Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus


Journeys/Visits of the members of the General Council for the period January – June, 2011

Superior General, Fr. Enrique Sánchez G.

15 January – 10 February: visit to Uganda together with Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie

28 April – 15 May: visit to Asia with Bro. Daniele Giusti

21 May, Uganda: celebration of the Comboni Centenary

Fr. Alberto Pelucchi

May: visit to DSP

Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie

2 – 8 January: visit to Egypt

15 January – 10 February: visit to Uganda with the Superior General

Fr. Antonio Villarino Rodríguez

Early February: in Spain for a meeting on anthropology

May: visit to Brasile NE

Bro. Giusti Daniele Giovanni

5 January – 3 February: visit to DR Congo

28 April – 15 May: visit to Asia with the Superior General

Meeting of Superiors of Circumscriptions

The meeting of the General Council with the Superiors of Circumscriptions at the start of their mandate will be held at the Generalate in Rome. Arrival: 19 February, in time for supper. Departure: 13 March, after breakfast.

Members of Councils of Provinces and delegations - 2011


Delegation Superior

Fr. Llamazares G. Miguel Angel


Delegation Councillors

Fr. David da Costa Domingues



Fr. Victor M. Aguilar Sánchez


Provincial Superior

Fr. Bombieri Claudio


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Bossi Dario



Fr. Domingos Sávio de Oliveira



Fr. Pellegrini Franco



Fr. Covarrubias Rodríguez Gustavo


Provincial Superior

Fr. Alcides Costa


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Padovan Giorgio



Fr. Robinson de Castro Cunha



Fr. Jorge Miguel Pereira Brites



Fr. Zerbini Adriano


Provincial Superior

Fr. Zaffanelli Giovanni


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Ruiz Molina Jesús



Fr. Ndjadi Ndjate Léonard



Fr. Wakouzou Claude Bernard



Fr. Ceccato Gilberto


Provincial Superior

Fr. Tacchella Eliseo


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Rangu Mogoro Norbert



Fr. Mumbere Musanga Joseph



Fr. Corbetta Gian Maria



Bro. Naranjo Muñoz Rafael


Delegation Superior

Fr. Savoia Raffaello


Delegation Councillors



Delegation Superior

Fr. Leandro Araya Leonardo


Delegation Councillors

Fr. Castillo Matarrita Víctor-Hugo



Fr. Del Toro Rodríguez Alfredo


Superiore provinciale

Fr. Altenburger Josef


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Gimpl Herbert



Fr. Kibira Anthony Kimbowa



Bro. Tremmel Friedbert



Bro. Nagler Eduard


Provincial Superior

Fr. Eguíluz Eguíluz Ramón


Provincial Councillors

Bro. Misas Ríos Roberto



Fr. Lafita Irigoyen Angel



Fr. Del Río Sanz Carmelo



Fr. Del Pozo Alvarez Antonio


Provincial Superior

Fr. Zendron Claudio


Provincial Councillors

Bro. Martinuzzo Umberto



Fr. Balda Echarri Martín José



Fr. Tacuri Samaniego Pedro Secundino



Fr. Balasso Vincenzo


Delegation Superior

Fr. Annis Paul


Delegation Councillors

Fr Kyankaaga Ssendawula John Richard



Fr. Esti Giovanni Maria


Delegation Superior

Fr. Tesfamariam Ghebrecristos W.


Delegation Councillors

Fr. Mussie Abraham Keflezghi



Fr. Merke Zemicael Tesfazion


Provincial Superior

Fr. Ocaña Julio


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Dawit Wubishet Teklewold



Bro. González Jiménez Luis Humberto



Fr. Hernández Jaime Pedro Pablo L.



Fr. Detomaso Giuseppe


Provincial Superior

Fr. Masini Corrado


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Cavallini Giuseppe



Fr. Taneburgo Giovanni



Fr. Milani Venanzio



Fr. Guglielmi Antonio



Bro. Bozza Claudio


Provincial Superior

Fr. Mwariri Joseph Maina


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Filipe Miguel Oliveira Resende



Fr. Wokorach P’Mony Raphael



Fr. Giudici Stefano



Bro. Laurencig Dario


Provincial Superior

Fr. Giorgetti Angelo


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Eibu Dominic



Bro. Redaelli Giuseppe



Fr. Ferraboschi Davide



Fr. Naranjo Alcaide Jorge C.


Provincial Superior

Fr. Devenish Martin James


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Cerda Contreras Mario



Fr. Tesfamichael Debesay Negusse



Fr. De Marchi Benito



Fr. Benetti Antonio


Provincial Superior

Fr. Bautista Lucas Erasmo Norberto


Provincial Councillors

Fr. López García Antonio



Fr. González Galarza Fernando



Fr. Ordóñez Espinoza Pedro



Bro. Cruz Reyes Joel


Provincial Superior

Fr. Rodríguez López José Luis


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Francisco de Assis Colombi



Fr. Antonini Francesco



Fr. Sodokin Jacob



Bro. Holgado Salvide Aristides


Provincial Superior

Fr. Dário Balula Chaves


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Mennas Mukaka



Fr. Kaliya Benedict



Bro. Yawovi Jonas Dzinekou



Fr. Colleoni Enrico


Provincial Superior

Fr. Baeza Gama José Manuel


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Ochoa Gracián Jorge Elías



Fr. Quigley Brian Joseph



Fr. Ezama Ruffino



Fr. Zanotto Luigi


Provincial Superior

Fr. Alberto de Oliveira Silva


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Silvério Simões Malta



Fr. José Amaral Boaventura



Fr. Carlos Alberto Nunes



Bro. João Paulo da Rocha Martins


Provincial Superior

Fr. Barrera Pacheco Luis Alberto


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Oñate Rebolledo René Alfonso



Fr. Carbonero Mogollón Pedro Percy



Fr. Nardin Daniele



Fr. Gámez de la Cruz Oscar


Provincial Superior

Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Burgers Jude Eugene



Fr. Mkhabela Masoja Vincent



Fr. Ochola Lukwiya Robert



Bro. Padovan Francesco


Provincial Superior

Fr. Moschetti Daniele


Provincial Councillors



Provincial Superior

Fr. Miante Girolamo


Provincial Councillors

Fr. Nordjoe Yao Djodjo Eugene



Fr. Guivi Yaovi Benjamin



Fr. Óscar José Araújo Gomes da Cunha



Fr. Tasiame John Kofi


Provincial Superior

Fr. Ciuciulla Pietro


Provincial Councillors



Provincial Superior

Fr. Hategek'Imana Sylvester


Provincial Councillors


Perpetual professions

Sc. Mkhari Antony Abednego (RSA)         Lusaka (Z)       16.12.2010

Ordinations to the priesthood

Fr. Boadi John Bliss A. Kudjo (T)  Agbenoxoe/Ho (Ghana) 20.11.2010

Fr. Gbénou Yves Houénagnon (T)                    Lome (T) 18.12.2010

Fr. Laye Ayikoue Mawutodji Elysée (T)             Lome (T) 18.12.2010

Fr. Lokpo Koudjo Kunegbodzi Jean Philippe (T)              Lome (T)  18.12.2010

Holy Redeemer Guild

January                01 – 07 A             08 – 15 C            16 – 31 BNE

February              01 – 15 BS           16 – 28 CA

Prayer Intentions

January – That the conclusions and decisions of the XIX General Chapter of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, expressed in the Chapter Acts, may lead to a style of ministerial and consecrated life that is ever more radical and authentic. Let us pray.

February – That our sick and elderly Confreres, Sisters and Seculars may feel appreciated in their fragility and discover the importance and efficacy of prayer and suffering to the proclamation of the message of Christ. Let us pray.


Bro. Virginio Manzana, “Africa ti ho amata anche con le mani(Africa, I have loved you with my hands), Grafica Editions, Arco, 2010, 191 pages. This is an autobiography, full of anecdotes and episodes in which the author tells the story of his life from his birth (1928) up to the present time (2010), describing the main events of his infancy, his vocation and his formation and missionary service as a Comboni Brother. In fact, Virginio approached the Combonians because he wanted to be a priest, a calling which he had felt since he was seven years old. Instead, what was entirely unforeseen, he was sent to Thiene to the Comboni Brothers technical school.

Bro. Virginio tells his story with wonder and affection and this is borne out by his many personal memories, encounters and experiences.

The book shows clearly how Virginio learned to love “with the heart of a priest”. The titles of the various chapters describe his missionary involvement beginning with the words “Loving with my hands”, always and everywhere: in Italy, in Sudan, in Uganda, in Kenya and Congo.


Episcopal Ordination of Mgr. Odelir José Magri

In the pouring rain, on Sunday, 12 December, 2010, a multitude of faithful, diocesan priests, several bishops, political representatives and a number of Combonians of the two provinces of Brazil waited for and welcomed Fr. Odelir José Magri on the steps of the Cathedral of Sobral, in Ceará State, Brazil.

A large platform had been erected for the ceremony in the square in front of the Cathedral but, due to the heavy rain, the celebration was held inside, even though it could not accommodate the huge crowd.

The rain did pose a problem, as the State Governor, Cid Gomes, remarked in his opening address. Ceará, however, constantly suffers the effects of drought, so the rain was seen as a blessing from God.

The Diocesan Administrator, Fr. Raimundo Timbó, welcomed Fr. Odelir in these words: "The Church of this diocese is in celebration. Today we are receiving our sixth diocesan bishop, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, to be our shepherd. It is with light and festive hearts that we gather here in this square in front of the Mother Church of our diocese to welcome him”.

The solemn ceremony was presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil, Mgr. Lorenzo Baldisseri, assisted by Mgr. José Tosi Marques, Metropolitan Archbishop of Fortaleza, the Combonian bishop Mgr. Aldo Gerna and many other bishops. Among these were the two preceding bishops: Mgr. Aldo de Cillo Pagotto, Archbishop of João Pessoa, and Mgr. Antônio Fernando Saburido, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife.

Mgr. Odelir said he was happy to celebrate his first Mass as bishop of the diocese entrusted to him. His episcopal motto, "Come, follow me", expresses his pastoral plan: to guide the people of God in following Christ.

Also present were Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse and Bro. Daniele Giusti, representing the General Council, as well as the provincials of Brazil Nordeste and Brazil Do Sul, numerous confreres of both provinces, the Comboni Sisters of the Fortaleza community and many friends.


Continental Meeting

From December 1 to 7, 2010, the first week of that month, all the previous and newly-appointed and confirmed circumscription superiors of America and Asia met at Casa Comboni in Guatemala City.

The meeting was also attended by Fr. Enrique Sánchez G., General Superior, and also by Fr. Antonio Villarino, the new member of the General Council and ‘spokesperson’ of the delegation of Columbia due to the fact that the new delegation superior had not yet been elected.

As was the case in previous meetings, the participants were given time to share their experiences, difficulties, successes, projects and aspirations, besides the situation of the different sectors in which they worked during the past three years. Much of the time was devoted to completing the Continental Plan begun during the meeting at Bogota (June, 2010), which outlined the challenges posed by the XVII General Chapter, to be kept in mind when preparing the circumscription plans.

We are grateful to God for this opportunity for mutual enrichment and we thank our confreres in the General Council who accompanied us with competence and patience. Our thanks also go to the Delegation for the warm welcome afforded us.


Representative and Elective Provincial Assembly

The Provincial Representative and Elective Assembly was held at Pesaro from 13 to 16 December, 2010, in an atmosphere of serenity, listening, prayerfulness and sharing. The 45 participants, representing the 25 communities of the Province, were presented with the opportunity to reflect upon the situation of society and the Italian Church, led by Rev. Paolo Boschini, a priest of the diocese of Modena who teaches at the Faculty of Theology of Emilia Romagna. The Provincial, Fr. Corrado Masini, and the heads of the various Secretariats and Commissions afterwards presented the situation of the province and the challenges which we are invited to accept to live our missionary vocation to the full.

In the light of the various interventions, the participants, divided into six groups, discussed the draft of the Six-Year Plan (2011-2016), prepared by the appointed Committee. The comments, proposals and suggestions of all the groups were presented and discussed in Assembly, in view of the final draft of the Plan. The final task was to elect the sixth provincial councillor (Fr. Giovanni Taneburgo). Having allowed sufficient time for the various interventions on the life and particular aspects of the Province, Fr. Masini concluded the Assembly by thanking those present, especially the previous and new members of the provincial Council, and expressed words of encouragement to all to work together with enthusiasm as true sons of Comboni.

The house in Bari reopens after its renovation

Having disembarked at Bari in the distant year of 1955, the Combonians are now living a new chapter in the life of their presence in this city of Puglia. After a long period of renovation, the Comboni house in Bari was reopened on 8 December, 2010, with a celebration which gathered together many friends, family members of the missionaries and benefactors.

The initial welcome was followed by a reflection, presented by Fr. Giuseppe Cavallini, of the CCM in Verona, on the continent of Africa after 50 years of independence in some countries, concentrating on the future prospects of that land.

The high point of the day was the Eucharistic celebration at which the provincial, Fr. Corrado Masini, presided and which was animated by a parish group. Worth mentioning was the presence of the Director of the Diocesan Mission Centre and the Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation, Mgr. Angelo Latrofa. Besides the provincial, there were also confreres from the nearby communities whose kind presence was also appreciated.

The present community has a twofold purpose: missionary animation and the care of elderly but non-dependent missionaries. Missionary animation will require following up the missionary formation of ecclesial communities as well as the pastoral care of the youth, including missionary vocations promotion.

At the same time, our commitment to the marginalised, especially immigrants, is the way by which our missionary presence on southern Italy becomes operative and credible.

Missionaries wherever the Lord puts us... to globalise the solidarity and charity of the Gospel, as the General Chapter of 2003 affirmed. Even though the Comboni community may be experiencing a time of fewer resources both in terms of personnel and means, the heritage remains which demands we continue to nourish faith and prophecy in this part of the world so attached to missionaries.


“Post Referendum”

Since it is taken for granted that the referendum required by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement will take place on 9 January, 2011, both experts and the common people are turning their attention to the “Post Referendum”. In the South there is a sort of euphoria as the longed-for day approaches, even if there is a degree of apprehension regarding how things may turn out. In the North, there is more apprehension, especially among Southerners, often approaching anxiety and fear. The reasons are many.

First of all, there are decidedly inopportune signals coming from some Northern politicians. Some have threatened Southerners living in the North that, if separation should come about, they would be deprived of their rights, even that of medical care in hospital, and even of the right of ownership. They would, instead, forfeit their property. There has been a call to the youth for a Jihad, or Holy War, against the South. We suppose, above all we hope, that these are just slogans without real importance.

There are also some more realistic worries. Even in church circles, it is feared that the Christian community may be reduced to an irrelevant minority as has happened in many countries of North Africa following the Islamic conquest.

The radicalisation of Islamic forces, which might be tempted to impose an extreme form of Islamic law, is feared. The President himself let slip the threat that, with separation, Islamic law would be applied without exception and without mercy.

Furthermore, it is foreseen that, if the South should become independent, taxes would be imposed on consumer goods, 90 % of which come from the North, causing an increase in prices.

Other problems are connected with personal mobility. A number of people work or study at university in the North. They have come south for the referendum but they would still like to return to the North. Will they be allowed to do so or will they need a passport or a student’s permit?

As regards the Church and the Combonians working in Sudan, the “Post Referendum” involves a re-think of pastoral action in decidedly different terms. Dealing with Islam, so many times indicated by General Chapters and provincial assemblies, will become a necessity which cannot be further postponed, as well as the need to join together in a more serious and perceptive way the relationship between faith and life. It is to be hoped that neither the Sudanese Church nor the Combonians of the North are abandoned in such a decisive moment.


Perpetual vows and diaconate of Antony A. Mkhari

During the time of Advent, our province of Malawi-Zambia was blessed with two important events which helped us become aware of the presence of the Lord in our midst and prepare for his coming.

On 16 December, Antony A. Mkhari, a scholastic from South Africa doing missionary service in our province, took his perpetual vows. The celebration took place at the novitiate in Lusaka, Zambia. The Eucharist was presided over by Fr. Dario Balula Chaves, the provincial, and was attended by the novices and confreres from various communities. Also Fr. Vincent Masoja Mkhabela, from South Africa, was present as representative of the provincial superior and of the confreres of the province of South Africa. It was a joyful family celebration which renewed in us the missionary spirit.

On Saturday, 18 December, Antony was ordained deacon in Lilanda Parish, Lusaka, by the archbishop Mgr. Telesphore Mpundu. It was another wonderful celebration, well prepared and participated by the Christians of Lilanda parish, with the participation of confreres from both provinces. The archbishop expressed his appreciation for the good work carried out by the Comboni Missionaries in the archdiocese of Lusaka and invited the Christians to cultivate the missionary spirit in their communities.


San Pedro Sochiápam handed over to the Diocese

On 29 November, 2010, the Comboni Missionaries handed over the mission of San Pedro Sochiápam to the local clergy of the diocese. It had been the last location in which Combonians were present in the “La Chinantla” region. As is well known, the first of our members to set foot in this land included Fr. Flaviano Amatulli, Fr. Marcello Trotta and Fr. Mario Menghini. The first mission was founded at Usila, in 1972, followed by Ojitán, Jalapa de Díaz, Chiltepec, Sagrado Corazón, Valle Nacional, Sochiápam and Espíritu Santo.

The mission of San Pedro Sochiápam was founded in June, 1998, with Fr. Enrico Cordioli as the first parish priest. It belonged to the mission of Usila, but since that mission was so extensive, it was considered that Sochiápam and some mountain villages should be a separate mission. The last community was made up of the parish priest, Fr. Damián Bruyel, and by the Mexicans Fr. Jaime Lomas and Fr. Oscar Germán Perales. After Fr. Cordioli, the late Fr. Alfredo Hernández Preciado, Mexican, and Fr. Antonio Radice, Italian, were parish priests.

On the day for the handover and the installation of the new parish priest, those present were, besides Bishop José Antonio Fernández Hurtado and the provincial Fr. Rafael González Ponce, several diocesan and Combonian priests, some religious Sisters of the “Daughters of St. Joseph”, two of whom were “chinantecas” of Usila, religious Sisters of the “Missionary Sisters of the Good Shepherd”, one of whom was from Usila and a large congregation of the faithful. of the San Pedro and other surrounding parishes.

On the day itself, the church was blessed as well as an accommodation block for catechetical formation meetings. The rooms for catechesis had already been blessed recently.

As is traditional in the region, there was music with food and drink for everyone present. The church was packed with those who came for the solemn Mass and the entertainment prepared by the youth of the parish which followed.


Comboni lay Missionary Commissioning

On December 12, the Comboni Lay Missionaries commissioned Tracy Wessler Doyle. Tracy spent 14 weeks in formation with the CLMP and has decided to commit herself to serve in Ethiopia. Tracy came to the CLMP after working for 25 years with the US Census Bureau. Tracy has been very involved in her parish through the years. She applied to the CLMP after receiving a Master's in Theology in 2010.

The CLMP would also like extend a sincere thanks to the lay missionaries who are completing their terms of full-time overseas service in the coming months. Ralph, Theresa, and Hannah May are finishing their five and a half years of missionary commitment in Trujillo, Peru. Michael Florino is finishing his three years in Kenya and Zambia. Bart, Cynthia, Solan and Aidan Miller-Hisgen will be completing three and a half years in Trujillo, Peru, in April 2011.

Hearts and prayers for Sudan

In solidarity with the people of Sudan during the countdown to the referendum, the Comboni Missionaries invited the Greater Cincinnati community to join them for a special Mass on Wednesday, January 5, 2011. Another community Mass will be celebrated in February to continue prayer, give people updates on Sudan, and inform them of opportunities for social action as needed.


Ordination to the Diaconate

Sc. Jérôme-Nerio Missay Soku took his perpetual vows in Pretoria (Silverton) on 14 November, 2010. He was ordained deacon by Mgr. Joseph (Joe) Sandri in the parish of Maria Assumpta (Acornhoek), diocese of Witbank, on the 5th of December, 2010. Many parishioners from the 38 outstations of the parish participated in making of this occasion a moving and unprecedented celebration.

The parish hall was packed to capacity and the parish choir led the congregation with lively songs. Seventeen priests participated: among them were Comboni Missionaries and an important group of Congolese priests (Fidei Donum) from Congo. There were religious sisters: Comboni Sisters (who have only recently arrived in South Africa), Congolese Sisters working in Witbank diocese and a Benedictine sister originally from Acornhoek. We also noted the presence of a good number of people from many other parts of South Africa.

The Mass was celebrated in three different languages spoken in the area: English, xiTsonga and Northern Sotho (or sePedi). One song was sung in Lingala (DRC) as Jérôme was called to go in front of the bishop. He was accompanied by his godparents from South Africa, a group of religious persons and young people singing and dancing in a Congolese way. During the litany of the saints, Jérôme was covered by a blanket, a sign of death and humility, two important aspects to introduce him to the spirit of service of a deacon.

In his sermon, Mgr. Sandri stressed that the call is a grace of God to all people. He also added that Jérôme, being a missionary, will find his new family wherever he is appointed to go and that his parents are all the mothers and fathers he will meet in his mission fields.

After the celebration, there was a time for entertainment, the offering of gifts to the newly ordained deacon and a lunch served to all the participants. The deacon Jérôme is still carrying on his missionary service in Acornhoek parish, while preparing to go home to Congo for his ordination to the priesthood.

Let us pray for our beloved Dead

THE FATHERS: Giovanni, of Fr. Emilio Franzolin (MO), Nicolás of Fr. Ramón Reyes Luna (M).

THE MOTHER: Maria, of Bro. Giuseppe Parise (KH).

THE BROTHERS: Luigi, of Fr. Rocco Bettoli (A); Manuel, of Fr. Inácio Babo de Macedo (P); Luigi, of Fr. Amleto († 1978) and Fr. Ferruccio († 1945) Accorsi.

THE SISTER: Luciana, of Fr. Ampelio Cavinato (KE); Esterina, of Bro. Bruno Barbiero († 2001).

THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Delfina Zordan; Sr. Elena Marchetti.