio Menegazzo, Bishop Emeritus of El Obeid (Sudan). The Comboni Missionaries presented a painting of Comboni to the parish with a personalised dedication, recalling in that church he “celebrated Mass and preached a number of times”.
On Sunday, 17 October, the Mother House received a number of relatives of our missionaries, on the occasion of the annual celebration which this year was attended by the Superior General, Fr. Enrique Sánchez. Two book displays were also organised for the occasion. Most important of all, there was a collection of the works of Fr. Cirillo Tescaroli, who was born in Vigasio (Verona) in 1923 and died in Quito, Ecuador, in 2007. There was also a collection of biographies about Comboni Missionary Brothers. Both collections were made by Fr. Mario Locatelli and may be considered complete.
So what’s New in Turkana?
Immediately after my return to Africa after my holidays in Italy for the celebration of my Golden Jubilee of ordination, I was told I was wanted for the crime of “child trafficking”. What was it all about?
In 1994, while I was at Lokori and making one of my first safaris in the desert area of Kalapata, or, more precisely, at Lomunyan Akwan, I found a baby girl called Amoni, two years old, crippled in both legs, malnourished and nothing but skin and bone, as well as being ill with TB. If she had been left in the village she would not have survived. Her father asked insistently that I take the little child with me and try to save her.
We were in the process of taking about ten disabled children from Lokori to the centre for Disabled Children at Ol’Kalou, in the shadow of Mount Kenya, 900 km. away. We were taking them there for treatment, operations, rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The Sisters of Verona (Little Daughters of St. Joseph) had a well-equipped centre with a primary school attached. It was there that I took Amoni. The nurse, Jane Wanjiru Mwangi by name, freely offered to take care of Amoni during the holidays so she could continue with her therapy, keeping her at her home. She immediately became fond of the little girl and Amoni, too, became fond of her as if she were her real mother. She had never before experienced the warmth of a mother. In August 1996, Jane mentioned to me the possibility of adopting the child. Amoni was delighted with the idea. By then she was speaking only Kikuyu and had no recollection of her village in Turkana.
On 16 October, together with the catechist Raphael Kai, I went to Lomunyan Akwan to speak with Chodokori, the father of Amoni, who had no objection to the daughter being adopted. On the contrary, he signed (with his fingerprint) an agreement that “my daughter can stay for good at Ol’Kalou”.
In all the past 16 years Chodokori never once showed up. Now, however, he has come to lay claim to Amoni because of the fine dowry he may receive and so he accused me of having kidnapped his daughter. He has also begun to involve somehow all the civil authorities accusing me of this crime. Whatever way things go, our lawyer is fully aware of the facts.
What upsets me most is the fact that a father, instead of seeking the well-being of his daughter, thinks of nothing else but the dowry he may receive from, perhaps, some old polygamist ready to hand over so many camels, cows and goats. “So what’s new in Turkana?” asked my bishop. (P. Raffaele Cefalo)
Run-up to the Referendum
The referendum that will be held on 9 January, 2011, on the basis of the peace accord known as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement –CPA) is actually a double referendum: that which will decide whether South Sudan remains united to the North or becomes an independent state, and that by which the Abyei people decide whether to belong to the South or to the North.
Many people, both within Sudan and abroad, have the impression that, either through tactics or carelessness, many things which should have been done immediately after the CPA have been repeatedly postponed leaving people unprepared. Those of the South, however, have no intention of allowing the referendum to be postponed and have made two moves which should help them.
They have mobilised in every way possible the international community. Sudan has been the centre of world attention in the centres of the UN and in Washington, London and Brussels circles.
The churches, too, have also contributed to this so that the referendum may be carried out in a climate of peace and transparency.
Within the country, the president of the South, Salva Kiir, granted an amnesty to all opponents both military and political. The response seems to be encouraging. Twenty-three parties and armed groups signed a courageous common document on 18 October. Personalities such as Bona Malwal, Lam Akol, George Athor, Gabriel Tanginye, Mabor Dhol, etc., swore to turn over a new leaf by leaving the past behind and working for the success of the referendum. If the result is the unity of North and South, the South will commit itself to playing an effective role by using its experience to good advantage. If the referendum results in separation, the signatories will meet within a month to lay the foundation for a new government and a new constitution. In the North the campaign for unity goes on but it seems that fewer and fewer people expect it to come about.
First and foremost, the work of fixing the boundary between North and South has not been completed. The North insists that it must be complete before the referendum but, at the same time, seems to be dragging its feet. The South holds the view that the referendum and demarcation lines are not necessarily connected.
There is also the problem of deciding who is eligible to vote. The South holds that only Southerners should vote. The North, instead, holds that all Southerners and also the Abyei people should vote. The reason is clear: if it were sufficient to be a resident at the moment of voting in order to be eligible to vote, the result would be changed, especially at Abyei. Due to these opposing viewpoints, registration has not yet begun and there is not much time left.
Another problem is that of foreseeing what to do if the result were to be separation. What would be the position of Southerners living in the North and of Northerners living in the South? There is also the problem of natural resources. Seventy five percent of petroleum deposits are to be found in the South but oil has to be taken to Port Sudan in order to be sold. Fears of the results of the referendum have already caused a fall in the value of Sudanese currency.
Assassination attempt on Cardinal Wako on Comboni Day
A Misseriya man, who was identified as Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman, attempted to assassinate the Catholic Archbishop of Khartoum, Gabriel Cardinal Zubeir Wako, during the Mass on the feast of Saint Daniel Comboni in Khartoum on Sunday 10 October.
Comboni “founded” the Church in Sudan. Cardinal Zubeir is his seventh successor and the first Sudanese bishop to succeed Comboni as archbishop of Khartoum.
The attacker mingled with the faithful and joined the dancers on the crowded stand on which there was the altar. He then got nearer to the Cardinal pretending to be dancing, but he was holding a dagger. The Master of Ceremony, Barnaba Matuec Anei, who was standing next to the Cardinal, spot the man in time and disarmed him, handing him over to the police.
Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC)
A revitalization of JPIC ministry in the NAP is a priority, and a team is being formed to make this happen. As a first step, Fr. John Paul Pezzi, Fr. John Converset and Cindy Browne have drawn up some draft guidelines which will be presented for approval to the Provincial Council when it next meets. They are also working together on a Plan of Action for 2011.
Cindy Browne will continue the activities of the Justice and Peace Resource Center in Cincinnati, something she has done for fourteen years.
Fr. John Paul and Fr. John have just completed a short orientation course in New York regarding how the United Nations work and how non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can work with the UN agencies in support of JPIC issues. Our intention is to cooperate more closely with VIVAT International and its partner organizations (mostly NGOs affiliated with religious institutes). In service to VIVAT, both Fr. John Paul and Fr. John in October took part in a workshop held in Quito, Ecuador, with members of religious communities in the northern part of Latin America who are affiliated with VIVAT. While they were in Quito, they had a meeting with the Comboni Missionaries and the Comboni Missionary Sisters who are engaged in JPIC ministry to see how to improve their mutual support and cooperation. From the point of view of the NAP JPIC Team, the members hope to establish how they can bring the issues and activities of the other MCCJ and CMS provinces to the attention of pertinent NGOs serving the UN and/or directly to UN organizations and agencies, as appropriate.
The team has asked Fr. John Paul to take part in the World Social Forum, the Theological Forum and the Comboni Forum, all taking place in Dakar, Senegal, in February 2011. Fr. John Paul took part in the corresponding events in Nairobi and Belém in previous years and will be able to make a positive contribution in terms of continuity, as well as from his wide experience as a missionary.
Peru has recently been a boiling political cauldron as people were taken up with the municipal and regional elections planned for the first Sunday in October. The results of studies by specialised agencies show that the lack of security is one of the major problems of the country. Comboni Missionary Fr. Lorenzo Bergantin, administrator of the parish of Sunampe (Chincha) has experienced this at first hand. On 24 September last, while returning from the bank where he withdrew some money, he was followed by three vehicles and robbed at gunpoint of the money with which he intended to pay the workers who were rebuilding the church destroyed by the earthquake of 2007. Thanks be to God, Fr. Lorenzo was unhurt physically. Unfortunately, one of the vehicles used by the robbers collided with a small hired car, killing the driver. One of the criminals was injured and turned out to be a policeman. The others fled with their booty.
Every year on 8 August, Peru commemorates the battle of Angamos. It is a public holiday and for some years now we have been organising meetings with the relatives of our Peruvian missionaries on that day. This year the meeting was held at the Postulancy and some proposals were made suggesting ways of getting to know each other better. Missionary testimonies were also made and at mid-day there was a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Provincial Superior, P. Rogelio Bustos J. About 25 people participated and we may say that, little by little, they are growing in their identification with the Comboni charism and improving their organisation in supporting our work.
Celebrating the Feast of Comboni
Representatives of the various communities of Lima met on Thursday, 14 October, to celebrate the feast of the Founder. Fr. José Miguel Córdova Alcázar guided a reflection. The solemn Mass was led by Mgr. Bruno Musaro, Apostolic Nuncio in Peru, who spoke of his closeness to and appreciation of the work of the Comboni Missionaries throughout the world.
Mission at Lisbon Port
The Comboni Missionaries in Portugal have recently assumed a pastoral commitment with the Patriarch of Lisbon. The decision to do so was taken after a long process of discernment and in line with the directives of the General Chapter which suggest that in all circumscriptions there be “a presence in frontier situations, taking into account the criteria of living near to the people, in their environment, in simple circumstances”.
On 19 September the Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, Mgr. Joaquim Augusto da Silva Mendes entrusted the pastoral care of the parishes of Camarate and Apelacão, situated in Lisbon port, to the Comboni Missionaries Fr. Antonio Alexandre da Rocha Ferreira, Fr. Jose Amaral Boaventura and Bro. Jose Francisco Duarte da Cunha Neto.
Camarate and Apelacão are two ancient parishes. Both consist of a historical centre surrounded by housing areas, some of which were recently built to provide homes for people whose abusively built houses were demolished to make way for roads and other public works.
These may be called dormitory housing areas as most of the people are employed in the centres, in menial jobs. Altogether, the two parishes have 35,000 inhabitants, many of whom are immigrants from Africa. Both parishes have a small, but very active, Christian community.
Launching of the website “comboni.org.za”
On Mission Sunday, 24th October 2010, the Comboni Missionaries in South Africa launched their website “comboni.org.za”. We are very happy to have our own website. We think that it is important and necessary to use modern means in our work and to foster missionary awareness in RSA and worldwide. The special features of this site are: the home page, which will display the latest news of the MCCJ; a virtual chapel where we invite our guests to pray for missions and vocations; a missionary forum where people are welcomed to share their thoughts on mission, the Church, justice, peace and integrity of creation, etc. We have also our personalized emails. The person responsible of the keeping and updating of the website is our confrere Fr. Guillermo Medina. We invite all to take a look at our website and to let it known to all our friends and benefactors.
Comboni Comprehensive College of Lomin celebrates ten years
On October 10, feast of Saint Daniel Comboni, the Comboni Comprehensive College of Lomin celebrated its tenth anniversary. Bishop Erkolano Lodu of Yei and Fr. Eugenio Magni, the founder of the school, were among many distinguished guests present with government officials, former students and parishioners.
The college was started in Lomin in the year 2000, during the war, near the border with Uganda. It was the answer of the South Sudan province to the challenges of education: a permanent and high-standard school to educate young boys and girls from all over Southern Sudan. After ten years of hard work and a lot of money spent, the college is now well established with classrooms, boys’ and girls’ hostels, a kitchen for students and teachers, laboratories, library and administration block, a spacious multi-purpose hall used for meetings, recreational and cultural activities. The college has an adequate supply of water through a solar pump system and 24 hours electricity provided by solar panels and generators.
The students enrolled this year are 425: 158 girls and 267 boys. So far 346 students sat successfully for the Ugandan UNEB Exams with overall good performance.
The Heart of the Institute beats more strongly at Sarh
All the communities of the province, except one, gathered on 21 September, 2010, for the inauguration of the new inter-provincial novitiate for Francophone Africa. The novitiate is dedicated to the Holy cross. The general Council was also represented with the presence of Fr. John Baptist Opargiw Keraryo, Secretary General for Formation.
The climax of the celebration was the Eucharist presided over by Mgr. Edmond Jitangar, Bishop of Sarh, and Mgr. Charles Louis Joseph Vandame, Archbishop Emeritus of N’Djamena. A number of Comboni and diocesan priests, and many men and women religious took part in the celebration. The singing and liturgical dancing was led by the choir of St. Kizito parish, Begou.
Mgr. Jitangar spoke with much esteem of this new Comboni work, saying: “This is a sign of the confidence which the Comboni Institute has in the local Church of Sarh”. In fact, we are the first male religious Institute to open a novitiate in this the youngest Church in Africa. “It is both a great responsibility and a grace for us to receive these young aspirants. It calls us to witness more convincingly and fearlessly”. In conclusion he pointed out that where there is a house of formation an Institute will pay more attention to and follow more closely that place. “The heart of the Comboni Missionaries now beats among us, here at Sarh, with more intensity”, he said.
The eleven novices of four different nationalities (RCA, DRC, Togo and Benin), together with the Novice Master Fidèle Katsan Fodagni Kokouvi and his associate Fr. José Delgado Domingo, were introduced to the community which was asked to take particular care of them.
After the Eucharist, all the participants had supper together, despite the strong wind which threatened to bring on a storm. But not even this could dampen their spirit of joy and enthusiasm felt by all.
Let us pray for our beloved dead
THE MOTHERS: Maria Kide, of Fr. Romano Rokani Dada (U); Antonia, of Fr. Juan Manuel Labajo Pejenaute (E); Regina, of Fr. Egidio Tocalli (I); Angela Lucia, of Fr. Alberto Ferri (†); Alemash Kahsu, of Fr. Tium Debesai Zewold (ET).
THE BROTHERS: Alemseghed, of Fr. Sebhatleab Ayele Tesemma (ER); Cesare, of Fr. Aristide Guerra (ER); Bruno, of Fr. Romualdo Anselmi (MO).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTER: Sr. Lisa Gabriella Lavarini.
THE COMBONI SECULAR MISSIONARY: Anita Bordignon.