MONTHLY NEWSLETTER OF THE COMBONI MISSIONARIES OF THE HEART OF JESUS
CONSULTA MARCH 2017
1. Symposium 150th anniversary
From 25 May to 5 June 2017 the Generalate in Via Lilio will accommodate those participating in the Symposium for the 150th anniversary of the Institute and other connected activities. Other people are asked not to seek accommodation during that time.
The GC hopes that all circumscriptions will send a representative and keep in mind that the Symposium will take place from 25 May to 1 June.
2.1. The GC has appointed as Vice-Provincials for the triennium 2017-2019:
Fr. Pimentel Guzmán José Alberto for the North American Province
Fr. Zagaja Adam for the Province of Ecuador
2.2. The GC has appointed as Formators as from 1.7.2017:
Bro. Adossi Koffissan Adékploví Matthias-Elie for the Nairobi (KE) CIF, as first formator
Bro. Degan Alberto for the Bogota (CO) CIF, as first formator
Fr. José Joaquim da Silva Araújo socius of the novice master in the Lusaka (MZ) novitiate
Fr. Matthew Remijo Adam Gbitiku for the Nairobi (KE) scholasticate
Fr. Mwariri Joseph Maina for the Lima (PE) scholasticate
Fr. Rodríguez López José Luis for the São Paulo (BR) scholasticate, as first formator
Fr. Tesfamariam Ghebrecristos Woldeghebriel for the Casavatore (I) scholasticate
Bro. Tremmel Friedbert for the Nairobi (KE) CIF
Fr. Sindjalim Essognimam Elias as a member of the General Secretariat for Formation (Rome)
2.3. The GC has appointed as members of the Council for Finance for three years beginning on 1.5.2017:
Fr. Dasilva Fernández Gonzalo Antonio, as representative of the European Provinces
Fr. Chmiel Sebastian Jerzy, as representative of Francophone Africa
2.4. The GC has appointed as members of the Central Commission for the Revision of the Rule of Life (AC ’15, n. 50.1):
Bro. Adossi Koffissan Adékploví Matthias-Elie (KE)
Fr. Alenyo John Peter (U)
Bro. Casas Rosell Guillermo (C)
Fr. Castillo Matarrita Víctor-Hugo (PCA)
Fr. De Marchi Benito (LP)
Fr. Körber Markus Lorenz (SS)
Fr. Martínez Torres José Gabriel (M)
Fr. Ndjadi Ndjate Léonard (T)
The GC convokes the first meeting of the members for 30 June 2017, at the Rome Generalate.
The GC contact person is Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins.
It has appointed as Comboni consultants of the Central Commission:
Fr. Aldegheri Giorgio
Fr. Casile Carmelo
Fr. Manuel Augusto Lopes Ferreira
Fr. Milani Venanzio
Each continent is asked to appoint its own commission which, in dialogue with the Central Commission, will produce the material for the study and revision of the RL according to the directives of General Chapter 2015.
3. Meeting of Circumscription Superiors with the GC
The GC wishes to thank the community of the Curia for the smooth running of the meeting which took place from 5 to 25 February, 2017. It was a moment of true communion and helped everyone to understand better where our Institute is going. In dialogue with the GA, the GC made its own evaluation and lets it be known that the next such meeting will be planned following a modular system that will allow for both groups of participants (new and re-elected) to be managed separately with some periods in common. In addition, the meetings at continental and individual level with the members of the GC will be planned for days other than those when all meet together.
4. Intercapitular Assembly
The GC has engaged in dialogue with the Circumscription Superiors regarding the planning of the next Intercapitular Assembly and has decided that it will be held in Rome from 9 to 30 September, 2018. On days when the Assembly is at work, there will be no meetings with the GC either at continental or personal level.
In this Consulta the GC has assigned 60 confreres and wishes to clarify some points.
5.1 Dialogue held privately between confreres and Provincials, without the knowledge of the GC, are complicating the assignment process. It is important that, as soon as dialogue begins, the Provincial or Delegate and the confrere, should immediately inform the GC and the Provincial or Delegate of the circumscription to which the confrere belongs.
5.2. The GC does wish to help the Circumscriptions but lets it be known that the number of personnel available for assignment is continually diminishing. Matters are not helped by bringing pressure to bear on the GC.
5.3. The GC again states that it is no longer possible to continue replacing each person who is assigned elsewhere while it is necessary to ensure personnel for urgent and crucial services and to re-qualify commitments according to our resources. Unfortunately, the confreres are not always open to accepting the proposals made.
6. Approval and Promulgation of the Statutes of the General Secretariats for Mission and Formation
On 15 March, 2017, the GC approved and promulgated the new Statutes of the General Secretariats of Mission and Formation.
The GC has sent a letter to all Circumscription Superiors to encourage the process of clustering various circumscriptions, according to the mandate of the last Chapter (CA 2015, 72).
8. Code of Conduct
With the help of Fr. Lorenzo Frattini, the GC, since the meeting of the Circumscription Superiors, has been working on the actualisation of the Code of Conduct, bearing in mind the recent directives of the Holy See. This will necessitate updating Circumscription Directories and that of the GA.
9. The Cause of Fr. Ezechiele Ramin
The cause of the martyrdom of Fr. Ezechiele Ramin began on 1 April, 2016, in Brazil, in the diocese of Ji-Paraná (RO), at the request of the Ordinary of the place, Mons. Bruno Pedron. Seventy-three witnesses were heard and all the documentation was gathered. The main enquiry, that of Ji-Paraná, ended at Cacoal on 4 March, 2017. The Rogatory of Padua, which began on 10 April, 2016, concluded on 25 March, 2017. All the depositions and documents will be taken to Rome where the Roman phase will begin with the preparation of the Positio and the evaluation of the historians, theologians, bishops and cardinals, until the final decision of the Holy Father with the subsequent decrees of Venerability and Beatification. The figure of Fr. Ezechiele Ramin has had a remarkable impact in the media due to his missionary witness on behalf of the neediest classes and his prophetic energy. The GC thanks the Postulator of the cause, Fr. Arnaldo Baritussio, and all who have collaborated with him up to now.
10. Circumscriptions in difficulty
The GC is closely following the socio-political situations in some countries where we are present as Institute and where there is cause for concern such as South Sudan, the Congo and the Central African Republic. In the case of South Sudan, the GC has begun a collection of funds in our circumscriptions on behalf of the population sorely tried by so many sad events. A letter on this subject will be sent to all Circumscription Superiors. We accompany all of them with our prayers.
The theme of continentality was presented during the recent gathering of Circumscription Superiors. The Vademecum on continentality, which contains the reflections and experiences of recent years on the subject, was approved by the General Council in March, 2015. Some changes were made recently to bring it up to date with the norms of the 2015 General Chapter. However, the declarations concerning the structure of continentality, the responsibilities and the working modalities of the various sectors will not be changed. For this reason, the GC asks the Circumscription Superiors to familiarise themselves with the Vademecum and make it a useful reference instrument in the Assemblies of circumscription superiors and continental Councils.
12. Meeting of the CMS and MCCJ General Councils
The General Councils of the CMS and the MCCJ met on 24 March at the CMS Generalate. The meeting helped to increase knowledge and communion between the two Councils and laid the foundation for ever more efficacious collaboration between them, and it also suggested ways to involve other members of both General Administrations of the two Institutes.
13. Commitments of the GC
Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie
26 March – 15 April: visit to Kenya
15 – 21 April: in Ethiopia
2 – 6 May: SEDOS Assembly
7 – 15 May: Cairo (EG)
Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins
17 April – 11 May: visit to Malawi-Zambia with Bro. Alberto Lamana
Fr. Pietro Ciuciulla
22 April – 4 May: in Poland
10 – 30 May: in the Holy Land
Fr. Rogelio Bustos Juárez
1 – 29 April: in the LP (language study)
Bro. Alberto Lamana Cónsola
17 April – 11 May: visit to Malawi-Zambia with Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins
13 – 14 May: in Venegono
22 – 25 May: in Madrid for the Assembly
We apologise to the confreres assigned in this Consulta who received their letters with the wrong assignment date – 19 March. They will receive another letter bearing the correct date, 1 July, 2017.
Fr. Endjegandeyo-Yepoussa F. Dreyfus (RCA) Bangui (RCA) 19/03/2017
Fr. Ngonda Tollet R. Rodolphe (RCA) Bangui (RCA) 19.03.2017
Holy Redeemer Guild
April 01 – 15 CN 16 – 30 EC
May 01 – 15 ET 16 – 31 I
April – That in these times when evil and violence seem to prevail, Christians may firmly witness to hope founded upon the resurrection of Jesus who conquers sin in all its forms. Lord hear us…
May – That the social means of communication may be a free instrument that is at the service of the common good and that helps create a more just and fraternal society. Lord hear us…
Damián Bruyel, San Daniel Comboni, el San Francisco Javier de África Central, Edit. Mundo Negro. A book that is “pleasant and readable”, which, as the author says in the prologue, is an autobiographical biography”, which endeavours to follow closely this great missionary by means of some of his more striking writings and some interesting testimonies of the epoch concerning Comboni.
Tonino Falaguasta Nyabenda, Io rimango qui, a biography of Fr. Sergio Cailotto, a Comboni Missionary in the DR Congo, pp. 118. Copies are available from the author in Cordenons (PN), Missionari Comboniani.
Ordination to the diaconate
On Sunday, 26 February, among the fourteen candidates – eight deacons and six priests – ordained by Mons. Jean Pierre Kwambamba, Auxiliary Bishop of Kinshasa, at the parish of Our Lady Help of Christians, were two Comboni deacons, Henri Likingi Wasato and Boniface-Junior Gbama Nsusu. After a modest reception organised by the parish for all the newly-ordained, Henri and Boniface were given a festive welcome at the Comboni parish of Pope John Paul II, Limete.
With reference to their course of formation, Henri, after the postulancy at Kisangani, was admitted to the novitiate at Cotonou (Benin). He took first vows in 2010 and was sent to the Nairobi scholasticate (Kenya) for theology. He is at present exercising his ministry at the parish of Divine Mercy, Kimwenza. Boniface did the pre-postulancy and the postulancy at Kisangani. He, too, was admitted to the novitiate of Cotonou (Benin) where he took first vows in 2011. He studied theology in South Africa and is now exercising his ministry in the parish of Pope John Paul, Limete.
PM celebrates ninety years in Verona
On 14 May, at the Mother house, on the day when relatives and friends of the Comboni Missionaries gather for their annual celebration, Piccolo Missionario will also celebrate its 90 years of publication.
It will open at 14.30 in the park with recycling workshops, clowns, games, music, comics, snacks from all over the world and free admission to the African Museum.
150th Anniversary Celebrations of the foundation of the Institute in the Province of Italy
1. The Provincial Commission, following its deliberations, has made some suggestions for the celebrations and possible occasions for reflection both among ourselves and publicly. It will be up to each community to plan and carry out their various initiatives, as suggested by the letter of the General Council: occasions for mission promotion, renewal of the missionary ideal and the sense of belonging to the Institute. In all of this we “Remember the first steps of the Institute, looking to the present with realism: called to witness to the Kingdom of God and to look to the future with hope”. Here are some of the suggestions.
1.1 To have a day of celebration or a celebration of thanksgiving and intercession in the city where we are located, involving the local Church. It would be very good to invite the Bishop to preside at the celebration.
1.2 Organise conferences on the history and the mission of the Institute: its origins, development, present situation and outlook. It would be good to involve confreres in recalling former times: testimonies/memories.
1.3 Give prominence to the solemnity of the Sacred Heart for meetings with local priests. It is significant that all the names of the Institute have included the Sacred Heart, a fundamental element of Comboni spirituality.
1.4 Make full use of “Familia Comboniana” inserts.
1.5 Include reminders of the event in Assemblies and area meetings.
1.6 To mark the anniversary on Open Days for relatives, friends and benefactors.
1.7 To promote participation in the spiritual exercises in Pesaro which will also deal with the themes of the anniversary of the founding of the Institute and its prospects.
1.8 To invite the Comboni organisers of the Brescia Missionary Festival to promote this event.
1.9 To have a day of spirituality and conviviality at Bressanone (one of the first communities of the Institute) between 23 and 27 October. The invitation is addressed to all, even though its proximity would tend to involve especially the north-east.
HORIZONS display at the African Museum in Verona
From 7 April to 31 July, the Verona African Museum will hold a display entitled HORIZONS, in collaboration with Cestim, The Leaf and the Wind and the Civic Library, sponsored by Fondazione Nigrizia, Fondazione St. Zeno and Fondazione Cattolica. It will also count the City Council among its patrons. The theme of the display is derived from the long-established journeys of hope across the Mediterranean in the hope of a better life. “… such voyages require not just boats but also a horizon”. The display is open to all but especially to teachers and students. Formative meetings for teachers have been well attended. A short version of the display, with books on the themes, will be set up at first in the Civic Library and later in other libraries throughout the city.
New “layout” – and more – for Nigrizia
Starting with the April issue, Nigrizia will have a new layout intended to make it “more readable and diversified”. It will also have more complete and innovative articles.
There is still one basic problem: more subscriptions are needed if it is to survive.
Napenda Kuishi Rehabilitation Centre Foundation Stone
On 11 March, 2017, a number of Combonis, many friends and guest of honour, the Italian Ambassador to Kenya, gathered at Kibiko (close to Nairobi), at the headquarters of the Napenda Kuishi Rehabilitation Programme, to lay the foundation stone of the new centre for woodwork and mechanics apprentices.
After speeches by the guests, including that of the Ambassador who praised the work of the Comboni Missionaries in Kenya, Fr. Andrew Bwalya, the vice provincial, blessed the site while the young people of Napenda Kuishi performed traditional dances and an exciting acrobatic display.
Napenda Kuishi (which means: “I want to live”) is a rehabilitation centre for street children started in 2007 by the Comboni Missionaries working in Korogocho. It has assisted to rehabilitate many street children and alcoholic adults.
During the past two years, Napenda Kuishi has undergone many changes and has become a professionally run programme aimed at marginalised people and young people between the ages of thirteen and twenty who live on the streets and who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, glue or petrol and live in the slums of Korogocho, Kariobangi, Huruma and Dandora (areas around Nairobi). The director of the programme (which now employs professional staff), is Fr. Maurizio Binaghi.
European Assembly on Mission in Portugal
The Comboni Missionaries working in Evangelisation and Mission Promotion in Europe (Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Germany and Austria) met from 7 to 14 March, at the Comboni house of Maia. The thirty participants, among whom were representatives of each of the branches of the Comboni Family (Sisters, Seculars and Lay Comboni Missionaries), reflected on the theme “Comboni Mission in Europe”, based upon the 2015 Chapter Acts.
The work began with a presentation of the conclusions of the previous Assembly on Mission (Pesaro 2012). The evaluation of the progress made in the intervening years shows the difficulty in implementing the three typically European projects: the European Media Centre, the Limone Spirituality Centre and the community dedicated to migrants. There followed the Circumscription reports and the conclusive address by Fr. Franz Weber who interpreted positively what is being done as Comboni Missionaries at the European level and in the light of Evangelii Gaudium.
The second day was devoted entirely to the situation in Europe. On days 10 and 11, the Assembly divided into two thematic groups in order to share experiences, study challenges and identify concrete responses.
On the morning of Monday, the last day of the meeting, there was an address by Fr. Arlindo Pinto who presented the new Statutes of the new General Secretariat of Mission, as decided by the 2015 General Chapter (nos. 64 and 68), and the representatives of the Comboni Family. The activities of the European Group for Theological reflection (GERT) and the Limone Symposiums were discussed. The Assembly ended with a Eucharistic celebration led by Mgr. Antonio Francisco dos Santos, Bishop of the Diocese of Oporto.
Presentation of the book for the 150th Anniversary of the Institute
On Saturday, 18 March, 2017, the Comboni community of Juba launched the book by Fr. Guido Oliana, “La potenza trasformatrice del Vangelo. Il Kairos della missione. Esplorazioni in prospettiva missionaria comboniana”, at the Catholic University of South Sudan. The event was part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Institute.
The book, by Pauline Publications Africa (Nairobi 2017), comprises a collection of articles on the mission, written in the course of the last fifteen years and focusses especially on Comboni missionary spirituality. It was presented by Fr. John Loboka, a missionary of the Congregation of the Apostles of Jesus and by the Rector of the Philosophicum of St Paul’s Major seminary, Juba. About 120 people were present among whom were many university students and a good number of religious and priests. Fr. Guido Oliana also spoke and replied to questions from the floor.
THE FATHER: Tomás, of Fr. José Irenio Chinguel Núñez (PE).
THE MOTHERS: Guadalupe, of Fr. José Juan Alonso Verdejo (KE); Apolline Ngwasidi, of Fr. Théodore Bungama (CN); Marie Thérèse, of the Sc. Gratien Muhindo Mwanawatumwa (CN).
THE BROTHERS: Yosief, of Fr. Alazar Abraha (KE); Lino, of Bro. Giovanni Grazian (I); Matthias, of Fr. Josef Schmidpeter (PE); António, of Fr. Gregório Rodrigues dos Santos (BR).
THE SISTERS: Elysee, of the Sc. Séraphin Adobo Mabolotu (CN); Julia, of Fr. Florián Antonio Espinosa Huamán (PE); Ester, of Bro. Olindo Tognon (U).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTER: Sr. M. Adelina Zanini.