Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus


Mgr. Michele Russo returns to his diocese

You may already have heard the news but I am writing to tell you the government of Chad has allowed Mgr. Michele Russo to return to that country. It was like a Christmas gift. We are all glad here as are the people.

I would like to take this opportunity to send you my fraternal greetings and wish you a Happy Christmas and New Year. May the prince of Peace grant us peaceful and peace-making hearts.

(Mgr. Miguel A. Sebastián)

Perpetual profession

Bro. José Eduardo Macedo de Freitas (P)

 Guimarães (P)


Priestly ordinations

  1. Fr. Metin Sèdoté Alex Canisius (BEN)   Toffo (BEN)       15.12.2012

Fr. Labite Komi Maté (Anicet) (T)   Adidogomé-Ag.(TG)  22.12.2012

  1. Fr. Ketemepi Komivi Dodzi (Boris) (T)       Adidogomé-Ag.(TG)     22.12.2012

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 God of peace may help us to become instruments of fraternity, justice and love through our witness of life and faith. Lord hear us.

February- That, as we remember the birth of the Secular Institutes in response to the challenges of the world of today, all consecrated persons may renew with enthusiasm their complete self-giving to the service of all who await the proclamation of the love of God. Lord hear us.


Fr. Vittorio Moretto: ¿Celibato en el siglo XXI?, ed. El Arca, Cd. de México, 2012, p. 295. (Celibacy in the twenty-first century? El Arca Publications, Mexico City, 2012. Pp. 295). Writing in a clear and readable style, the author tackles the unease and common ground in public opinion and the mass media regarding priestly celibacy.

The first chapter is a necessary introduction to situate the topic in the present cultural context. The following chapters are devoted to the history of celibacy in the Church right from the beginning.

In the last seven chapters, the author answers frequently asked questions: why does the Church not allow priests to marry? Why does it not allow married men to receive the three degrees of ordination as happened in the first centuries of Christianity? Why does it not allow those priests who left the priesthood and who are now happily married to be readmitted to the ministry? Would this not be one way to meet the shortage of vocations? Why are women not allowed to become priests? And other similar questions.

This is a well written book, uncomplicated and well documented, one that gives food for thought and instils hope.

Fr. Lorenzo Frattini: Réconciliation, justice et paix, Ed. Justice et Paix, Centrafrica 2012, 2a ed. (Reconciliation, Justice and Peace, Central African Justice and Peace Publications, 2012, second edition).

This is a book of meditations, lessons and preparation for the celebration of the sacrament of matrimony used during a retreat for pastoral agents in the diocese of Bangassou (RCA) by Fr. Lorenzo Frattini, Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of Central Africa, in July, 2011. Much importance is given to the dynamics of discernment: uninformed solidarity often runs the risk of responding to the needs of the “do-gooders” rather than being an occasion for research in common.

Fr. Lorenzo Frattini: Droit et Tradition. (Law and Tradition) This reflection by Fr. Lorenzo Frattini, a professor at the Edith Stein Philosophical Institute, is placed at the point where the philosophy of law and the general doctrine of law meet. The theme of habits and customs is placed at the centre of a reflection that considers law from the perspective of the reality of African culture. The text was published in March 2012 in the philosophical review Hekima Na Ukweli.


VIVAT Workshop in the Philippines

From 26 to 30 November, 2012, a workshop was organized by VIVAT International in Manila for the purpose of bringing together the members of the various Institutes present in the Country to understand what VIVAT is all about and how it works as an advocacy NGO in the UN and to see the possibility of starting VIVAT in the Philippines. The Workshop was attended by 36 persons from nine religious Institutes, including the Comboni Missionaries. Some of them were accompanied by their lay colleagues.

During the first two days of the workshop we got to know each other and the different works done in the missionary field, which often entail JPIC issues, both in the rural and urban areas of the Country. It was really enriching to see the work done in different parts of the country and in diverse pastoral settings: urban poor, indigenous people, Muslim context, the media, etc.

The rest of the time together was facilitated by the Executive team based in New York and by the VIVAT Geneva coordinator. It was indeed a time to become familiar with the structures of the UN, the work of advocacy, the defence of the Human Rights and the possible ways of collaborating in the area of JPIC, so central to the proclamation of the Gospel.

As a result of the sharing, the participant members prepared a statement for the superiors and the members of each Institute. The statement ended with a recommendation to take steps leading to the establishment of VIVAT in the Philippines.


The Ten Faces of Human Rights

Fr. Saverio Paolillo, 50, an Italian Comboni Missionary, has received further recognition for his commitment to the defence of human dignity, especially that of children and the youth.

It happened during a ceremony that took place in Brasilia on 12 December last for the launching by the UN, the European Community and the government of Brazil of the book The Ten Faces of Human Rights in Brazil, to honour ten human rights activists who received death threats, one of whom was Fr. Saverio.


Mgr. Aguirre receives prize for Best Humanitarian Work, 2012

The Spanish minister for internal affairs, Jorge Fernández Díaz, handed over to the Foundation for the Promotion and Development of Bangassou the Prize for “Best Humanitarian Work 2012” awarded by the Tertulia XV cultural association of Manzanares (Ciudad Real). The annual prize was awarded to Mgr. Juan José Aguirre, Comboni Missionary and Bishop of Bangassou, who was born in Cordoba but has lived in Central Africa for 32 years.

The prize - €12,000 and a bronze and silver trophy – by the Manzanares companies “Miguel Bellido” and “Vinícola de Castilla”, in the centre where the ceremony took place. The minister said he was greatly honoured to present the award, spoke of the missionary, social and relief work carried out by Mgr. Aguirre in his diocese in Central Africa, describing as “extraordinary” all the work the Church is doing in poor countries. As he expressed his thanks, the bishop asked the minister to ensure the collaboration of Spain in this area which is of little interest to NGOs, international institutions and administrations: Bangassou diocese is half as big as Andalusia and it takes four or five days to cross it by car.

Mgr. Aguirrre condemned the “martyrdom” to which his diocese has been subjected for more than six years due to the guerrilla warfare being led by Josef Kony which continues to sow death and violence while the basic human rights of people are being trampled upon in total impunity. He launched an appeal aimed at ending this situation.

He also said that the cash award would be used to complete the building of a school begun with the financial help of the Scouts of Andalusia, referring to the development plans being carried out by the Bangassou Foundation one of which is the fight against AIDS which affects 14% of the population and that against leprosy.


Afro Culture Day

The Comboni Missionaries of the parish of San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas, spent the day of 2 December, 2012, dedicated to AfroEcuadorian culture. Those attending were the members of the community, the Comboni Sisters, the Sisters of St Vincent de Paul, Bro. Abel Dimanche of Guayaquil, a number of pastoral workers, school children, people from the area and members of the parish community.

The day began with a cultural Mass, prepared and enlivened by the parish Afro Cultural Group. There was a good attendance by people of African descent of San Lorenzo city. Afterwards there was a conference on the theme Culture and Identity – A complex but fundamental theme given in the parish hall by Fr. José Joaquim Luis Pedro. The Afro groups from San Lorenzo, Maldonado, Colón Eloy, and Esmeraldas City performed Afro dances and other cultural expressions.

The purpose of the event was to underline the need to recognise the culture of the peoples so that the Gospel may penetrate their lives, since evangelisation that does not seriously take culture into consideration runs the risk of being superficial and failing to affect people’s daily life.

The initiative is in harmony with the most recent declarations of the Church of Latin America and that of Ecuador. “The faith is adequately professed, understood and lived when it penetrates deeply into the cultural substrata of a people” (Aparecida Document, 477).

“Taking into account cultural diversity is an imperative of the present moment by means of alternative attitudes that have an evangelical influence in the various ambits of society” (Episcopal Conference of Ecuador, Galapagos document, 2008).


Four Ethiopian Combonis ordained to the priesthood

Since 1 January, 2013, the four Ethiopian Combonis who have completed their Missionary Service in the Province of Ethiopia have been ready to leave for their priestly and missionary ministry.

They arrived as scholastics in 2010 and the past two years of Missionary Service provided them with the opportunity to come to know more closely the situation of our communities.

Fasil Kebede, Fufa Ensermu, Kifle Kintamo and Samuel Yacob were ordained priests on 3 November, 2012, in Awassa Cathedral by Mgr. Giovanni Migliorati. The celebration was attended by many local priests from Awassa and the dioceses of the newly ordained priests, by the Provincial Superior of the Lazzarists and the Provincial Superior of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, by many religious, relatives and members of the faithful from various parts of Ethiopia.

The newly ordained priests celebrated their first Mass in their respective home parishes and then in the communities where they spent their last two years and where they made an important contribution with their pastoral ministry.

This is the first time our Province has seen the departure of such a large group of Ethiopian Combonis: Fasil will go to Kenya, Fufa to Columbia, Kifle to South Africa and Samuel to Central Africa.


Assembly of Superiors

This year, 2012, the Assembly of Superiors was held in Pesaro from 26 to 30 November on the following theme: Evangelisation and the Total Common Fund. On the morning of the first day Luciano Benini (an expert economist, a pacifist, co-founder of the Ethical Bank and a committed Christian in the politics of his home town of Fano) guided us in a broad reflection on the theme of world and Italian economics from the evangelical perspective of the logic of the gift, gratuity and fraternity. In the afternoon, the Provincial Bursar, Fr. Luigi Codianni, and the Provincial, Fr. Corrado Masini, in view of the economic situation of the Province, presented some basic points for an understanding of the TCF. The second day was again devoted to reflection on the TCF and its implications at provincial level. Fr. Giovanni Munari presented the key points of the “Economic Policy of the Province” and indicated some paths for reflection for the group work which allowed each one to express his opinions in view of the implementation of the TCF in the Province and to present the views of the community on the house of Venegono. On the final day, in continuity with the last year’s theme, Fr. Giuseppe Crea helped us to reflect (both in assembly and in groups) on the steps to be taken in order to collaborate in the pursuit of the common good at community level. On Friday morning we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council through a reflection – given by Rev. Ezio Falavegna, a parish priest of Verona and lecturer in theology – on the missionary perspective of the Council, and a Mass presided over by Mgr. Giovanni Tani, Archbishop of Urbino.

The Assembly was a moment of ongoing formation of substantial content. Participation was good and it took place in a positive climate of dialogue, listening and communion. The group of Superiors showed itself to be lively and dynamic, capable of reacting positively and with serenity to the various challenges presented, showing strong passion for the mission, love for the Church and a sense of belonging to the Institute.

Home of the Founder: Spiritual exercises

Following a recent tradition now becoming well established, the community of Limone is offering all the confreres and Comboni Sisters, also for this year, 2013, a course of spiritual Exercises on the spirituality of St. Daniel Comboni. This year, the tenth anniversary of the canonisation, the experience of silence and prayer in the footsteps of the Founder will be especially meaningful. The theme chosen is The Mystical Aspect of Mission in the Spirituality of St. Daniel Comboni.

The reflection-prayer will be centred upon the four pillars of Comboni spirituality: the contemplative dimension, “keeping one’s eyes fixed on Jesus Christ”; the mystical dimension, loving Him tenderly; the personal dimension, “feeling oneself loved”, according to the logic of love, Daniel responds with the total gift of himself; the dimension of interior liberty – life for Comboni is not obedience to a rule but fidelity to a person.

Date: Monday 2 - Saturday 7 September, 2013, beginning and ending at mid-day. Sr. Adele Brambilla, former Superior General of the Comboni Sisters will direct the course.

Bookings: Fr. Danilo Castello, e-mail:; cell. 333.7940.786.


On 13 December, 2012, the Region of Lombardy awarded the “Peace Prize” to Fr. Renato Kizito Sesana for his “intense work in Africa over more than thirty years of struggle for justice, for human rights, for democracy and for peace”.

On 16 December, 2012, on the eightieth anniversary of the founding of Latina, Fr. Venanzio Milani received the “Latina Image Award” in “recognition of special merits, above all ecclesiastical”.



The Diocese of Lodwar has celebrated on 8th Dec. 2012 the Golden Jubilee of the first Evangelization. The first two Kiltegan Missionaries (St. Patrick’s Society) from Eldoret arrived for the first time in Lodwar on 8th Dec. 1961. Even though we Combonis founded the first Mission of Katilu in 1975, we were involved from the very beginning in the work of evangelization among the Turkana. The only road going to Lodwar from Nairobi passed through our mission of Amudat and we provided the first catechists, catechisms and prayer books. The two languages (Karimojong and Turkana) are very similar.

In the past 50 years a great deal has been achieved by the Catholic Church in Turkana: 25 Parishes, almost 100.000 Christians (out of a population of 900.000), out-stations, nurseries, schools, dispensaries, bore-holes, etc. So we all have to thank the Good Lord who has blessed our work so generously. For a full year the special Cross of the Jubilee was taken around to all the parishes and out-stations of the Diocese to strengthen and to renew our faith and commitment.

A Jubilee Shrine was built on top of the hill of Lodwar with a huge statue of Jesus the Saviour (a bit smaller than the one of Rio). The invitation was extended to all the neighbouring dioceses: Moroto, Kotido, Torit, Kitale, Eldoret, Nakuru, Maralal, Marsabit and Jimma-Bonga in Ethiopia.

During the solemn celebration a special trophy was given to the Combonis with the wording: “The Catholic Diocese of Lodwar appreciates the dedicated work of the Comboni Missionaries since 1975 in Evangelization and Development in Turkana. On the Year of our Jubilee, 8th Dec. 2012”.


Meeting of the local bursars

From 20 to 22 November, 2012, there took place the annual meeting of the local bursars with the Secretariat for Finance. Besides dedicating some time to ongoing formation related to finances, the main purpose of the meeting was to receive the financial report of the past year from each community and to prepare the community budgets and projects for 2013 in order that they be presented to the Provincial Council for approval.

40 years of Comboni presence

In 2013 we will celebrate 40 years of presence of the Comboni Missionaries in Malawi-Zambia. The programme of the celebration includes: the visit of the General Superior to our Province, the provincial Retreat, Perpetual Vows, Ordinations, Comboni Open Days in Lusaka and Chipata and other events of on-going formation and of mission promotion at local level.

We want to take this special occasion to give thanks to God for so many confreres who have worked in this Province since our arrival in 1973. We give thanks for the peoples of Malawi and of Zambia who welcomed us and with whom we have been working throughout all these years; for the Local Church in which we work and of which we are part; for the missionary work done amidst so many obstacles in different places and with so many people; and for the local vocations with whom God has blessed our Province and our Institute.

Some material prepared for this celebration: a Special Issue of New People, a Comboni Chitenje (local multi-coloured cloth), posters and leaflets, will be used and distributed throughout the year.


Golden Jubilee of Xochimilco Comboni Seminary

On Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 December, 2012, the Golden Jubilee of the Comboni seminary of Xochimilco was celebrated. The house is in Mexico City and is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadaloupe. It was opened as a novitiate on 15 August, 1962, but was used as a Postulancy since 1972. On Saturday morning a meeting was held for postulants, formators and other interested persons on the history and the main developments of this house. Among those present were Mgr. Jaime Rodríguez Salazar, one of the first confreres to live in this house, Fr. Aurelio Cervantes, Fr. Sergio Pendin who spent almost 42 years in this house as missionary animator and bursar and the Provincial Superior Fr. Erasmo Norberto Bautista Lucas.

Fr. Erasmo, Mgr. Jaime and Fr. Sergio briefly summarised the history of the house and its important occasions and also remembered Josefa Galán de Meléndez, who purchased this enormous building to present it to the Institute. On Sunday, 2 December, after an hour of prayer and reflection given by Mgr. Jaime Rodríguez, there was a solemn Mass with the participation of many benefactors, friends and relatives of the Comboni Missionaries; the feast then continued with a meal for everyone in the gardens in front of the seminary. On Thursday, 6 December, Mgr. Andrés Vargas Peña, Auxiliary Bishop of the Eighth Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Mexico City celebrated a Mass with the formators, postulants and the collaborators of the seminary.


Posters on the life and work of St. Daniel Comboni

Mr. Salvador Martinez Tafolla, a Comboni ex-postulant from Mexico, has produced for the Mission and Vocation Promotion Departments of the NAP a series of 14 posters about the life and work of St Daniel Comboni. They are available in two languages, Spanish and English. If any Comboni Missionary would like to have the master pictures in order to print them for their seminaries, mission promotion centres, parish halls, or vocation promotion kit, etc., they are available for free upon request via e-mail to Fr. José A. Pimentel Guzmán ( The posters can be printed in different sizes since they are in TIFF format.


Priestly Ordination

On Saturday, 17 November, 2012, the ordination to the priesthood of José Félix Leytón Espinoza took place. It was cause for joy and celebration for the Province of Peru-Chile, for his relatives and for the parish of San Pedro de Huánuco, where the celebration took place. The ordaining Bishop was Mgr. Jaime Rodríguez, Bishop of Huánuco, and the ceremony was attended by all the parishioners including the many young people who had spent the previous days preparing the event.

José Leytón did two years of Missionary Service in that parish, working especially among the youth and devoting himself to Mission and Vocations Promotion.

Mgr. Jaime appealed to José to value the missionary vocation, especially the Comboni charism which is a vocation of sacrifice and total dedication to the poorest and most abandoned.

The following day, Fr. José celebrated his first Mass which was attended by the Comboni confreres and Sisters and all the faithful. Fr. Huver Navarro, a diocesan priest and friend of José, outlined in his homily Fr Jose’s simplicity and courage in responding to the Lord in the various stages of formation.


Provincial Assembly

The Combonis working in Portugal met on 23 and 26 November last, at the house of Maia, to plan the activities of the coming year 2013. Those who attended the annual Assembly were: Fr. Alberto Pelucchi, Vicar general of the Institute, the Provincial Superior of Spain, Fr. Ramón Eguíluz Eguíluz, Sr. Ida Colombo, the Superior of the Comboni Sisters in Europe, and representatives of lay groups who collaborate with the Comboni Missionaries in mission and vocations promotion and youth ministry. The Assembly had as its theme “Vocations and new lifestyles” and had as its motto “Grow in faith, share life in the mission”.

Fr. Pelucchi – making an official visit to the Portuguese Province – during his address spoke of the new human make-up of the Institute due to the increase in vocations from the south of the world and noted that the Institute is concerned about “the need for formators who are qualified for the service of formation”. Regarding the amalgamation of European Provinces, he emphasised that the main obstacle to this is “attachment to personal projects and ideas” and concluded by saying that Spain and Portugal are in an ideal position to begin this process.

Tenth anniversary of EGTR

The European group for Theological reflection (EGTR) met in Lisbon at the Comboni Provincial house from 3 to 6 December, 2012. Composed of missionaries at present working in Europe and representing the European circumscriptions (Portugal, Spain, DSP, LP, Italy) and the General Curia, the EGRT has the task of carrying out theological and pastoral reflection in order to contextualise the Comboni mission in Europe.

The meeting in Lisbon was special as it celebrated the tenth anniversary of the EGRT service and the publication (in November, 2012) of the text Being mission today. Towards a new image of mission, a gift to the Churches of Europe, to researchers, groups and missionary organisations and all men and women of good will, that they may continue with the commitment of evangelisation in the context of the Year of Faith (fifty years after Vatican II) and the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelisation.

The meeting was concluded at Fatima, at the feet of the Virgin Mary, with the recitation of the Rosary together with Comboni Lay Missionaries from various continents who were gathered at Maia for their General Assembly.

Perpetual Vows

Bro. José Eduardo Macedo de Freitas, 41, made his perpetual profession on 9 December, at Santo Estêvão de Briteiros (Guimarães, Portugal).

The ceremony was presided over by Fr. Alberto de Oliveira Silva, Provincial, accompanied by the Parish Priest Fr. Miguel Augusto Freitas Teixeira. The church was packed with members of the faithful who enlivened the liturgy with missionary songs and music. Besides family and friends, there were more than 20 Comboni priests and Brothers present as well as Comboni Sisters. The celebration was followed by a get-together with music and a meal prepared by Bro. José Eduardo’s family and fellow townspeople. The Comboni communities of Maia and Famalicão helped with the religious and missionary preparation of the event.

Bro. José Eduardo, an infirmarian by profession, has already worked in Mozambique and Kenya and will soon receive his new missionary appointment.

In the course of the celebration, mention was made several times of Bro. José Eduardo’s aunt and godmother Rosinha – who died a year ago – who was responsible for the beginnings of his missionary vocation.


A Feast for Bro. Valentino Fabris

It was an emotional and touching scene at the Mass and during the meal to say goodbye to our confrere Bro. Valentino Fabris, now 90 years old, 63 of which spent in Sudan and South Sudan and who was now returning to Italy. He chose to celebrate this event privately, together with the confreres, the Comboni Sisters and the workers at the Provincial House. There were about twenty people present to say a big goodbye to a great man, a Brother and missionary who left his mark in all the many places he worked, during his many years in the mission.

Bro. Valentino arrived in Sudan in 1949 went through the British, Arabic periods and, more recently, the dawn of the new republic of South Sudan. He still has very vivid memories of people, missions and events. He will continue to live his mission by his prayers and the joy and enthusiasm that were always part of his personality.

During the meal, many touching and heartfelt messages were read from confreres who, from their various missions, wanted to share this moment with personal messages to the one considered by all to be the “Patriarch of the Province”. Fr. Luciano Perina said: “You came to Sudan when I was still in infant school and you stayed in the breach like some giant refusing to surrender to the storms of life and the mission”.

Centenary of the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio

Thousands of faithful came on foot, by lorry, motorbike, bus and by whatever means they could find to Mupoi, the first mission in Azande land, and participated with great faith in a full week of centenary celebrations of the diocese of Tombura-Yambio to mark the beginnings of the faith in the Azande area of South Sudan with the arrival of the first Comboni missionaries. The 12th of December, 2012, was the peak moment of the celebrations with the blessing of a huge cross that passed through all the parishes of the diocese during the year 2012, at last reaching Mupoi, the place of the final celebrations.

Mgr. Edward Hiiboro Kussala celebrated the Mass addressing words of joy, gratitude and thanksgiving for the first missionaries who bravely came to this difficult land a century ago, challenging the Christians of today to take up with more enthusiasm the Christian faith in their lives. In attendance at the celebrations were the newly nominated Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja (Nigeria), the two Bishops Emeriti Gasi Abangite and Paride Taban, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Juba, Santo Loku Pio. Fr. Daniele Moschetti, Provincial Superior of South Sudan also attended on behalf of the Superior General. Sr. Giovanna Sguazza, provincial superior of the Comboni sisters represented the General Administration of the Comboni Sisters.



On Saturday, 15 December, 2012, Canisius Metin was ordained priest by Mgr. Antoine Ganye, Archbishop of Cotonou. The ceremony took place at Toffo, Canisius’ home parish and town, and was attended by many people. Among the almost fifty concelebrants were Fr. Antoine Metin (elder brother of Canisius) and Fr. Girolamo Miante, Provincial Superior. The parents and relatives of Canisius were especially moved. It was at Toffo that Canisius was baptised, received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation and was now being ordained priest. The following day, the third Sunday of Advent, he celebrated his first Mass in that same place.

A week later, on 22 December, 2012, thousands of the faithful, priests and religious gathered at the church of Alma Redemptoris Mater of Adidogomé, Lomé, for another ordination ceremony. The choice of this Comboni-run parish was not accidental: in fact, besides the two Comboni candidates, there were also two diocesan candidates from the parish, testimony to the vitality of our presence within the local Church. We promote vocations both for our Institute and for the dioceses that welcome us. There were 11 deacons, made up of 9 diocesan and two Comboni candidates, Anicet Labite and Boris Ketemepi, who were ordained by Mgr. Denis Amuzu-Dzakpah, Archbishop of Lomé. The atmosphere was both festive and recollected, starting with the long entrance procession with about 200 priests, right up to the final blessing.

The following day, 23 December, Fr. Anicet and Fr Boris celebrated their First Mass at the parishes of Maria Theotokos at Agoenyive-Lomé, and Tsévié, respectively.

Both Fr. Canisius and Fr. Anicet have been appointed to this province of their origin, while Fr. Boris has been appointed to South Sudan.


Centenary of the faith and Comboni presence

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, while making a pastoral visit to Uganda, presided at the concluding celebrations of the centenary of the coming of the faith to the diocese of Arua through the work of the Comboni Missionaries. The celebrations were also attended by the President of the Republic, various archbishops and bishops, many men and women religious as well as hundreds of the faithful.

Fr. Sylvester Hategek’Imana, Provincial Superior of Uganda, said that they were joined in by other circumscriptions that make up the ecclesiastical province of Gulu and which also have recently celebrated the centenary: the archdiocese of Gulu (2011) and the dioceses of Lira (2011) and Nebbi (2010).

On Saturday afternoon, Cardinal Filoni met the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Uganda. “In your lives”, he said, “I read the history of the Church in these lands: a history of great faith, love and sacrifice. I recognise the contribution of priests and religious missionaries who helped to consolidate the Catholic community here. In their commitment to the cause of the Gospel there have been episodes that varied from the extraordinary to the heroic and some even gave their lives”. On Sunday, 16 December, the Cardinal concelebrated the concluding Mass of the centenary.

Let us pray for our beloved dead

THE FATHERS: Carlo, of Bro. Marco Binaghi (DCA); Hyacinthe, of Fr. Akpako Théotime Parfait (PO); José Luis, of Bro. Alex Walter Vallejo Narvaez (E).

THE MOTHERS: Georgianna, of Fr. John M. Converset (NAP); Immacolata, of Fr. Giuseppe Infante (M).

THE BROTHERS: Fidel, of Fr. J. Manuel Baeza Gama (NAP); Biagio, of Fr. Iafet Bricalli (I).

THE SISTERS: Kavugho Gadiki, of Bro. Lwanga Kakule Silusawa (CN-DCA); Michelina, of Fr. Angelo Di Prisco (BS).