Rome, Friday, February 1, 2013
From January 7 to May 31, 23 Comboni Missionaries – 20 priests and 3 brothers – will be in Rome to take part in the 45th edition of the Comboni Renewal Course (CRC). The group is made up of confreres from 8 nationalities: 9 Italians, 4 Mexicans, 5 Spaniards, 2 Portuguese, 1 Eritrean, 1 Chilean and 1 Irish. The youngest is 45 and the oldest is 75. All of them come with a rich missionary experience on five continents, where they gave themselves to a variety of services, from parish pastoral work to specific pastoral mansions, from mission promotion to formation. The CRC is coordinated by Fr. Siro Stocchetti, Bro. Guillermo Casas and Fr. Danilo Cimitan.

The Comboni Renewal Course (CRC) is an opportunity offered to the missionaries to pause, to distance themselves from their work and to focus their attention on themselves, in view of a global renewal: Physical, psychological, spiritual, communitarian and apostolic. Through personal and community prayer, study and reflection, the personal contact with the life and the spirituality of Saint Daniel Comboni, the reflection on the Rule of Life, Spiritual direction, fraternal life, the sharing of experiences and the pilgrimage to Comboni places and to the Holy Land, the CRC intends to give to each participant the help that is needed in order to review one’s life, to be renewed in the light of the Word of God and of the Comboni charism and then resume the missionary journey with new strength and renewed motivations. The CRC is coordinated by Fr. Siro Stocchetti, Bro. Guillermo Casas and Fr. Danilo Cimitan. These three missionaries – together with Fr. Manuel João Pereira Correia – share the responsibility for Ongoing Formation (OF) at the level of the Institute.

Fr. Siro has been working in OF for 11 years. He left Brazil, his missionary province, on Christmas 2001, to join the community of the Comboni Year of Ongoing Formation (CYOF) in South Africa. Since then, the missionary has followed eleven editions of this initiative of OF, six of them in Mexico, four in South Africa and the last one (2011-2012) in Rome.

 Fr. Siro explains the two most significant moments in the journey proposed by the course in order to reach the objectives of CRC: “The course is divided into two periods: the residential one in Rome, lasting about three months, that has as an objective to offer the atmosphere of tranquility and reflection in order to recover and grow in our interior life and awareness in view of a deeper and true encounter with our own selves, with the Lord, with Saint Daniel Comboni and with the community. This period ends with the spiritual exercises that are one of the more significant moments of our course. The second period is characterized by various pilgrimages to Comboni places: Limone, Verona and Egypt. It ends with the pilgrimage to the Holy Land and then taking off with renewed missionary spirit and a greater passion for the Kingdom, which is possible if during these months we will have followed Jesus in the way of Saint Daniel Comboni.”

On the first day of the CRC, during the presentation, all the participants underlined the importance of this moment and expressed a feeling of gratitude towards the Institute which places at the disposal of the confreres this precious “desert” time. Among the participants there was from the beginning a climate of mutual acceptance and familiarity, a great ingredient for the success of the Course.

Fr. Saverio Paolillo – with 20 years of missionary experience in Brazil – explains his motivation for attending the CRC with these words: “I am grateful to God for my missionary work in Brazil, in the pastoral among minors, in the prison ministry and in the defense and promotion of human rights. It has been a very rich apostolate, which has given me much joy and the possibility of having a deep faith experience. However, at the same time, it involved me in situations of conflict and placed me under constant pressure. For these reasons I felt the need for making a revision of my life and for recharging myself. I took care of many people and I neglected myself. Therefore this time will be very precious in order to reflect on my life, to make a synthesis of the journey made so far, to review my attitudes and to recover my strength in order to continue my missionary work in the service of life and of human dignity with greater authenticity and renewed generosity.”

Bro. David Enríquez Sánchez comes from Mexico. He completed his formation in the International Brothers Center (CIF) of Nairobi and had his missionary experience in South Sudan. He was then assigned to Asia, where he spent about ten years. “At this moment in my life – says Bro. David Enríquez – I feel a strong call to a more radical missionary life, according to the Gospel, to a service of the Lord and his Kingdom in a more intimate union with Him, through prayer. From this course I hope to receive the tools I need in order not to concentrate much on myself or on material and superfluous things, but to focus my attention on what is fundamental and lasting.”

Along the same lines, spoke Fr. Woldai Agostino Tesfai, 75 years old – who comes from Eritrea, where he works since 2005 in the parish of Delle, diocese of Barentu: “I am convinced that this course will help me to reawaken my missionary spirit, to reflect and to deepen my style of life in such a manner that it will bring about radical changes in my personal and community life.”

P. David K. Glenday speaks to the participants of the 45th edition of the Comboni Renewal Course in Rome.

List of the participants of the Comboni Renewal Course – 2013, in Rome, with the indication of the Comboni province where the missionary is working:
Bro. Baldo Guerrino (KE)
Bro. Enríquez Sánchez David (M)
Bro. Fregonese Gino Angelo (I)
Fr. Aguiñaga Pantoja Guillermo (M)
Fr. Andrés Miguel Pedro (E)
Fr. Cavalieri Giuseppe (BS)
Fr. Estrada Santoyo Gabriel (M)
Fr. Franco Lorenzo Conrado (E)
Fr. Garbagnati Alessandro (I)
Fr. Goffredo Donato (LP)
Fr. Guirao Casanova Antonio (E)
Fr. Joaquim Pinto da Fonseca (P)
Fr. José Francisco de Matos Dias (P)
Fr. Mazzon Renato (I)
Fr. Munguía Granados Francisco (KE)
Fr. Paoli Paolo (ET)
Fr. Paolillo Saverio (BS)
Fr. Pérez González Mariano (RSA)
Fr. Sandoval Luiz Dutra da Luz (BS)
Fr. Tapia Bustamante Jorge Hernán (PE)
Fr. Verdoscia Luciano (EG)
Fr. Wilkinson Patrick Michael (LP)
Fr. Woldai Agostino Tesfai (ER)