Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus


21ª CONSULTA 3 – 29 OCTOBER 2013


1. Appointments

The GC has nominated the Circumscription Superiors for the triennium 2014-2016

Province/ Delegation


A – Asia

Fr. Llamazares González Miguel Ángel

BR – Brasil

Fr. Alcides Costa

CN – Congo

Fr. Mumbere Musanga Joseph

CO – Colombia

Fr. Savoia Raffaello

DSP – Deutschsprachige Pr.

Fr. Peinhopf Karl

E – España

Fr. Eguíluz Eguíluz Ramón

EC – Ecuador

Fr. González Ponce Rafael

EGSD – Egypt-Sudan

Fr. Giorgetti Angelo

ER – Eritrea

Fr. Tesfamariam Ghebrecristos W.

ET – Ethiopia

Fr. Ocaña Iglesias Julio

I – Italia

Fr. Munari Giovanni

KE – Kenya

Fr. Mwariri Joseph Maina

LP – London Province

Fr. Devenish Martin James

M – México

Fr. Bautista Lucas Erasmo Norberto

MO – Moçambique

Fr. Rodríguez López José Luis

MZ – Malawi-Zambia

Fr. Kanyike Edward Mayanja

NAP – North American Prov.

Fr. Baeza Gama José Manuel

P – Portugal

Fr. José da Silva Vieira

PCA – Centro América

Fr. Castillo Matarrita Víctor-Hugo

PE – Perú-Chile

Fr. Barrera Pacheco Luis Alberto

RCA – Centrafrique

Fr. Aldegheri Giorgio

RSA – South Africa

Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins

SS – South Sudan

Fr. Moschetti Daniele

T – Togo-Ghana-Benin

Fr. Miante Girolamo

TCH – Tchad

Fr. Ciuciulla Pietro

U – Uganda

Fr. Hategek’Imana Sylvester

1.2 Other appointments

Fr. Angel Lafita has been appointed Procurator General in Rome as from 01.01.2014.

Fr. Fermo Bernasconi has been appointed coordinator of the team for OGF and superior of the community of student confreres in Rome as from 1.11.2013.

Fr. Leo Tibenda has been appointed socius to the novice master at Namugongo novitiate, Uganda, as from 1.11.2013.

2. Programme for the meeting of Provincials in February 2014

During the October Consulta, the GC worked on the plan for the upcoming meeting of Provincials in February, 2014. The purpose of this meeting is to help the Provincials to better mutual familiarity between themselves and between them and the GC, as well as the other members of the GA. The plan which, as regards its content will not differ greatly from that of 2011, will seek to foster a dynamic that will assist the Provincials/Delegates in the exercise of that authority they are called to live out during the next three years. The plan, with its details, will be sent to all the participants after the December Consulta.

3. Programme of Ongoing Formation 2014

The team in charge of OGF presented its programme of activities and projects for the year 2014. In the meantime, the Comboni year is in progress with around 20 participants. Among the new initiatives, a short course for confreres over seventy is planned for the latter part of the year. The terms and conditions for participation will be published so that those interested can contact the organising team.

It was decided to renew contacts with those in charge of OGF in the Provinces in order to reconstitute the network and help to improve the circulation of proposals and OGF initiatives for the whole Institute

4. 150th Anniversary of Comboni’s Plan

The 150th anniversary of the Plan of Comboni for the regeneration of Africa will occur in 2014. The Plan stands at the heart of the project and missionary work of St Daniel Comboni. The GC has invited some confreres to reflect and propose initiatives to be carried out during the year to help us to rediscover the Plan as a means to living the Comboni mission today.

We consider it opportune that each circumscription should keep in mind this anniversary to foster local reflection on the best way to live the mission there where we are present today.

In Rome, among other things, a workshop is planned, probably in September, with the participation of representatives of the Provinces/Delegations.

5. Tenth anniversary of the canonisation of St Daniel Comboni

We are at present celebrating the tenth anniversary of the canonisation of St Daniel Comboni. We have noted that some circumscriptions have organised activities to mark this day of grace for our missionary family. We feel it is important to continue during this year with other initiatives that may assist Missionary Animation and spread knowledge of St Daniel Comboni as a saint to be imitated and to be proposed as a model of missionary discipleship.

6. Celebrating Provinces

We wish to associate ourselves with the work of grace in the Provinces of Peru, Malawi-Zambia, Togo-Ghana-Bénin and the Congo which are celebrating various anniversaries of the beginnings of the Comboni presence in those lands. We hope that this moment of celebration and the memory of all the Lord has done, through the work and sacrifices of so many confreres for the mission, may become a source of new enthusiasm and creativity within the reality in which we are now living in these countries. As we thank God for all the good we have received, we beg the grace of perseverance in fidelity to our Comboni missionary vocation and the ability to continue to live as witnesses amongst all the people we meet in the mission.

7. Visits and Journeys of the GC

Fr. Enrique Sánchez G.

  1 – 22 November 2013: visit to the Province of Tchad

15 – 31 December 2013: in Mexico

15 – 31 January 2014: visit to the Province of Togo-Ghana-Benin

Fr. Alberto Pelucchi

14 – 21 November 2013: commitments elsewhere

16 – 20 December 2013: Barcelona – meeting of the Provincials of


Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse G.

02 – 09 November 2013: in Pesaro for spiritual exercises

10 – 13 November 2013: visit to the scholasticate of Casavatore

Fr. Antonio Villarino

16 – 26 November 2013: meeting of the circumscription superiors

of America and Asia in Lima

Bro. Daniele Giusti

10 – 17 November 2013: visits to the houses for the sick and

other commitments


Course for the over-seventies

The Central Commission for Ongoing Formation, with the approval of the General Council, is planning a course for confreres who are over seventy. The aim of the course is to help them live the phase of old age serenely and productively. The course will be held in Rome, at the Generalate. It is expected to last for eight weeks, from the beginning of October to the beginning of December. The details of the plan will be presented during the meeting of Circumscription Superiors in Rome next February.

Those who wish to participate may contact Fr. Siro Stocchetti by email:

Perpetual Professions

Sc. Zimba Brighton Multiply (MZ)

Cairo (EG)


Sc. Gitonga James Iriga (KE)

Ongata Rongai (KE)


Holy redeemer Guild

November          01 – 07 SS             08 – 15 TC           16 – 30 T

December          01 – 15 U                15 – 31 CN

Prayer Intentions

November – That the Comboni Missionary Sisters, gathered for their Intercapitular Assembly, may be open to the work of the Spirit and be led towards making ever more radical and authentic ministerial decisions. Lord hear us.

December – That the mystery of the Incarnation we are celebrating may renew in us the passion for the proclamation of the Gospel of peace, reconciliation and justice among all peoples. Lord hear us


Edited by the “Comboni Family in Limone”: “Carissimi Limonesi… Lettere di San Daniele Comboni ai suoi concittadini”, Quaderni del Tesöl 2, 2013; in which are relived the confidence and simplicity with which this great missionary confides his most intimate worries to the Parish Priest, family and friends. “I racconti del pellegrino, A Limone sul Garda nella casa natale di San Daniele Comboni”, Quaderni del Tesöl 3, 2013. The purpose of this publication is to make known the sentiments of faith, devotion and hope that the pilgrims to Tesöl have expressed to St Daniel Comboni.

Manuel dos Anjos Martins: “Elementos da língua Ndau, Missionários Combonianos, 2012. This book by a Portuguese Comboni Missionary combines elements of oral literature, riddles, proverbs, stories, a grammar of Ndau language and Ndau-Portuguese dictionary.

Alex Zanotelli: “Il gran sogno di Dio”, ed. Dissensi, 2013, price € 7,90. “Non aspettiamoci miracoli da Dio, il silenzio di Dio significa che dobbiamo essere noi artefici del cambiamento”. This book is a fervent invitation to free our lives from the chains of an economy that is leading us to self-destruction. We are faced with a great challenge. The creation of a new paradigm allows everyone to live better, respecting Mother Earth and working for the victory of life over death, and to create a world where peace and distributive justice reign.


Meetings during October

On the occasion of the X anniversary of the canonisation of St Daniel Comboni, various meetings have been organised at the level of the community of the Curia, planned by the secretary General for Formation, Fr Mariano Tibaldo.

On 14 October, a conference was held in the Chapter Hall entitled “The Mission: challenges and trends”. The relator was Professor Jesús Angel Barreda, a Dominican, ordinary of missiology at the Urbanian University. In his presentation, Prof. Barreda stressed some fundamental points of the mission today, dwelling especially on its centre and its identity as Missio Dei.

On 22 October, there was a meeting with the Superior general and his Council on the theme of “Mission-Spirituality-Sanctity in the life of the Comboni Missionaries”. After their presentation, there was a time of sharing with questions and answers on various topics, especially Formation and the Brothers.

On the evening of 28 October, a Vigil of Missionary Prayer was celebrated on the theme: “More Witnesses than Teachers”.


Centenary of the death of Fr. Josef Ohrwalder (1856-1913)

On 20 September, Lana (Bolzano), the native city of Fr. Josef Ohrwalder, organised a commemorative ceremony to honour the centenary of the death of this its son, witness to the beginnings of the Comboni Mission in Sudan and the Mahdi revolt.

The ceremony began with a Eucharistic celebration in the parish church, in the presence of the two people in charge of the Missionary Centre of the Diocese, the Comboni Missionaries of Milland and the clergy of the parish of Lana.

This was followed by a presentation by Prof. Simone Paganini, lecturer in theology at the university of Aachen and a former Comboni scholastic of Innsbruck, of the thesis he wrote entitled “The Mahdi Movement and Father Josef Ohrwalder”. He spoke of the human and missionary figure of Fr. Ohrwalder and the spirit of the time.

Among the participants there was also a large group of relatives of Fr. Ohrwalder who had come from various parts of Europe. To keep alive the memory of this missionary, a commemorative plaque was installed on the wall of the house where he was born.


Ten years after the canonisation of St. Daniel Comboni

The entire Comboni Family present in Ecuador – priests, Brothers and Sisters, Secular and Lay Missionaries, relatives, benefactors and friends – gathered at the “Centro Juvenil Daniel Comboni” in Quito, on 4, 5 and 6 October as a gesture of thanksgiving for the decade of sainthood of St Daniel Comboni. On Friday 4, two hundred young people belonging to the movement “America Misionera” arrived from all over Ecuador. On Saturday 5, the day began with Lectio Divina: the main theme of this day was the missionary passion of Comboni and our response to the mission. A vigil of prayer, music and animation was held in the evening together with the first members of the movement who founded the musical group “Alfareros de Paz”.

On Sunday 6, Fr. Claudio Zendron, Fr. Pedro Tacuri, Fr. Luciano Campoverde and Fr. Pedro Indacochea welcomed the Bishop Emeritus of Riobamba, Msgr. Víctor Corral, who knows the Combonis well and spoke in his homily of Daniel Comboni as a model of faith for his time: a man who revolutionised the entire Church and who was a father and prophet with his motto “Save Africa with Africa”. A man who is still a model to be imitated. He thanked the Comboni Missionaries for their presence in Ecuador and for all the good work they did since 1955 in the Vicariate of Esmeraldas, in Afro pastoral and in missionary animation, always among the poorest and most abandoned in frontier situations.

The celebration was concluded with a meal for the approximately three hundred participants and followers of Comboni.


On-going formation and requalification of commitments

The month of October the Comboni Missionaries of Ethiopia have the tradition of gathering for a meeting of Ongoing Formation that we came to call “Comboni Day”. It consists of a couple of days where we take advantage to have a look at our missionary life and commitment.

This year, in the context of the 10th anniversary of the Canonization of St. Daniel Comboni, the confreres gathered in Hawassa (October 8-9) to mark this anniversary with a Eucharistic celebration and a reflection on the relevance for our present day of the miracle that led St. Daniel to the ranks of the Saints.

The meeting was preceded by a day of reflection on evangelization among the Sidama people. This is the third of a series of meetings promoted by the Provincial Council to shed light on the ways and challenges of evangelization by zones (Gumuz, Sidama and Gujji peoples).

It was planned that after these meetings, the confreres who have spent the last months in the community of Fullasa would be accompanied by the Provincial Councillors to this parish to conclude the process of the handing over of our commitments to the diocese.

So, on October 27, Fr. Rodolfo Cipollone and Fr. Detomaso Giuseppe were able to attend the feast organized by the local diocesan priests who symbolically received the keys of the church in front of a joyful congregation. The vicar delegate, Fr. Isehak Yacob, offered words of praise to the Comboni Missionaries who worked in the not always easy history of this parish, established by us June 6, 1966, and dedicated to the Holy Family.

A special word of gratitude goes to Fr. Maccani Bruno, founder of this parish, who is at present in Verona offering his life in the service of prayer to the Church and the people of Sidama where he spent about 48 years of his missionary service.

The handing over of the parish of Fullasa represents one more step on the process of striking a balance between our commitments and the personnel available in the Province.


Casavatore: spiritual exercises for the scholastics

Before starting the academic year 2013-2014, the Comboni theology students of the Casavatore scholasticate took part in a week (22-29 September) of spiritual exercises, at the John Paul II Pastoral Centre at Mugnano del Cardinale (Avellino).

The theme of the exercises, preached by Fr. Jorge Oscar García Castillo, was “Jesus the missionary of the mercy of the Father”. Throughout the day, besides frequent times of silence, there were two meditations, a personal encounter with the director, the celebration of the liturgy of the hours, an hour of adoration of the Blessed sacrament and a Eucharistic celebration with the possibility of sharing.

Initiatives in Verona

On 5 October, in Verona it was organised an interesting display called “The night of the statues”, with academic debates, civic reflections on the city, moments of entertainment and meetings, that culminated in the evening when the 18 selected statues were illuminated. Among these there was that of Comboni in Piazza Isolo.

The African Museum has resumed its activities. The itineraries and workshops on intercultural education, followed by around 5,000 students from pre-school to secondary school, will have as their theme “Towards the discovery of the wonders of the world”.

The display on the life of Fr. Ambrosoli and the hospital of Kalongo (Uganda) will terminate at the end of October. During the Christmas season there will be a display of cribs from various parts of the world.

Tenth anniversary of the canonisation of St Daniel Comboni

On 21 October 800 people crowded into the auditorium of the Gran Guardia in Verona. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the canonisation of St Daniel Comboni, the Comboni Family in Verona organised a round table attended by: Gad Lerner, a well-known journalist and spokesperson for ten years of the magazine Nigrizia, Eshoe Aghatise, Sr. Fernanda Cristinelli, Fr. Alex Zanotelli, Gianpaolo Romanato, lecturer at the University of Padua and Trieste and Fr. Venanzio Milani. The theme of the encounter: “the courage to hope in the Africa of yesterday and today”. The relators were excellent as was the participation; the message engaging, even for young people. The minister for integration, Cecile Kyenge, was expected to attend but could not do so as she had to be present in Agrigento for the commemoration of the dead of Lampedusa on that very same day. Disappointed at her forced absence, she sent a long and well-received message to those gathered for the round table.

Seminar on the Rule of Life

From 16 to 22 September, a seminar was held in Limone on the Rule of Life in which, apart from the members of the Commission for the Rule of Life (RL), representatives of the General Council and the Provincials of Europe, the members of the Central Commission for Ongoing Formation and representatives of the European Comboni provinces took part.

The main purpose of the seminar was to carry out “a qualified reflection on the RL that may assist in coming to know it as a means of growth, in fidelity to the Comboni charism” as required by the 2009 Chapter

Among the means considered useful to this purpose, the participants took into consideration the book “Oggi con Daniele Comboni” - Commento biblico alla Regola di Vita, by Fr. Carmelo Casile and Fr. Ramón E. Vargas (1999).

The sessions were begun with the recitation of the “Prayer for Fraternity” composed by Fr. Manuel João Pereira Correia, one of the organisers of the seminar.

African Film Festival

From 15 to 24 November, the 33rd edition of the festival is to be held in Verona. Thirty-seven films will be shown, some of which are for the schools of Verona and the Province. The initiative is promoted by the Nigrizia Foundation Onlus (Comboni Missionaries) the Diocesan Missionary Centre and Mlal.


Rediscovering Christian Nubia in Arabic

The posthumous book of Fr. Giovanni Vantini has recently been published in Arabic and presented in different Cultural Centres of Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum Bahri during the month of October. A team made up of Fr. Jorge Naranjo, a Comboni Missionary, Dr. Filothaus Faraj, a Coptic Orthodox Priest, Mr. Mahmoud Abdou, an expert in Nubian history, and Dr. Ahmed As-Sadiq, Professor of English at the University of Khartoum, worked together to complete the draft prepared by Fr. Vantini. Our confrere worked up to the moment of his death in 2010 and left some pages in Arabic containing information about the last discoveries of the Archaeologists on the history of Medieval Sudan and Christianity in that period.

Thus the work represents a synthesis of Fr. Vantini’s legacy to the Sudanese people, a precious contribution to its cultural patrimony and the current reflection on Sudan’s identity and a demonstration that Christianity is not an alien reality to the Sudanese history.


The canonisation of St Daniel Comboni – Ten years on

On Sunday, 6 October, we gathered around Our Lady of Guadalupe to thank God for the blessings showered on our Province during the past ten years of the happy memory of the canonisation of St Daniel Comboni. Activities began at ten in the morning in the presence of around six hundred people made up of friends, collaborators and benefactors. The celebration ceremony opened with the words of the Provincial Superior of the Comboni Sisters, by the coordinator of the CLM groups and the provincial Superior of the Comboni Missionaries in Mexico. As well as prayers and hymns, there was also a short play about St Daniel, demonstrating his life and works, performed by a group of novices, lay men and women and Comboni Sisters. The day was brought to a close with reflections on mission and spirituality by a member of the CLM, a Comboni Sister and Fr Vittorio Moretto.

Mass was then celebrated with the Bishop of the Diocese of Cd. Nezahualcoyotl and about thirty concelebrants.

On Thursday, 10 October, we celebrated the feast of St Daniel Comboni at the novitiate, to mark the start of the novitiate course, in the presence of formators and novices who received the cassock, and Mass presided over by Fr. Ruben Padilla.

On 13 October, with almost two thousand participants, the thanksgiving was continued with a Mass presided over by the Provincial, followed by singing, dancing, games and music until the evening.


Ndau Language Grammar and Dictionary

On 25 October last, in Beira, Mozambique, Fr. Manuel dos Anjos Martins, a Portuguese Comboni, presented his book Elementi della lingua Ndau (Elements of the Ndau language). It combines elements of oral literature, riddles, proverbs, stories, an Ndau language grammar and an Ndau-Portuguese dictionary. Fr. Manuel, also wrote the book, published in 1991 and entitled Elementi della lingua Nyungwe (Elements of the Nyungwe language), has just turned seventy-one, having spent 31 years in Mozambique.

During his address, he described the long process of collecting and sorting items of information and meeting the people – adults, youth and children – and local leaders. “This book – he summed up – is therefore the work and the fruit of the collaboration of many adults and children, who, together, helped me to see and comprehend the complex reality of the Ndau culture”.

Attending the presentation were the Bishop of Beira, Msgr. Claudio Dalla Zuanna, and the Archbishop Emeritus, Msgr. Jaime Pedro Gonçalves, son of Ndau parents. “This book”, said Msgr. Gonçalves, “helps to discover the riches of Mozambican languages, the values of the local culture and the importance of understanding them”.

The Archbishop of Beira announced the publication, planned before the end of the year, of the new liturgical Missal in the Ndau language being prepared by Fr. Giocondo Pendin, an Italian Comboni who has spent 41 years in Mozambique.


Fr. Benno Singer: 50 years of priesthood

On October 6, Fr. Benno Singer celebrated his Golden Jubilee of priesthood in the parish of Zondi, in Soweto, where he has been ministering for the last few years. Fr. Benno first came to this country in 1964.

It was a day of rejoicing and thanksgiving. After the celebration was over, Fr. Benno told his confreres that it had been “the most beautiful Eucharist he had ever celebrated”. He was surrounded by many other Comboni priests and brothers, local priests from the neighbouring parishes of Soweto and the faithful parishioners of St. Theresa’s Parish in Zondi. Some of the people in the congregation belonged to the “Marriage Encounter” group. When they spoke at the end of the Eucharist, they thanked Fr. Benno for the many years of faithful commitment to the Marriage Encounter activities. Fr. Benno has always been very keen on promoting family life and its values.


Comboni celebration at Leer

Comboni Day, 10 October, was marked at Leer, in South Sudan, with a beautiful day of celebrations in which almost 2,000 people took part, mostly young people. Also present were 17 catechists who had completed their intensive formation course at the mission. The feast was followed by shows and recreational activities.


Opening a new community at Abeche

On Sunday, 29 September, 2013, the Jesuits who founded the mission of Abeche in 1953 and passed on the baton to the Comboni Missionaries.

The Comboni confreres, Fr. Oswal Baptist Abakar and Fr. Filippo Ivardi Ganapini, accompanied by the Provincial, Fr. Pietro Ciuciulla and his Council, Fr. Fidèle Katsan, Fr. Michael Mumba and Fr. Paolino Tipo Deng, arrived in Abeche on 26 September where they were warmly welcomed by the Bishop, Msgr. Henry Coudray.

During the few days that preceded the official handing over of responsibilities, Msgr. Coudray introduced the new community to the Christian community. He presented them to the CEB, the lay leaders, the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and to the various movements present in the parish of St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Abeche. It is an important community, even if not very numerous in proportion to the total population of the city, the majority of which is Moslems.


Priestly Ordinations

These last few months have been especially intense and grace-filled: five young men of the Province were ordained to the priesthood. On 10 August, Job Plinga and Kevin Simtokena were ordained to the priesthood by the Archbishop of Lomé, Msgr. Denis Amuzu Dzakpah, together with a further sixteen religious deacons (Verbites, Salesians, Franciscans, Jesuits and SMA).

On Saturday, 17 August, in the context of the 120th anniversary of the first evangelisation of the Archdiocese of Accra (Ghana), 23 young men were ordained priests in the cathedral grounds: 1 diocesan, 2 Combonis, 2 SMA, 9 Verbites and 9 Spiritans. John Hammond Sekyiamah and Johnny Agboli, Ghanaian Combonis, together with other deacons, were ordained by the Archbishop of Accra, Msgr. Charles-Gabriel Palmer Buckle, with more than 300 priest concelebrants!

On 28 September, Jean de Dieu Hounongbe was ordained with five other deacons by Msgr. Nicodème Barrigah, at the cathedral of Atakpame. The final ordination will be that of Pierre Latevi at Aneho on 14 December next: another wonderful opportunity for missionary animation!

The Province gives thanks to God for the gift of the seven young priests: Fr. Job Plinga will go to S. Africa, Fr. John Hammond to Ethiopia, Fr. John Agboli to Central Africa and Pierre Latevi to the Congo. Fr. Kevin Simtokena and Fr. Jean de Dieu Hounongbe will work in the Province.

Asrama is handed back to the diocese of Kpalime

On 29 September, 2013, the Comboni Missionaries of the Province handed back the parish of St Teresa of the Child Jesus to the diocese of Kpalime. The Mass was presided over by Msgr. Benoît Alowonou, in the presence of Fr. Eugène Yao Nordjoe, Vice-Provincial and representative of the Provincial, Fr. Guivi Benjamin, the former Parish Priest and the new Parish Priest Fr. Akakpo Justin, and a further four Comboni priests including Fr. Dieudonné, the new curate and Fr. Tchipe Thomas, Vicar Forane of the deanery to which Asrama belongs.

The first Combonis – Fr. Francisco de Matos Dias and Bro. Luciano Giacomelli – arrived in Asrama in October, 1998. A few months later they were joined by Fr. Francesco Maria Grotto, who had already spent 35 years of missionary life in Togo. Apart from the first three Combonis who were European, all the other confreres who worked at Asrama were Africans and, for the most part, natives of the Province.

The work of evangelisation consisted largely in three sectors: firstly, the work of accompanying the faithful by means of liturgical celebrations in about twenty stations, catechesis, especially of the children and the youth, engaged couples, the elderly and the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. The second sector was that of social commitment through the OCDI (Charitable Organisation for Integral Development) together with constant aid to the poor in various conditions through the commission for Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation, together with work for the dignity of women and against early marriage and through commitment to education by the promotion of Catholic schools.

The third sector was that of building the infrastructure such as chapels (at Kpove, Tetetou and Asrama), presbyteries (at Asrama and Kpove) and schools (Asrama, Tchagba and Kpove).

Opening the Golden Jubilee

On Saturday, 19 October, the eve of World Mission Sunday, there was the solemn opening of the Golden Jubilee of the arrival of the first eight Comboni Missionaries in Togo and the founding of the parish of Christ the King at Kodjoviakope. The Archbishop of Lomé, Msgr. Denis Amuzu-Dzakpah, presided over the Eucharist, concelebrated by the Bishop of Atakpame, Msgr. Nicodème Barrigah Benissan, the Vicars General of Aneho and Lomé, both religious and diocesan priests and almost all the Comboni Missionaries of TGB. A large congregation filled the church of Kodjoviakope to participate joyfully in the thanksgiving Mass, to renew the missionary commitment of a church and a Christian community mature in faith. Kodoviakope, in the capital, and Afanya, 80 Km away, were, in fact, the first two parishes entrusted to the eight pioneers who arrived on 19 January, 1964 in Lomé.

In his homily, the Archbishop spoke of the arrival and the first steps of the Combonis in Togo, thanking the Lord for this gift and encouraging the Christian community, in this year of faith, to carry on with their experience of faith and the proclamation of the Gospel.

Those of the first group who are still with us are Fr. Alfonso Zulianello and Fr. Giovanni Radaelli (in Togo) and Fr. Ezio Rossi, who is in Milan. The rite of sending of six Comboni Missionaries originally from the Province was very meaningful. Just as, fifty years ago, the young Archbishop of Lome, Msgr. Robert Casimir Dosseh presented the cross to eight departing missionaries on 6 December, 1963, so now Mgr. Denis, in the church of San Niccolò in Verona, repeated this same gesture for the six departing confreres: Fr. Benjamin Guivi and Fr. John Agboli, going to Central Africa, Fr. Justin Dossou Yovo, going to Uganda, Fr. Job Plinga, leaving for South Africa, Bro. Pierre Aiyh, leaving for South Sudan and Bro. Cyprien Adigbo, leaving for Zambia.

In the past forty years, 135 confreres worked in the Province, of whom 27 are already in Heaven: a book was published in their memory: “If the grain of wheat...” which presents the life of each one of them. The history of the Province is also with the printers so that the memory of the past may open up a future that is full of holiness and fidelity to the charism of St Daniel Comboni.


10th Anniversary of the Canonization of St. Daniel Comboni

On 10th October 2013, throughout the province the Comboni family gathered at their zones to celebrate the Founder’s feast day. It was an event that drew together the Comboni family, that is, the Comboni priests and brothers, Sisters and lay missionaries. In the North, the celebration took place in Gulu, in Kanawat, Karamoja, where the Eucharist was presided over by Mgr. Giuseppe Filippi, and in West Nile, at the Comboni Missionary Sisters in Ediofe. In the South, there was a gathering of about eighty people, consisting mainly of our young people in formation from Jinja and Namugongo. The reflection was given by Sr. Virginia and the Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Sylvester, the provincial superior in Uganda, accompanied by many confreres from the zone. In Lira, the confreres gathered in the parish of Ngeta, where the Holy Eucharist was presided over by Mgr. Giuseppe Franzelli.

In all these gatherings the celebration was preceded by a half day of recollection, reflecting on the holiness of St. Daniel Comboni and its effect on our missionary commitment today. It was indeed a great event where we celebrated with joy our common vocation and allowed ourselves to be challenged and transformed by the mission to become holy, like our Founder.

Diaconate ordination

On 13th October 2013, Sch. James Patrick Jjumba was ordained deacon in Kasaala Parish, Luweero diocese, to the joy of many Christians from Kyamuliibwa Parish of Masaka diocese, where James originally comes from. He was surrounded by many friends from within and around Kampala. Special thanks go to the Christian community of Kasaala who practically prepared everything needed for the celebration. They consider Jjumba as their son, since the time he was among them as novice for his community and pastoral experience. The celebration was like an occasion for them to welcome him back.

Among the jubilant Christians there were the Comboni Missionaries well represented by the Novices from Namugongo, the Postulants from Jinja, the Comboni Lay Missionaries and the many confreres from Kampala. It was a wonderful missionary encounter with the Christians of Kasaala Parish.

The Holy Eucharist was presided over by Mgr. Paul Ssemogerere, bishop of Kasana-Luweero diocese, who commented very well about the Comboni Missionaries and the work they have done in his diocese.

Let us pray for our beloved dead

THE BROTHERS: Giancarlo, of Fr. Pierluigi Cadè (M); Fulvio, of Msgr. Aldo Gerna (BR); Angelo, of Fr. Pietro Marcello Bianchini (†).

THE SISTER: Iole, of Fr. Marcello Vulcan (I).

THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Gianpaola Manzoni; Sr. Elena Giuseppina Spreafico; Sr. Giannilla Miazzi; Sr. Pier Daniella Danelli.