Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The 17th edition of the Comboni Year of Ongoing Formation (CYOF) came to a close yesterday with a Mass concelebrated together with the other community of our General Curia in Rome, Italy. For the 20 participants in the CYOF it was a solemn moment of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. “With this celebration we want to thank God for all the gifts he has given us during this time we spent in Rome in a spirit of brotherhood – said Fr. Bruno Nzigiye at the beginning of Mass – and we invite you to to pray with us and for us that the Lord may continue to guide us and enlighten our journey in the mission that awaits us.” Some members of the group will end the course with the spiritual exercises, while the rest will take part in the Month Retreat o0f St. Ignatius. Twenty Comboni Missionaries from 12 countries on four continents attended the course which began on October 19, 2015.
In his homily, Fr. Siro Stocchetti, one of the three confreres in charge of the course, stressed the text of John’s gospel (14:27-31) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives,” saying that “the experience of the CYOF was intended to offer to the participating confreres the acceptance of and growth in that peace which is a gift of the Lord: in the contemplation of his love; in the listening of his Word; in the resting in his company; by a revision of our own life in order to discover ever more how the Lord led us by the hand and perceive the red thread of his faithful and providential presence in our lives; trusting in the power of Life over death – a victory which we have certainly witnessed in our missionary experience.”
Quoting the last sentence of the same Gospel passage, “but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father,” Fr. Siro concluded with these words: “This has to be our mission as well: to fulfill the Father’s project – not our own personal projects – which consists essentially in giving witness to our loving relation with the Father, sustained by the gift of peace that only Jesus can give us through the contemplation of his love, of his constant presence in our daily life, in the victory of Life over death.”
At the end of the celebration and in the name of all the participants, Fr. Alberto Parise, formerly in Kenya but currently assigned to work in Italy, thanked all who had made the course possible: “The Institute, the communities of the Curia, our benefactorts, the lecturers, the guides, the maintenance people and the coordinating team.”