Monthly Newsletter of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
27TH CONSULTA – December 2014
1. Delegates elected to the XVIII General Chapter
Priest delegates for the XVIII general Chapter
A Fr. Llamazares Miguel Angel
BR Fr. Bossi Dario
Fr. Paolillo Saverio
C Fr. Bernasconi Fermo
CN Fr. Kobo Badianga Jean Claude
CO Fr. Savoia Raffaello
DSP Fr. Turyamureeba Roberto
E Fr. Andrés Miguel Pedro
EC Fr. Cabascango Ulcuango Félix Angel
EGSD Fr. Kyankaaga Richard
Fr. Naranjo Alcaide Jorge Carlos
ER Fr. Tesfamariam Ghebrecristos
ET Fr. Cavallini Giuseppe
I Fr. Tresoldi Efrem
Fr. Piazza Renzo
Fr. Balducci Maurizio
KE Fr. Radol Austine Odhiambo
LP Fr. Tesfamichael D. Negusse
M Fr. Bustos Juárez Rogelio
MO Fr. Muhindo Nzoli Innocent
MZ P. Kasitomu James Milward
NAP Fr. Converset John Michael
P Fr. Manuel Augusto Lopes Ferreira
PCA Fr. Moschetta Giuseppe
PE Fr. Goicochea Calderón Juan Armando
RCA Fr. Aldegheri Giorgio
RSA Fr. Kambo Paul Kithuku
SS Fr. Okot Luis Tony
T Fr. Afola Kossi Mensah Elias
TCH Fr. Ciuciulla Pietro
U Fr. Kiwanuka Achilles Kasozi
Fr. Vargas Egüez Ramón Alberto
Brother delegates to the XVIII General Chapter
A-PCA-M-NAP Bro. Humberto da Silva Rua
C-E-P Bro. Lamana Cónsola Alberto
DSP-LP Bro. Tremmel Friedbert
EGSD-ER-ET-SS Bro. Hengl Bernhard
BR-CO-EC-PE Bro. Soffientini Antonio
CN-RCA-T-TCH Bro. Mwamba Kabaya Jean Marie
MO-MZ-RSA Bro. Adossi Koffissan Adékploví Matthias-Elie
I Bro. Degan Alberto
KE-U Bro. Parise Alberto
The GC has named the following as members of the Pre-Capitular Commission:
Fr. Bustos Juárez Rogelio (coordinator)
Fr. Bossi Dario
Fr. Kyankaaga Ssendawula John Richard
Fr. Mumbere Musanga Joseph
Fr. José da Silva Vieira
Fr. Andrés Miguel Pedro
Fr. Ciuciulla Pietro
Bro. Degan Alberto
3. Ongoing Formation Theme for 2015
The GC is offering the Institute the following OGF theme for the New Year: Consecrated Life – sharing on the Letter of Pope Francis
4. Consulta dates for 2015
The GC has established the following dates for the Consulta:
2 – 27 March
1 – 26 June
5. Journeys and commitments of the members of the GC
- Fr. Enrique Sánchez G.
28 December 2014 – 15 January 2015: visit to Ethiopia
- Fr. Alberto Pelucchi
10-21 February 2015: celebrations in Uganda
- Fr. Antonio Villarino
- Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse
10-21 February 2015: celebrations in Uganda
- Bro. Daniele Giusti
31 December 2014 – 10 January 2015: economics course for the scholastics in Cape Coast (Ghana)
11-23 February 2015: to Ethiopia (Wolisso)
Sc. Chilimba Pius A. J. (MZ)
Sc. Bitia M. Jean Paul (CN)
Holy redeemer Guild
January 01 – 15 A 16 – 31 BR
February 01 – 15 C 16 – 28 EGSD
January – That, in the countries of the Central African Republic and South Sudan, the peoples may be reconciled with one another and regain peace. Lord, hear us.
February – That, following their 9th General Assembly, the Secular Institute of Comboni Missionary Women may take up with determination the priorities that emerged from it. Lord, hear us.
Fr. Daniel Cerezo Ruiz, Pinceladas. Desde China con amor, Asociación Católica de Propagandistas, CEU Ediciones, Madrid 2014. A collection of letters written by Fr. Cerezo to his Spanish friends, during these past years of mission in China, about his experience of life and mission in this vast and complex country.
Fr. Manuel Augusto Ferreira, Missionários que eu conheci. Ed. Além-Mar, Lisbona 2014. A collection of 24 articles written between 1978 and 2013 on Sisters, Brothers, priests and one bishop on missionary service in Zaire, Brasil, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Fr. Alfredo Neres Ribeiro, Dou-vos poder sobre todas as forças do mal. Ed. Pneuma (www. pneuma-rc.pt), Lisbona 2014. A booklet of 98 pages of «present-day testimonies of the power and authority of Jesus over the devil and all the forces of evil», in seven chapters.
Fiesta 2014 for friends and benefactors
The annual gathering of the friends and benefactors of the missions took place on Sunday, December 7, in the grounds of the community of St. Daniel Comboni Seminary in Quezon City, according to the already established tradition. It was successful, notwithstanding the threat of the typhoon Ruby which was approaching the city of Manila. The long preparation for the program, liturgy, presentations, food, flowers, etc. went on well, due to all those involved. Their perseverance and confidence was highly rewarded by the more than five hundred enthusiastic participants.
The program opened in the afternoon with missionary witnesses of three Filipino Comboni priests: Fr. Andy Recalde from Perù, Fr. Aldrin Janito from South Africa and Fr. Eutiquio Mula from Kenya, providentially present because of their home leave.
The solemn Mass followed presided by Fr. Andy and concelebrated by all the confreres of the Delegation, the Vicar General of Cubao Diocese and some parish priests from the nearby parishes. After the Mass, the Delegate Superior, Fr. Miguel Llamazares, spoke of the past Silver Jubilee of the Asia Delegation and the 25th Anniversary of World Mission magazine. Food was served to all the participants while colourful dances and songs by different groups gave life and joy to the gathering.
The Friends of the Missions’ Fiesta this year was marked not only by the blessings of good weather, large participation, high standard of performance, but especially for the large presence of young people which was a good omen for the future of the Delegation of Asia.
Mgr. Odelir appointed bishop of Chapecó
On Wednesday, 3 December 2014, Pope Francis appointed Mgr. Odelir José Magri, a Combonian, bishop of the diocese of Chapecó, his native home diocese, in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, part of the ecclesiastical region of South Brazil. Since 11 October 2010, Mgr. Odelir had been bishop of Sobral, a diocese in the north-west of the state of Ceará and now a sede-vacante diocese.
From 1992 to 1996, Mgr. Odelir performed priestly ministry in Congo Kinshasa, DCR, where he had been formator of postulants in 1996. He returned to Sao Paolo, Brasil, as: formator of scholastics and parish priest (1997-1999); provincial councillor (1999-2001); Father Master of novices at Contagem novitiate in Belo Horizonte and superior of the community (2000-2003); Vice-Provincial (2002-2003). In 2003, he was elected Assistant General in Roma and Vicar general in 2009.
Ordination to the diaconate
The Congolese scholastic Anatole Mughendi Mwengulo was ordained deacon on 30 November, 2014, by imposition of the hands of Mgr. Matteo Maria Zuppi, Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of Roma. The ceremony was carried out in the chapel of the General Curia. Besides the confreres and some Comboni Sisters, several priests, three deacons and Congolese friends were also present.
Anatole joined the Combonis at the age of 23. After two years’ novitiate at Cotonou, in Benin, he took first vows on 3 May, 2009. He did preparatory studies and theology at Kisangani and Kinshasa. On 10 October last, he made his perpetual profession in Rome where he has been studying for the past two years for a licentiate in spirituality, specialising in formation for the priesthood and religious life.
Mgr. Zuppi explained in his homily the recent keywords used by Pope Francis: Word, Poor and Peace, emphasising that, for a deacon, and for all who serve in the Church, it is essential to listen to the Word of God, to serve the poorest and to promote peace.
The privilege of walking with the Church in China
On 13 November, 2014, in a packed hall of the CEU campus in Argüelles, there took place the launching of the book Pinceladas. Desde China con amor , by Fr. Daniel Cerezo, known in China as Fr. Xie.
The book is a collection of letters – “brush-strokes”, as Fr. Cerezo likes to call them – written to his friends in Spain during breaks from his work in China. “The country is enormous and most journeys take seven or eight hours by bus or three by plane so I use this time to write about my experiences”.
The ceremony was introduced by Raúl Mayoral, director of the Cultural Foundation Ángel Herrera Oria and “the host”. Then there was a speech by Ana Rodríguez de Agüero, director of CEU publications, who highlighted some very moving passages from the book.
Antonio Rendón-Luna, General Secretary of the Catholic Association of Journalists and promoter of the book, showed how Fr. Xie implements the proposal of Pope Francis to go out to the peripheries.
“It is a privilege for me to be able to walk with the Church in China, to walk with the poor who have opened for me the doors of this country”, said Fr. Cerezo, as he told of his daily life in China and that of the Church. He also spoke of the many obstacles that can only be overcome by the help of God such as the constant meddling of the Chinese government in all Church matters and the difficult co-existence with the official Chinese Church.
Fr. Cerezo dwelt upon the fundamental role of women in the Church in China and gave the example of the grandmothers, thanks to whom the message of Christ remains alive. “In the communist schools – he said – the professors try to find out from the children what their parents say to them, without attaching any importance to the grandmothers who are precisely those who, little by little, transmit the word of Jesus and his Gospel”.
Introduction to the new Hispanic – European situation
From 24 to 28 November, those newly arrived in the province had the benefit of a week of introduction to the new Hispanic – European reality. It was the fourth edition of the “intensive week of theological-pastoral updating”. The first, organised four years ago at the request of the Comboni Province of Spain, was attended by just a small group of Combonis. In the following years, instead, they were joined by diocesan priests, other religious and lay-people. Each day was divided into two parts: the first was used to explain theological-pastoral themes and the second to present the life of the Province.
In the course of the mornings, at the Superior Pastoral Institute, the 25 participants (men and women religious, missionary men and women, lay men and women and priests, all with different charisms and geographical and cultural origins), eight of whom were Combonis (married couple, 1 Brother and 5 priests), had the opportunity to come to terms with present-day themes of theology and pastoral praxis, with the help of excellent lecturers.
The time at home, in the afternoons, was used for more family-oriented moments such as community prayer, the sharing of personal experiences and dialogue on the life of the Province led by the Provincial Superior and by the secretaries for mission promotion, economy, ongoing formation and evangelisation.
It was a week rich in ongoing formation which transmitted to each participant the desire to study and apply to their particular fields of missionary work a pastoral praxis that responds to the new challenges.
Spiritual Exercises at Limone in 2015
Guided spiritual exercises
Fr. Pierpaolo Monella, MCCJ
Guided spiritual exercises
Fr. Pierpaolo Monella, MCCJ
A personally adapted journey of prayer and reflection in the light of our missionary experience and that of St. Daniele Comboni (max. 8 persons).
Preached spiritual exercises
Fr. Danilo Castello
Theme: From Daniele Comboni to Pope Francis
28 September – 4 October
Preached spiritual exercises
Sr. Adele Brambilla
Theme: The lifestyle of St. Daniele Comboni
All the exercises start in the evening and end on the morning of the dates indicated.
The 22nd November, 2014, in Soshanguve, Pretoria North, at the Tshwane University of Technology campus, the priestly ordination of Deacon Kgomotso Sebopela Ronnie took place.
At the celebration, presided by Mgr. Joe Sandri, bishop of Witbank, many people took part, coming from all sides of South Africa and abroad, besides the Comboni missionaries and many priests of the Archdiocese of Pretoria and other dioceses. The celebration, which lasted for a good four hours, was filled with prayer, joy, singing and dancing and also with a lot of good humour, especially in the different addresses that people gave, at the end of the celebration.
The mother of Kgomotso, Martha, a convert to the catholic faith, and the father, Steve, a follower of an independent church of South Africa, were filled with joy and amazement: their only male child had become a catholic only some years ago and was now being ordained a missionary priest.
The following day, 23rd November, the rain, a sign of God’s blessings in this country, welcomed us while performing the ceremony, according to the Sotho tradition, that took place before the beginning of the first mass of the newly ordained. Kgomotso arrived wrapped in a blanket and the well-known conic Sotho traditional hat. The elders, all men, one of whom was also his father, gathered around a table with a big pot of traditional beer, to give their advice to the new priest. The provincial superior was also part of the group and had the opportunity to give his advice and to proffer words of encouragement. Then, after passing around the calabash with the delicious beverage, the Eucharist was celebrated.
The day after, the celebration was in Mabopane, Fr. Kgomotso’s own village. The parish church of Christ the King was filled to capacity. The celebration went on for six hours without interruption, accompanied by the sound of the drums. During the mass, the community was informed that Fr. Kgomotso had been assigned to the province of Chad, where he will spend the first years of his missionary life. This news gave more relevance to the feast since the people were proud that a son of their community – it was the first priestly ordination in the parish – was going in their name to preach the Gospel outside South Africa.
Silver Jubilee at Fidjrossé
29 October 1989 - 30 November 2015: 25 years of Comboni presence in the parish of St. Francis of Assisi, Cotonou, Benin.
The Silver Jubilee was prepared with great commitment and the participation of the whole parish community: from the publication of a small magazine “Echoes of St. Francis of Assisi” which, month after month, kept the memorial of the history of the community from its birth to its present state of development, with meetings, conferences, journeys of prayer, seeking to better understand together the gift of being Church. A plenary indulgence was granted during the preparation of the Jubilee to encourage a deeper Christian conversion.
The celebration was both beautiful and meaningful and Comboni and parish communities pardoned each other for all the failings and fragilities of these years so as to continue their journey together. Prayers for all the dead of the parish, concerts, a procession through the streets of the quarter filled the month of November and culminated in the celebration on Sunday, 30 November, presided by the Archbishop of Cotonou Mgr. Antoine Ganye. Thousands were present, mostly dressed in the “pagne” prepared for the feast which was all bought up in a few months, leaving the latecomers disappointed! The Archbishop invited the assembly to thank God for the gift of the Jubilee and for the young people who, this year, chose to follow the Comboni missionary vocation and so enabled the local Church to live the ad gentes mission.
The celebration continued with an enormous picnic, followed by songs and dances, the prelude to a future full of hope. Everyone, from the Comboni community to the last person present, expressed their joy at the success of this ecclesial event which united not only the Christian community of Fidjrossé but also the four communities born from the mother church of St. Francis of Assisi.
The whole of Benin came to know of this Jubilee through national TV, different radio stations and the catholic newspaper “La Croix”: a concrete way of doing mission promotion so that the Comboni charism may be known by all.
Radio Pacis of Arua received award
“On behalf of the staff of Radio Pacis – said Fr. Tonino – I received the prize in Rome on 24 November. The only award given to the African continent was the one bestowed on our radio station. Radio Pacis has now a PV system that produces 100kWp.”
Fr. Tonino, in the morning of the same day, had the joy of celebrating Mass with Pope Francis in the small chapel of Santa Marta. “After Mass – said Fr. Tonino – I had the privilege of greeting Pope Francis and inviting him to come to Radio Pacis during his visit to Uganda, so that he would be heard by millions of listeners in Northern Uganda. Let us hope that the organizers of the Pope’s African trip will take into account this opportunity.”
THE FATHER: Silvano, of Fr. Corrado Tosi (CN).
THE MOTHER: Lucia, of Fr. Alfred Mawadri (SS); Okwa Bertha, of Bro. Baudouin Avo Tanzi (CN).
THE BROTHER: Salvador, of Fr. Juan de Dios Martínez González (M).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTER: Sr. Liana Maria Pera.