Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus


Information from the Secretary General

As stated in the General Notes of the October Consulta (n. 2), the meeting of the Circumscription Superiors will be held in Rome in February 2014. I was asked to clarify immediately the dates of the meeting in order to allow everyone to book their tickets in good time.

The meeting will start on Sunday morning, February 9, 2014 with Mass; you are therefore requested to arrive in Rome by the evening of Saturday February 8th. The meeting will be closed on Sunday morning, February 23, with Mass. Then everyone will be free to leave. The superiors who end their service on 31st December 2013 are kindly requested to pass on this important message to their successors.

The programme, with its details, will be sent to all the participants after the December Consulta.

Perpetual professions

Sc. Mbaïdjide Alfred (TC)

Moundou (TCH)


Sc. José Alberto Intuela Sagras (MO)

Anchilo (MO)


Sc. Vera Coello Orlando René (EC)

Contagem (BR)


Bro. Ngunza Mboma Gédéon (CN-MZ)

Kinshasa (RDC)


Priestly ordinations

Fr. Kabuayi Tshibi Charles (CN)

Kinshasa (RDC)


Fr. Dimonekene Sungu Edmond (CN)

Kinshasa (RDC)


Fr. Lipenga Patrick Elias (MZ)

Nsanje (MW)


Fr. Ayebare Archangel (U)

Maziba (UG)


Holy Redeemer Guild


01 – 15 U

15 – 31 CN



01 – 07 A

 08 – 15 C

16 – 31 BR

Prayer intentions

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.

January – That the Holy Spirit may enlighten the circumscription superiors and their councils in discerning what is required by mission today and give them the hope they need to confirm their confreres in missionary zeal. Lord, hear us.



The Catholic Mass Media Awards Ceremony

The Catholic Mass Media Awards Ceremony is a solemn yearly event in the Philippines to recognize the best performers in the field of mass media. Our missionary magazine World Mission is not a stranger in the competition since it has won several awards already in previous years. This year, 2013, however, our magazine has witnessed remarkable success with four entries in the finalists, two Awards and a Special Citation.

The awards were given in the following categories: Best Family Oriented Magazine, Best Short Story: “The Naughty Nun” by Fr. Lorenzo Carraro. Special Citation was given to the Special Feature: “Fr. Peter Geremia: Living Legend” by Fr. David da Costa Domingues and Fr. José António Mendes Rebelo. Also in the category of Investigative Journalism World Mission had a finalist in the person of our collaborator Ms. Kris Bayos. The awards are an important recognition for the good work done during the past 25 years at the service of mission and the values of the Kingdom. May World Mission magazine continue to inspire, form, inform and lead many to live with gratitude the gift of mission.


Ordination to the diaconate

The Ecuadorian Orlando René Vera Coello, 36 years of age, was ordained deacon by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, Mgr. Luiz Gonzaga Féchio, at the parish of São Domingos, on 17 November. “This ordination is for us a grace and a gift”, said Fr. Giorgio Padovan, René’s formator during the final phase of his theological studies at Nova Contagem.

The Provincial, Fr. Alcides Costa, added that the part that impressed the faithful most was when the new deacon was being sent on his mission and an apron was given to him to signify that, like Jesus, we are all sent to serve and wash the feet of the poor. Everyone showed their appreciation for this simple but very significant ceremony.


A giant leap forward

The Comboni Province of the DCR recently took a giant leap forward. Firstly, on 27 October, 2013, two confreres were ordained to the priesthood at the parish of Notre Dame du Bon Secours in Kinshasa: Fr. Charles Kabuayi and Fr. Edmond Dimonekene. The ordaining bishop was Mgr. Sebastien Muyengo, Auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa, recently appointed by Pope Francis as ordinary of the diocese of Uvira (Kivu South). Fr. Charles was assigned to the parish of Mungbere (Wamba diocese) and Fr. Edmond to the Postulancy of Kisangani.

Following this, and again at the same parish of Notre Dame du Bon Secours, on 17 November, Bro. Gédéon Ngunza Mboma made his perpetual profession. Bro. Gédéon was assigned to Malawi. On both occasions, all the Comboni Missionaries, and all the candidates in Kinshasa, were present, all joyfully thanking God for the gift of two new priests and a Brother given by the Congo to the mission.

Fifty years of presence

The Comboni Missionaries in the DRC are about to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of their presence in that country. The jubilee will open on 15 December, 2013, and close on 23 November, 2014.

There are various initiatives being planned to celebrate this important event. The first is the History of the Province.

The three zones – Kinshasa, Kisangani and Isiro – will organise assemblies on the theme “50 years of Comboni presence in the DRC: revisiting, reclaiming and prospects for the future”. A symposium is also being planned on the challenges of the Comboni mission today in the Congo.

To mark the Jubilee, Fr. Tonino Falaguasta Nyabenda has written a book entitled "Les héros du Bomokandi” about the heroic witness of our four confreres martyred in 1964 together with dozens of Africans and expatriates. The book will allow us to make our history known to a wider audience than that of the areas where our communities are located.

The magazine Afriquespoir – it will be printed in full colour starting in January – will publish a calendar for the Jubilee and a special issue. All the material prepared will be available at Afriquespoir, Kinshasa, and in Rome, at the General Curia.


Comboni Missionaries and migrants in Europe

The Comboni missionaries who work among the migrants in Europe met at Nuremberg, in Germany, from 7 to 10 October last.

Those who took part in the meeting were: Fr. Josef Altenburger, Provincial of the DSP and responsible for the migrants sector, Fr. Arlindo Ferreira Pinto, from the general Administration, Fr. Fernando Zolli, Fr. Giorgio Poletti and Fr. Antonio Bonato, from Italy, Fr. Roberto Turyamureeba and Fr. Eduard Nagler, from the DSP, Fr. Tesfamichael Debesay Negusse, of the London Province, Bro. José Francisco Duarte da Cunha Neto, from Portugal, and Sr. María del Carmen López y Galán, representing the Comboni Sisters of the province of Europe.

The meeting was opened by Fr. Josef Altenburger who motivated the confreres with three words uttered by Pope Francis during his recent visit to the Astalli Jesuit Centre in Rome: migrants must be served, accompanied and defended.

As part of the conclusions, it was proposed to hold, in May or June, 2014, a convention on migration, organised by the entire Comboni Family, to define, study and promote common initiatives applicable to our situation.


Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Decameré Seminary

The fiftieth anniversary of the Comboni Seminary of Decameré furnished a good opportunity for mission promotion and for thanking God for the past fifty years.

A triduum of preparation was held on 8, 9 and10 October. On the first day, Sr. Mehret Zeggai spoke of the vocation of Comboni and his fidelity to the call. On the second day, Fr. Mussie Abraham spoke of the call of Abraham in relation to that of Comboni. On the third day, Fr. Gaim Haileslassié spoke of the spirituality of St Daniel. Many members of other religious communities and some lay people of Decameré took part in the triduum.

On Friday afternoon, in the chapel of the seminary, the Waziema, the liturgical prayer of the Ghe’ez rite, took place with special cantors (Haleka), in the presence of the Bishop, priests, seminarians, Sisters, students, ex-seminarians and lay-people.

On 12 October, at 3.30 a.m., the cantors commenced the Mahliet Zelielit (a prayer chant similar to the Waziema), joined, a few at a time, by all those who had spent the night in the seminary.

At around 6 a.m., the priests, together with Mgr. Menghesteab Tesfamariam and the Vicars of the four dioceses of Eritrea, put on liturgical vestments and went in procession to the daz, prepared for the occasion on the sports field of the seminary.

At 6.30, Mgr. Menghesteab presided at the sung Mass during which he briefly recalled his own vocation and the beginnings of the Minor Seminary which, after only fifteen years, already began to send out to the world its first Comboni Missionaries.

When the Mass was over, the Delegate, Fr. Tesfamariam Ghebrecristos, thanked all present and invited them to stay for dinner.

A souvenir booklet containing the history of the Seminary illustrated with photos, had been printed for the occasion and was given to the former students, to the Governor of the zone and the superiors of the various communities. Everyone received a folder containing material on the seminary and its history.


Priestly ordination

The priestly ordination of Deacon Patrick Elias Lipenga took place on Saturday, 16 November 2013, at his home parish of the Good Shepherd, in Nsanje, diocese of Chikwawa in the southernmost part of Malawi, near the border with Mozambique.

Mgr. Peter Musikuwa, Bishop of Chikwawa, presided over the Eucharistic celebration. It was a beautiful and joyful open-air celebration, as the parish church was too small to accommodate all the people who took part in this important event. In spite of the intense heat, in fact, many confreres, diocesan priests and sisters took part in the celebration together with Christians from Nsanje parish and other parishes; people also travelled from Zambia and from various parts of Malawi.

During the homily the bishop reminded Patrick Lipenga, who was accompanied to the altar by his father and mother, of the dignity, the responsibility and duties of a priest. At the end, Fr. Dario Balula Chaves, the provincial, thanked God for the gift of a new priest to the Church and the Comboni Institute and underlined how the ordination was the best way to conclude the celebration of the 40 years of presence of the Comboni Missionaries in the province. He also said that, though the Comboni Missionaries did not have a permanent presence of missionary work in Chikwawa diocese, a group of Comboni Missionaries and Comboni Sisters did work for some years in Nsanje for a specific project of social and spiritual support to the thousands of refugees who in the nineties were fleeing from the civil war in Mozambique and seeking refuge in Malawi.


Administrative elections

For the fourth time in the history of the country, the people of Mozambique are preparing for administrative elections due to be held on 20 November, 2013. General elections are planned to take place on 15 October, 2014, during which the new President of the republic and the Parliament will be decided. Renamo, the opposition party, has decided to boycott the elections. The political and social situation in the country is tense.

In view of the difficult time being experienced by Mozambique, Fr. José Luis Rodríguez López, provincial, has written to all the confreres working in the Province to encourage them and, at the same time, to urge them to devote themselves “to the education and formation of the youth and the leaders of the communities, to religious and political education and to education in civil values”.

Vows and diaconate

The scholastic José Alberto Intuela Sagras, a Mozambican, was ordained deacon by Mgr. Germano Grachane, Bishop of Nacala, on 16 November last, at the mission of Carapira, in northern Mozambique. Two days earlier, José Alberto had taken his perpetual vows in the presence of the Provincial, Fr. José Luis Rodríguez López. Fr. José Alberto started his first mission experience at the community and parish of Carapira, in Mozambique, on 1 August, 2012


Comboni Missionaries and Social-environmental Law

The Comboni Missionaries in Brazil, Peru, DCA and the NAP took part, during the month of November, in the international meeting entitled “The Churches and Mining Activities” which took place in Lima (Peru), during which they studied the theme of social-environmental law in view of the conflicts provoked by mining activities in the Continent, especially in the countries where the Combonis work.

Among those present there were about thirty male and female religious, and lay people from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Honduras, Salvador and Guatemala. Mgr. Guilherme Werlang, President of the Episcopal Commission for the Service of Charity, Justice and Peace, who represented the National Bishops’ Conference of Brazil, reaffirmed the commitment of the Catholic Church in Brazil to work side by side with those affected by large mining projects.

Also present were the international agencies of men and women religious with activities at the United Nations (Vivat, Franciscan International and Mercy International), Misereor (a German faith-based development organisation), as well as various coordinators of Justice and Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC). The religious asked for the formal approval of the Bishops of Brazil for a broader and more representative Latin-American meeting, to be held in 2014, on the same theme.


Papal award to Fr. John Maneschg

Fr. John Maneschg was among the four lecturers of St. John Vianney Seminary who were distinguished with the Papal Honour of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for their lifelong and committed dedication to the formation of South African clergy. Fr. John has been teaching Sacred Scripture for almost 30 years.

The ceremony took place on 6 November, 2013, at a solemn Eucharist presided by His Grace, Stephen Brislin, the Archbishop of Cape Town and President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC). It was concelebrated by some 10 bishops – including Cardinal Wilfred Napier of Durban and the Apostolic Nuncio to southern Africa, Archbishop Mario Roberto Cassari, and a large number of priests.

In his homily, Bishop Graham Rose, a former Rector of the Seminary, in reflecting on the liturgical celebration of the day, “All Saints of Africa”, lauded the role of the four dedicated priests whose influence will continue to unfold in the yet-to-be-told stories of future saints of Africa.

Fr. John is a highly qualified biblical scholar. He holds a doctorate in Holy Scripture granted by the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. For him, the Word of God is not only a subject of teaching, but it has been embodied in his graciousness, humility and selfless dedication to study and teaching.


Celebrations for the anniversary of the canonization of Comboni

The celebrations of the ten years of canonization of our Founder concluded with the St. Daniel Comboni Football Cup competition, whose final match was played on November 9 between Chinese Friendship and Juba Commercial, ending with a 1-1 draw. The trophy went to the Chinese Friendship team. The tournament was preceded by mission promotion activities in eight secondary schools and the Catholic University of Juba.

The feast of St. Daniel Comboni is very much felt and celebrated in South Sudan. In many of our missions there were great occasions for sharing, sports and quiz competitions on the life of Comboni, coupled with cultural initiatives, which brought people and different ethnic groups together.

In Juba, the celebrations started with an interesting catechesis / research offered by Fr. Guido Oliana to all the clergy and religious on the evangelization of the first missionaries in Juba, starting with Fr. Angelo Vinco and Fr. Ignatius Knoblecher.

On October 10, Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro presided over a celebration attended by hundreds of people at Cathedral of St. Theresa in Kator. The students of St. Daniel Comboni Secondary School provided lively animation for the Mass, concelebrated by almost 40 priests.

Comboni Missionaries, both female and male, accompanied by some young people, visited five parishes celebrating the Eucharist and doing mission and vocation promotion. They met thousands of people and sold missionary material.

There was also a retreat to reflect on slavery at the time of St. Daniel Comboni and on today’s new slaveries in South Sudan. It was well expounded and facilitated by Fr. José da Silva Vieira and Sr. Paola Moggi, with good participation from religious and priests.

The Catholic Radio Network contributed by broadcasting, through the nine catholic radio stations present in South Sudan and Nuba Mountains, several testimonies and talks on St. Daniel Comboni.


Visit by Father General

The Superior General, Fr. Enrique Sánchez González, arrived in Chad on 2 November. He began his visit to the Province by preaching a retreat at the spirituality centre of Kou-Jéricho, 500 km south of N’Djaména. The participants were eight Comboni Sisters, 23 Comboni priests and one scholastic. Fr. Enrique spoke of the purpose of religious consecration, in particular that of the Comboni missionaries, enriching his reflections with examples from the life of Comboni missionaries, from his own life and the lives of other confreres throughout the world.

The retreat ended with the perpetual profession of the third Comboni missionary from Chad, the scholastic Alfred Mbaidjide who had completed his studies of theology at Bogotá, Colombia, in July, 2012. The profession took place on Monday, 11 November, the feast of St. Martin of Tours, in the presence of 31 confreres and Sisters. Alfred will be ordained deacon on 21 December, 2013, at the parish of St. Michel in Dono-Manga, where he is at present doing his missionary service. The ordaining bishop will be Mgr. Miguel Angel Sebastián, the Ordinary of the diocese.

After the retreat, the Provincial Assembly was held. In his introduction, Fr. Enrique gave a broad presentation of the situation of the Institute and explained the reasons why Chad will become a Delegation starting from 1 January, 2014.

Lay Comboni Missionaries from Chad

On Sunday, 17 November, at the parish of Saint Kizito, in the diocese of Sarh, the General Superior, Fr. Enrique Sánchez González, officially received 17 Comboni Lay Missionaries from Chad, belonging to two large, and essentially Comboni, parishes: Kizito and the parish of Sainte Trinité of Moissala.

In fact, the Comboni missionaries have been present in the first of these parishes for 29 years, and the second parish is the mother parish of the Comboni Missionaries in Chad where we arrived on 15 August, 1977, 36 years ago.

During the Mass, presided over by Fr. Enrique, the Lay Missionaries were given a copy of their statutes and the writings of Comboni as a sign of their belonging to the wider Comboni family.

Also present were the “Friends of Radio Lotiko” of the Province who were celebrating their first anniversary. Radio Lotiko, belonging to the diocese, was initiated by the Comboni Missionaries and the present director is a Comboni. The day ended with a fraternal meal at the Comboni Postulancy.

The visit of Father general was a visible and concrete sign of the spiritual and moral support of the entire Institute for the Province of Chad.

Let us pray for our beloved dead

THE MOTHER: Stella, of Fr. Danilo Cimitan (C).

THE BROTHER: Ernesto, of Fr. Enea Mauri (EC).

THE SISTERS: Giuseppina, of Fr. Luigi Casagrande (M-Z), Margherita, of Fr. Salvatore Marrone (I), Ayisa, of Fr. Zoe Musaka (CN).

THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Maria Savani; Sr. M. Maddalena Zorzi.