Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
The Intercapitular Assembly will take place in Rome in September:
2 September: opening
21 September: closing
22 September: departure
“It is not simply a meeting between the General Council and the Provincials and Secretaries. It is a meeting of us all. The Intercapitular is the Assembly of the entire Comboni Family. We wish to entrust this moment of our life as an Institute to St. Daniel Comboni that he may accompany and enlighten us as we continue his missionary work. We invite all the members of the Institute to accompany this Assembly with their prayers”.
Bro. Chacón Huamán César (PE)
Sc. Ghebrezghiabiher W. Kidane (ER)
Sc. Tewoldeberhan Nayir Berkay (ER)
Fr. Munketalingi E. Jean-Marie (RDC)
Noël Idiofa (RDC)
Holy redeemer Guild
September 01 – 15 NAP 16 – 30 PE
October 01 – 15 P 16 – 31 RSA
September – That the Comboni Missionaries’ Intercapitular Assembly may strengthen in us the passion for the mission and commitment in mission promotion and help us to find new ways of accomplishing our mission. Let us pray.
October – That the example of St. Daniel Comboni, the great missionary animator, may inspire the entire Comboni Family to carry out the ministry of mission promotion to assist the local Churches in opening out to the ad gentes mission, and to solidarity and cooperation among the Churches. Let us pray.
BRAZIL DO SUL
Celebration of sixty years of Comboni presence in Brazil
On June 14, the Comboni Missionaries, together with the diocese of Vitória, celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of their arrival in Brazil. In fact, the first Combonis to come to Brazil arrived at the parish of Serra Sede, in the diocese of Vitória, in 1952.
Mgr. Luiz Mancilha Vilela, the Metropolitan Archbishop, presided over the Eucharistic celebration, accompanied by Mgr. Wladimir Lopes, Auxiliary Bishop of Vitória , by Mgr. Aldo Gerna, Bishop Emeritus of São Mateus, and by Fr. Alcides Costa, the Provincial Superior and also Frs. Egidio Melzani, Elio Savoia, Aurelio Riganti, Wellington Alves de Sousa and Robinson de Castro Cunha. The Provincial Superior of the Comboni Missionary Sisters in Brazil, Sister Nilma do Carmo de Jesus, many men and women religious and the faithful of the parish of São José Operário di Carapina, were also present. Mgr. Luiz Vilela said he was very happy with the presence of the Comboni Missionaries in his archdiocese and noted how the Combonis greatly influenced he Church there in helping it to become missionary.
Mgr. Gerna, who has lived in the State of Vitória for 55 years, reminded the congregation that “the Combonis were born for Africa but had found in Brazil a ‘non-geographical Africa’ and many black, marginalised peoples”. He stated that the charism of Comboni became incarnate in the missionary work in Brazil and that the Comboni missionary work there bore much fruit, one of which was the diocese of São Mateus, with its parishes and young clergy.
In conclusion, Fr. Alcides thanked everyone for their participation and prayed that God might grant the Combonis the grace to continue their work of collaboration with the local Church of Vitória Archdiocese for many years to come. The General Superior, Fr. Enrique Sánchez and his Council, sent a message of thanks for the occasion.
The Comboni Province of Brasile del Sud has already carried out various activities to mark the anniversary and chose this year as a year for vocations, with weeks of prayer for vocations in the parishes. There will be a Comboni pilgrimage to Aparecida do Norte on 1st November. Pilgrims from all the Comboni-run parishes of Brazil will gather at Aparecida to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Comboni presence among them.
Prize in defense of human rights
Fr. Saverio Paolillo, director of the Network of Basic Assistance to Children and Adolescents (REDE AICA), a member of the Pastoral Work for Minors and State Council of Human Rights, received on August 15, at the seat of the Parliament of the State of Espírito Santo, the medal Orlando Bonfim Júnior granted to personalities that stand out for their commitment in defense and promotion of human rights.
Events in a city quarter of Nuevo Milenio (Tumaco)
I am writing to you from the centre of the city where we are going through one of the worst moments in the life of our quarter. We had often heard of violence and death in other quarters of the city but, for several weeks now, we have had them on our own doorstep. In recent months, groups of young men supplied by various armed groups have taken up residence in our quarter where they go around with their guns.
One day, one of the groups stole some crates of beer from a lorry making deliveries. The police came and arrested some of them. The next day, the lorry came again accompanied by two policemen. The young men disarmed them, killed them and stole their weapons. The result was an explosion of police activity: a helicopter circled above the quarter for hours with its machine gun pointed at the people while armoured cars patrolled the coastal area and armed police entered the quarter insulting people, searching houses and taking young men away to show they were making progress. The chief of police said on the radio that all the quarter was responsible since no-one reported the presence of the armed groups to the police. The police took away some fifteen young men, some of them members of our youth groups, trying to make them talk...
The next day, the police killed a man who, according to them, was the leader of one of the groups: people say he surrendered but they killed him just the same. From then on, throughout the day, groups of police and soldiers move around the quarter, arms at the ready (their green uniforms – as some of us said – show they intend making the quarter into a “green area”). At six in the evening two lorries full of policemen come and spend the night patrolling the streets. Gunfire is often heard. One evening, at nine o’clock, six policemen surrounded me with pistols in their hands asking me who I was and where I was going. When I told them, they would not believe me and continued to suspect me until two people passed by and greeted me with a loud “Good evening Father”. The policemen put away their weapons and apologised.
People are very much afraid and the streets are deserted from seven in the evening. Many are unwilling to attend our community meetings that usually take place at that time.
What are we to do in this situation? We approached the radio station and asked the head of police to apologise for insulting the people of the quarter. A few days later he broadcast his apologies. One Sunday we organised a celebration for peace, inviting people from other quarters to come and show solidarity. This consisted of songs, messages of peace, dances, plays and poetry. The wife of the mayor helped by providing the PA system, the seats and a large tent to provide shade from the sun. The Bishop took part and commented on the Genesis story of Cain and Abel: “Listen to the sound of your brother’s blood calling out to me from the ground... Am I my brother’s guardian?” I commented on the dream of Isaiah Ch. 2: “They will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles – instruments of work, progress and peace – Nation will not lift up sword against nation, there will be no more training for war”. Many people came from other quarters in solidarity but most of the people of the quarter stayed behind closed doors for fear of being seen or of being shot during the feast which, in fact, passed off peacefully and was a breath of fresh air for those who attended.
We are trying to instil courage and hope into the population, continuing to hold evening meetings in small communities and carrying out small gestures of solidarity and peace. On Sunday, after the Mass, we went in procession to the entrance of the quarter to display a banner with the inscription: “Our quarter is a quarter of peace”. On Saturday next, the people will go voluntarily to clear the pavements, at the entrance to the quarter, of the weeds which have grown up there. These are small gestures intended to help the people to overcome the temptation to close themselves off in their homes. Personally, I feel quite at ease. I know that being a priest and a foreigner means I am much safer than the rest of the people. (Fr. Francesco Nascimbene, July, 2012)
The Local Church – Open to the World
The diocese of Butembo Beni has an important place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It covers an area of 45,000 Km2. This diocese in Kivu has two and a half million inhabitants. There are 48 parishes, 210 diocesan priests, 190 religious priests, 75 religious Brothers and 460 religious Sisters. In this ‘flourishing’ situation, the Comboni Missionaries chose to establish a community in Butembo for mission and vocations promotion. The same community houses about twenty young men who are undergoing their first year of missionary formation with a preparatory year.
As regards their mission promotion activities, the confreres proposed to the Bishop, Mgr. Melchisédech Sikuli, that they conduct the annual retreat for diocesan priests. As a result, Fr. Tonino Falaguasta Nyabenda spent two weeks at Butembo, from 3 to 14 July, to preach the retreat to two groups of diocesan priests (150 in all), at the major philosophical seminary of Vuhira. Fr. Tonino stressed the “sequela Christi” according to the Gospel of St. Mark. The disciple of Jesus hears the call; he approaches Christ in an experience of communion and is then sent to the mission. Priests of Butembo, too, as followers of Christ, must be “missionaries” and responsible for the evangelisation of the world.
The country is still in danger
During the recent meeting of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic republic of Congo, from 2 to 8 July, the bishops expressed their concern at the situation of the country as it comes under negative influences and is afflicted by the war raging in the east of the country for some months now. Consequently, on 6 July they published a message addressed to the authorities, to the Congolese people, the leaders of the United Nations and other international organisations.
“The war raging in North and South Kivu – said the bishops – leaves us in a state of consternation... It demonstrates how the plan to balkanise the country is being carried out in our Country”. By means of this strategy of insecurity created by the war and of instability, the plan is to sell off some regions of the Congo to Uganda and Rwanda or to create a new independent state. This is all aimed at plundering the natural resources of this eastern part of the Country. North and South Kivu are, in fact, rich in agricultural products, water and minerals such as gold, coltan, oil, gas etc. These riches are a blessing but also a misfortune for the Congolese people.
“The Bishops – the message continues – strongly condemn this plan of balkanisation. They publicly condemn its leaders. They firmly condemn the re-launch of the war in Kivu. They express their support for the Congolese army and the diplomatic efforts being made to defend the territorial integrity of the Democratic republic of Congo”. For these reasons, a date has been chosen – 1 August – a public holiday and the feast of parents, to organise initiatives aimed at raising awareness among the people of the danger their country is running, and also to pray that we may have true and lasting peace”.
Diaconate in Guatemala
On 14 July, at Casa Comboni, in the city of Guatemala, Oscar Aníbal Najarro Morales was ordained deacon by Mgr. Rodolfo Mendoza, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese. Oscar Aníbal, originally from El Salvador, completed his theological studies at the scholasticate of São Paulo, Brazil, and has been doing his period of pastoral service in Guatemala City since January, first in the parish of Nuestra Señora del Milagro, which was handed over to the local clergy last December, and then at the mission promotion community of Casa Comboni, where he helps in vocational ministry. He is the third Comboni from El Salvador.
Also present at the ordination was the general Superior Fr. Enrique Sánchez G., and fifteen priests together with 250 of the faithful, among whom were about forty relatives and friends from El Salvador.
Fr. Enrique Sánchez G. Preached the retreat to the members of the delegation from 12 to 21 July; 32 confreres took part. It was a moment of authentic Comboni spirituality with liturgical celebrations enriched with the writings of St. Daniel Comboni. Fr. Enrique succeeded in creating an atmosphere of silence and prayer and his reflections mirrored the intense experiences being lived by the Institute in various latitudes. We were brought into harmony with the entire Institute and so we were moved to pray for the various situations. Thank you, Fr. Enrique, for allowing us to share in this enriching spiritual experience.
Fr. Gianmaria Piu celebrates sixty years of priesthood
On Sunday, 22 July, taking advantage of the presence of almost all the confreres of the delegation, we celebrated the sixty years of priesthood of Fr. Pietro Gianmaria Piu, with the participation of 1200 people, in the Juan Pedro Pini (a Comboni pioneer in these lands) auditorium in Guatemala City. The work of preparation began months before with the collaboration of various ecclesial groups. Apart from the Comboni Missionaries there were about ten diocesan priests making a total of 40 concelebrants. The celebration took up the whole morning with a missionary reflection given by Fr. Giuseppe Moschetta on the subject of ‘the new evangelisation’ and another by Fr. Enrique Sánchez G. on ‘being missionary today’, especially in some situations in which the Institute is present. The musical group Estudiantina Monteflor also took part as did the theatrical group Renacer, with a play on the life of Fr. Piu. There was also a video-testimony on his life and there was also a special publication to mark the event.
The ceremony, really and truly an encounter of mission promotion, concluded with a meal for 200 people while the rest of the participants were offered an abundant “tamal” prepared by the parishes where we are present and where Fr. Piu is much admired.
An event linking Quito to El Obeid
Ecuador is a country where past and present culture, faith and art fuse into a single existential reality that marks the liturgical calendar as much as the life of an entire nation. Solemnities and religious celebrations such as Holy Week, Corpus Christi, the Rosary of the Aurora, Novenas and processions at the long series of devotions to our Lady: of Mercede, of Carmen, of Quinche, of Cisne, of Rocio, of La Paz etc., move millions of pilgrims of all nationalities, a river of people who celebrate and transmit their faith and their identity with Pre-Columbian Inca, Kechwa and Christian traditions. Ecuador was the first country in the world to be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through a formal decree of the President, Gabriel García Moreno, a spiritual, historical and political event celebrated at the cathedral of Quito on 25 March, 1874. To mark the event, the Basilica of Voto Nacional in Quito became the centre stage of week of celebrations which ended on 17 June, 2012, with a day of prayer for the Ecuadorian Fatherland.
About six months before that consecration, on 14 September, 1873, at El Obeid, in Sudan, Daniel Comboni had consecrated the Apostolic Vicariate of Central Africa to the Sacred Heart. “I afterwards wrote to the Holy Father Pius IX asking that he grant me that the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, Sacred to the Heart of the most sweet Jesus, be a holyday of obligation and celebrated as a double first class feast with its octave; but I received no reply... It seems that the Holy Father has granted the same favour to the republic of Ecuador in America, at the request of the President and the Archbishop of Quito: I hope, therefore, that he will grant it also to this, my abandoned part of equatorial Africa which has sat for many centuries in the shadow of death”. In this letter of March, 1874, to the Bishop of Brescia, his reference to the request of President García Moreno shows how well Comboni was informed. Sudan and Ecuador, Comboni and García Moreno: two countries and two men in different continents, united by the same act of faith.
It is interesting to note that about eighty years later, on 2 April, 1955, there arrived in Quito to found a new Comboni mission, two priests and a Brother “Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”!
Continental Afro-American Pastoral Meeting held at Guayaquil
The XII Continental Afro-American Pastoral meeting (CAP) was held from 16 to 20 July at Guayaquil. The delegates, numbering around 200, reflected on the theme “Afro-American and Caribbean pastoral and the document of Aparecida: challenges and hopes in the Church and in society”. Immediately afterwards, form 21 to 22 July, the Meeting for Combonis working among people of African ancestry, was held (the first meeting of this kind had been held in Guayaquil in 2010).
The choice of Guayaquil as the venue for the XII Meeting was deliberate: it was at Guayaquil that the slave ships stopped on their voyages towards Lima (Peru) and it was at Guayaquil that St. Martin de Porres (a religious Dominican with an Afro-American mother) lived for some time looking after the sick and helping the needy.
The CAP arose in 1980 out of the intuition and passion of two Combonis: Mgr. Enrico Bartolucci and Fr. Raffaello Savoia to promote a pastoral for the people of African origin in coordination with the Afro populations of the Pacific coast, especially Ecuador, Colombia and Panama. Today, the CAP includes all the nations with peoples of African origin from the United States to Brazil and it is now recognised at ecclesial level.
Perpetual Profession and Diaconate
The community of the Delegation, assembled at Asmara in August, enjoyed two days of delight and thanksgiving. The two scholastics Tewoldeberhan Nayir Berkay and Ghebrezghiabiher Woldehawariat Kidane made their final profession in the Institute on 4 August in the parish church of Kidane Mehret, in the zone of Sembel, in the outskirts of Asmara where, in June, 2008, an inserted scholasticate was opened since Eritreans are not allowed to leave the country until they are 50 years old. The profession was prepared for with a triduum of animation in the same parish with prayers and reflections by Eritrean Comboni Fathers and Sisters. After the profession Mass, breakfast was served to all in the church courtyard and there was a midday meal in the presence of Mgr. Menghesteab Tesfamariam, religious and priests, relatives and friends in a large decorated tent set up in the courtyard of the scholasticate. The members of the choir in their colourful gowns came to entertain the participants with their songs.
On the same day, Fr. Estifanos Helafu Weldeghiorghis, superior of the scholasticate, celebrated the tenth anniversary of his ordination: the Lord allowed him to see on this day the first fruits of his work and this added to the enjoyment of the celebration.
On the following day, 5 August, Tewoldeberhan e Ghebrezghiabiher were ordained to the diaconate by Mgr. Menghesteab in the cathedral of Kidane Mehret. The bishop said in his brief homily that diaconate means service and must never be seen as the achievement of power. After the ordination Mass, breakfast (tea and bread) was distributed to all according to local custom. The midday meal was prepared and eaten in the refectory and nearby rooms of the house of the Fathers at Comboni College where the delegation Superior resides. Among those present were Mgr. Menghesteab and also Mgr. Zekarias Yohannes, Bishop Emeritus of Asmara, all the Fathers of the delegation present in Eritrea, a nice group of Comboni Sisters, relatives, friends and other guests.
The last ordination of an Eritrean priest, Fr. Tesfaab Bekit Sliman, took place on 21 January, 2007. This great celebration was, therefore, well justified and gives us the hope that we may soon have two more priestly ordinations to strengthen the Eritrean Delegation in its isolation.
Meeting of Comboni Lay Missionaries of Europe in Verona
Seventy-five Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) of Europe, together with fifteen of their children, eight male and two female Comboni Missionaries met in Verona from 2 to 8 August. They were from Spain, Germany, Portugal and Poland. Their chosen theme was “In the footsteps of St. Daniel Comboni”.
One of the speakers was Fr. Corrado Masini, the Provincial of Italy, who encouraged them to “place the mission at the centre, to live it every day and to embrace it forever”. A layman, Alberto de la Portilla, presented the history of the movement right from its beginnings and, in more detail, how it developed in Europe. Fr. Arlindo Pinto underlined the importance of the movement having “a vision, a structure and sound formation”. Fr. Joaquim Valente spoke on the theme of “St. Daniel and the Cenacles of Apostles”. Sr. Elisa Kidané spoke of Comboni as “a man who knew how to dialogue with Africa and the Africans”. Federico Veronesi (with his experience of Brazil) and Fr. Lino Spezia (with his experience in Uganda and Kenya) replied to the question as to whether it still makes sense today to go to the mission, saying: “Yes, if one wants to share the life of the poor and the least”.
The CLM visited Limone sul Garda and returned home renewed and encouraged to continue their service in the Church and in the mission”.
Park dedicated to Mgr. Mazzolari
The City administration of Brescia has named the green area to the north of Via XXV Aprile to Mgr. Mazzolari who was born in Brescia in 1937 and died on 16 July, 2011, when he was taken ill as he celebrated Mass. He was Bishop of Rumbek (south Sudan) and worked for 30 years in the mission of Equatorial Africa.
Adriano Paroli and Fabio Rolfi, the Mayor and Vice-Mayor of Brescia, together with the entire city Administration, decided to dedicate the park to the memory of “a man who dedicated his life to the needy. Mgr. Cesare Mazzolari brought his works of charity into a place that has always been the scene of extreme poverty and great conflict. He was greatly esteemed by the people of South Sudan for whom he spent all his energy, so that the voice of a community, which asked only to be allowed to be free and that the human rights of peoples be respected, was heard”. (Radio Vera).
Mgr. Mazzolari remembered also at Rumbek
The religious ceremony held at Rumbek in memory of Mgr. Cesare Mazzolari, Bishop of that Sudanese city, who died a year ago. Fr. Bosco Ochieng, director of the diocesan radio station Good News, thus described the event to MISNA.
“The square in front of the Cathedral – Fr. Ochieng said – was packed with the faithful who had come to pay homage to Mgr. Mazzolari, a great man who did a great deal for the birth of South Sudan and holds a place in the hearts of all”.
Mgr. Mazzolari arrived in Sudan two years before the start of the civil war, waged from 1983 to 2005. His death, caused by a sudden illness as he was celebrating Mass, was but one week after the birth of the new state of South Sudan, free from Khartoum. Speaking to MISNA, Fr. Fernando Colombo, Administrator of the diocese of Rumbek, said “These dates are but the final confirmation of the ties between the Bishop and his people, founded upon the inculcation of peace, communion and forgiveness”. Yesterday he presided over the requiem Mass for Mgr. Mazzolari.
Young Comboni Missionaries meet in Tete
Seven newly-arrived priests and two scholastics who have come to work in the Comboni province of Mozambique met, as such groups do every year, at Tete, from 11 to 15 June.
Fr. Giorgio Giboli, head of ongoing formation, chaired the meeting. There was time for talking and sharing ideas, for prayers, for getting to know one another and also for some relaxation.
Among the material used for reflection and study groups, was a text written by Fr. Manuel João Pereira Correia entitled “Vicissitudes of the Word in the Mission”, and another entitled “Spiritual growth” by the Jesuit Michel Rondet, and “Prayerful reading of the Word of God” by Fra’ Carlos Mesters. “The meeting was very positive – said Fr. Juan Diego Calderón Vargas – and inspired us young people to visit the communities of Chitima and Marara, where Combonis with many years of experience are working. Together with them we appreciated the gift of the missionary vocation in these Mozambican lands”.
On 14 June, the Feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated. The Eucharist was presided over by the Bishop of Tete Diocese, Mgr. Inácio Saure. “The bishop exhorted us to live our missionary vocation moved by the love which flows from the Heart of Christ and, as is traditional among the Combonis -– said Fr. Juan Diego – we renewed our vows and celebrated the grace of the 55 years of priesthood, almost thirty of which spent in Mozambique, of Fr. Renato Rosanelli”.
Inauguration of the new Postulancy House
On June 15, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, all the Comboni Family present in Maputo gathered at Matola to celebrate this day, which is so very important to us all. This year we had another reason to celebrate. After a year of construction work, we at last had the joy of inaugurating the Postulancy House. At around 3.p.m. there was a formation encounter directed by the Provincial Superior Fr. José Luis Rodríguez López. Immediately afterwards he proceeded with the blessing of the house of formation. We then solemnly celebrated the Eucharist to thank God for the gift he gave us in helping us to complete this project with the help of the General Administration and some Comboni provinces. We also gave thanks for these 24 postulants who are following the path of the Comboni missionary ideal.
Fr. Tesfaye and Bro. Daniele visit Mozambique
The visit of Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse and Bro. Daniele Giusti to the Comboni Province of Mozambique began on 6 August.
After an initial meeting with the confreres of the community of Maputo at the Matola Postulancy, the visit continued in Tete. In this city the Combonis are responsible for a parish dedicated to the Martyrs of Uganda at Matundo, in the outskirts of the city on the other side of the great Zambezi River. Our confreres also serve the distant historical parish of Marara. The most significant moment of the visit was the meeting that took place at Chitima (about 120 Km from Tete towards the border with Zimbabwe, an area of first evangelisation). All the confreres gathered there for a meeting to get to know each another and to consider the requests regarding the evangelisation of the area and the broader situation of the Institute.
On 24 August the closure of the Year of Commemoration was held at Carapira in the diocese of Nacala, with the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the death of Bro. Alfredo Fiorini.
Ordination to the Diaconate
On Sunday, 27 May, Pentecost Day, the ordination to the diaconate of Désiré Koguapa Buhendwa, from Bukavu, in the Congo, took place. Désiré came to Peru in 2010 for missionary service and, having learned Spanish, he was sent to the community of San Martín de Pangoa, in the Peruvian forest. He stayed in that community for a year and a half actively engaged with the people.
In his homily, Mgr. Gerardo A. Zerdin encouraged Désiré to appreciate and value his vocation and the call of the Lord as well as the fact that he belongs to an Institute like the Comboni Missionaries. He also said that the times of the Church are changing and that this is the hour of the African continent. At present, the African Church is asserting itself due to the sound foundations being laid in the evangelisation of these peoples. The result of this is the large numbers of adherents in the continent through baptism and also the large number of priestly and religious vocations. The presence of Désiré among us a sign of the fruits and the maturity of the African Church which is sending out missionaries to all the world.
Among those present at the ceremony were some friends from Lima, the community of Pangoa, the Provincial, some Combonis belonging to the Province and, of course, the faithful of Pangoa. There was also a fellow national of Désiré, a Congolese who lives in Peru.
On a point of interest, we see that there is a community of missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart at San Ramon, a village of Pangoa. Each member is from a different continent (Papua New Guinea, Korea, Germany and Peru).
We may indeed say that on the ceremony of the ordination to the diaconate of Désiré, with people from all the continents present, the experience of Pentecost was repeated.
Bro. César Chacón Huamán, originally from Cerro de Pasco, entered the Comboni postulancy in 2000 and made his first profession at Huánuco in 2005. He studied at the Nairobi CIF until 2008. He was then appointed to the DCA where he worked in vocations promotion until the end of 2011.
On Friday, 29 June, the Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul, he took perpetual vows at the Provincial House of Monterrico-Lima. There was a considerable number of Combonis from the communities of Lima, some Comboni Lay Missionaries, family members and friends. Fr. Luis Alberto Barrera Pacheco, the Provincial, encouraged Bro. César to give himself completely to the mission, following the example of St. Daniel Comboni. The ceremony itself was very simple but also very meaningful. Some of Bro. Cesar’s family brought up the gifts to the altar as if to show their offering of Cesar to the Church and to the mission.
Fifty Years of Priesthood
During the same celebration the Golden Jubilee of the priestly life of Fr. Albin Grunser was commemorated. He was ordained on 7 June, 1962 and has been in Peru since 1965. He spent a great part of his priestly life at Tarma teaching at San Ramón School. To mark his Jubilee, he decided to spend a month at Tarma, providing some pastoral assistance to the community of Palca.
Letter of Solidarity with the people of Cajamarca
On the occasion of the national festivities, the bulletin Chasqui of the Comboni parish of “Cristo Misionero del Padre”, Lima, published a Letter on the conflicts occurring in the country, including the capital, caused by the exploitation of minerals that bring very little benefit to the people of Peru but are, instead, a real threat to the environment.
The Letter was signed by Fr. Florentino Lafuente Hernández, Fr. Renzo Pallaro, Fr. Lorenzo Díez Maeso and Fr. Juan Armando Goicochea Calderón. The Letter reflects the concerns of the Missionaries faced with a situation that continues to cause fatalities and to harm the environment, a gift of God to all his children.
European Assembly: Basic Formation and Vocations Ministry
From 2 to 14 July, the Assembly for vocations ministry to the youth and Basic Formation among the Comboni Missionaries of Europe, took place at Maia, in Portugal. Fifteen Combonis (from Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and Portugal) took part as well as the Provincial Superior and Coordinator of the sector, Fr. Alberto de Oliveira Silva and the General Secretary for Formation, Fr. John Baptist Opargiw Keraryo.
The first week of the Assembly was dedicated to the ongoing formation of vocations promoters and formators. Led by Luis Leal, of the Youth Secretariat of Oporto and by the Comboni confrere Fr. Siro Stocchetti, the European representatives reflected upon the reality of the youth of today in Europe and on the process of accompaniment and formation followed by the Comboni Missionaries.
The participants appreciated the presentations and shared ideas and experiences openly and in a spirit of mission, seeking together the best ways of helping the young people who are in contact with the Combonis.
This Assembly follows others held recently at African and American continental level – Nairobi (Anglophone Africa), Kinshasa (Francophone Africa) and Bogota (The Americas) – which had the same aims and themes.
THE FATHERS: Grisom, of Fr. John Bosco Mangeni Nambasi (U); Agbo Robert, of Bro. Latevi Akouete Pierre-Fourrier Mawulikplim (T); Julius Apechu Lutwey of Fr. John Kennedy Onoba (KE); Antonio, of Bro. Artur Fernandes Pinto (P); Cesare, of Fr. Mario Porto (KE); Ramón, of Fr. Miguel Navarrete (M); Vinicio, of Fr. Mario Fugazza (I).
THE MOTHER: Clara, of Bro. Gino Fregonese (I).
THE BROTHERS: Alois, of Bro. Vitus Schatzer (DSP); Antonio, di Bro. Elia Dalla Fontana (I).
THE SISTERS: Sr. Gabriella, of Bro. Pietro Martin (I); Gemma, of Fr. Ugo Toninello (†).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Costanza Maria Belotti, Sr. Candidangela Filippi; Sr. Gemma Palumbo; Sr. Chiarapia Dalessandro; Sr. M. Marta Citterio; Sr. Carina De Angeli.