1. Celebration of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute

In Italy, the celebration was marked by two special events:

a - A Symposium in Rome from 26 May to 1 June with about fifty circumscription representatives attending.

b - A Eucharistic Celebration in Verona on 18 June, in the Basilica of San Zeno.

The GC wishes to thank all who made possible these events that enabled us to study more deeply our origins, reflect on our time and take up their invitation to live the future in hope.

With the collaboration of the Circumscriptions, translations are being made into English, Spanish, Portuguese and French of the book on the 150th anniversary by Fr. Manuel Augusto Lopes Ferreira. Once ready, the material will be sent to all, together with the Acts of the Symposium.

The GC again invites the circumscriptions to continue to propose initiatives for the celebration of the anniversary at local level.

2. Actualisation of the Code of Conduct and the Directory of the General Administration

The GC warmly thanks Fr. Lorenzo Frattini for this work on the updating of the Code of Conduct that needed to be revised to include the new orientations of the Holy See concerning counter-witness and inappropriate conduct for clerics and religious. Fr. Lorenzo Frattini also devoted himself to the Actualisation of the Directory of the General Administration (DGA) to allow for the Chapter decisions regarding the Secretariats and the revision of the Code of Conduct, especially the final part of the Directory dealing with “particular situations of personnel”. Having consulted broadly with the General Secretariats and with a jurist, the GC will approve and publish the new versions of the Code of Conduct and the Directory of the General Administration at the next Consulta meeting in October.

Indicating the orientations given by the General Chapter (CA 2015, No. 54), the GC invites all circumscriptions to choose one or two confreres capable of guiding the communities in the study of the Code of Conduct. Furthermore, at their annual continental meetings should indicate one or two confreres already qualified or ready to become qualified, who might act as continental or sub-continental reference persons in conducting investigations as laid down in the Code of Conduct Nos. 32.1 and 36.1a-b.

3. Meeting of the managing teams of the Comboni Family

On 2 June last, the annual meeting was held at the Generalate of the Comboni Missionary Sisters of the Coordinator of the Central Committee of the Comboni Lay Missionaries and the members of the General Councils of the Comboni Missionaries, the Comboni Missionary Sisters and the Secular Comboni Missionaries. It was a busy day with times for prayer, sharing, reflection, planning meals together and the celebration of Holy Mass. The MCCJ had just concluded their Symposium on the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute and its fruits and the inspirations received during the Symposium.

Fifteen years after the publication of the letter “Collaboration for the Mission”, written together by the three General Councils in 2002, there is now a desire to take up again its intuitions, valuing the progress it has made, reinforcing some of its aspects and exploring new proposals for collaboration. The Comboni Lay Missionaries are now an integral part of the Comboni Family who wish to be open to all new forms of Comboni laity.

The publication of two joint letters, one for all members of the Institutes and a second one for those in charge of Formation, will express the work and orientations that resulted from this meeting.

4. Nomination

The group of confreres appointed in the Consulta of last March will be joined by Fr. Franz Weber (DSP) as a consultant of the Central Commission for the revision of the Rule of Life.

The central commission and the group of consultants will gather in Rome from 30 June to 3 July to reflect on how to animate the entire Institute towards revisiting and revising the Rule of Life. At the conclusion of the meeting, the commission will write a letter to motivate all the confreres to become involved in this journey of reflection and discernment.

5. General Secretariat for the Mission

5.1. Following the meeting of the General Council with the members of the Secretariat for the Mission, decisions were reached regarding corrections and additions to the Statutes of the Secretariat for the Mission regarding the composition of the Secretariat in the continents (No. 4).

Corrections and additions:

4.1.4. Of the four Provincials responsible for the sector of the Mission in each continent or sub-continent, or of confreres chosen by the Continental Assembly of Provincials.

4.1.5. The general Secretariat, at the suggestion of the members of the Secretariat, could also send to the meetings, when necessary, confreres involved in particular sectors of the mission.

For this reason, the number in the preceding version which corresponds to No. 4.1.4 has been removed. However, one should bear in mind that the Statutes are ‘ad experimentum’ for three years and therefore subject to further revision.

5.2. In support of the letter of the General Secretariat for the Mission dated 8 June, 2017, the GC warmly invites the Circumscription Superiors and the provincial secretaries for the mission to send the General Secretary a report on the work already done and that which is intended to be done on the subject of the requalification of the missionary work and the reflection taking place. The reports should be sent to the General Secretary for the Mission not later than 31 August, 2017, to be elaborated in a single document to be presented at the next meeting of the General Secretariat for the Mission in October.

5.3. Following the same letter, the GC believes it opportune that each Continental Assembly of Provincials programmes the continental councils of the mission sector so that they may become an instrument, not only in the preparation of the continental assemblies but also of planning and evaluation of the continental work and a basis for the exchange of ideas and proposals concerning continental priorities.

6. Logo and Cross for the Institute

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Institute, the GC has considered whether it is appropriate that we should have a common logo and cross which may become a sign of our belonging to our Institute. Having heard the views of the Circumscription Superiors during the meeting of last February, the GC is continuing the process of designing a logo and cross for the Institute. Various suggestions will be sent to the confreres through their Superior, for their comments. The communications service (Annuario 2017, p. 25) awaits the comments and contributions of all the confreres. As regards the cross, the GC is preparing a number of designs that will be presented in due course.

7. Solidarity and communion

The General Council invites all the members of the Institute to continue their prayerful following of the difficult situations in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Congo. These countries are going through very violent times. Pope Francis had decided to visit South Sudan next October to show his solidarity with the suffering people but has had to cancel the trip. However, he has shown his concern through assistance to various projects of the Church in that country. Let us also offer our concern to the people and the confreres who live out the mission of the Institute in those places.

8. Commitments and journeys of the GC

Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie

01 – 10 July:                         visit to the province of Portugal

13 July – 15 August:             visit to the province of Brazil

17 August to – 12 September: visit to the province of Mozambique

16 – 20 September:  in Limone for a meeting of the Comboni Bishops

Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins

03 – 11 July:                         spiritual exercises

17 – 24 July:                         in Bressanone

31 August – 11 September:  in Portugal

12 September – 2 October:  visit to the province of South Africa

Fr. Pietro Ciuciulla

28 July – 16 August              visit to the province of South Sudan

24 August – 22 September:  visit to the NAP with Fr. Rogelio

22 September – 1 October:  in Colombia for the assembly

of the bursars

Fr. Rogelio Bustos Juárez

06 – 30 July:                         in Portugal for the Formators’ assembly

01 – 21 August:                    in London to study English

24 August – 15 September:  visit to the NAP with Fr. Pietro

15 – 28 September:              in Mexico

Bro. Alberto Lamana Cónsola

01 – 21 July:                         visit to the province of Portugal

20 – 30 August:                    in Mozambique

01 – 9 September:                spiritual exercises

11 – 15 September:              in Nairobi

General Secretary’s Office

Hard copies of the new 2017 ANNUARIO are being sent from Verona to all circumscriptions.

This time, seeing the widespread use of the monthly digital version, just one copy is being printed for each community. Some spare copies are being sent to Provincials. The General Secretary’s Office wishes to thank all the confreres who have collaborated to keep the text up to date.

First professions

Nampula (MO) 24 June 2017 (6 professions)

Sc. Carlos Fernando (MO)

Sc. Gabriel Panguanito Hilario Filipe (MO)

Sc. Manuel Novais Quembo (MO

Sc. Moises Zacarias Daniel (MO)

Sc. Nelson da Costa Mariosse (MO)

Bro. Pedrito Mario (MO)

Ordinations to the priesthood

Fr. Tehou Prosper (T)            Cotonou (Benin)                 17/06/2017

Holy Redeemer Guild

July                  01 – 15 KE           16 – 31 M

August             01 – 15 MO          16 – 31 MZ

September       01 – 15 NAP        16 – 30 PCA

Prayer intentions

July – That, as members of the Comboni Family, we may be faithful to Comboni’s dream of a collaboration network with the mission at its centre, serving the poorest and most abandoned. Lord hear us.

August – That, following the example of Daniel Comboni, we may learn to love all those we meet as a gift from God. Lord hear us.

September – That we may be able to carry with faith and hope the cross that is given to us, wholeheartedly believing that “the works of God are born at the foot of the Cross”. Lord hear us.


Provincial Assembly 2017

On Monday after Pentecost we began our 2017 Provincial Assembly at Josefstal with a hymn to the Holy Spirit. We really did need the help of the Spirit of God as there are various items in the province that need to be answered and require reflection. There were thirty confreres present at the meeting as well as some confreres on holiday from other provinces. Their presence was an enrichment for us all. Fr. Gregor Schmidt presented the challenges of the mission in South Sudan where a civil war is going on.

The main work of the assembly was that of the Six-year Plan of the Province. All the proposals and corrections brought forward by the confreres were handed to the commission that will prepare the new edition and will send it to the Provincial Council before the end of August. Meanwhile, the reflection on the question of a missionary presence in Europe continues.

Besides the reports of the provincial superior and the provincial bursar, some confreres also reported on meetings of the Institute or of Europe at which they participated. There was no lack of sharing together, of prayer and informal meetings in the evenings.

For the first time, some of our women employees were invited and they spoke to us of their work. Mrs Brigitte Rolfes presented the new website of the province, Mrs Paula Weis spoke of her work in the procure for the missions and Mrs Anna Uhl explained her work in our centre for sick and elderly confreres at Ellwangen. These reports were very well received.

We concluded the assembly on Thursday, 8 June, with a Eucharistic celebration during which we remembered especially those confreres of ours who are celebrating religious anniversaries this year. Two of them recounted the story of their vocation to the assembly.

The confreres complained that, due to lack of time, it was not possible to organise a community outing. On the whole, the assembly was a positive experience for all. Everyone returned to their various posts feeling happy and content.


‘Aguiluchos’ magazine celebrates its 60 years

On 11 May last, the Comboni magazine ‘Aguiluchos’ celebrated its 60th year of publication with a remarkable commemoration at which a dozen collaborators, illustrators and editorial personnel participated together with about a hundred guests.

In his welcoming address, the director of Aguiluchos, Fr. Jaime Pi Calvera, underlined the importance of “giving a new face to the magazine”, directing this invitation to all those who ensure that this magazine is read by many children in Spain It was also an occasion for thanking God for its sixty years as a publication.

José González Torices, author of the section of the magical animals of Noah, who worked for many years as a writer for children and young people, emphasised the importance of “hearing in order to make people think and thinking in order to make people hear”, affirming the need to “give rise to emotions and hope and to attract by means of sound literature of a high literary standard”. The characteristic of his stories is that of transmitting human and Christian values through literature. The illustrator Armando Salas, father of the extra-terrestrial comic Flip – who was 35 years old in May – said that to produce each month a comic like Flip is an opportunity and also a responsibility: “to write the dialogue I begin with the purpose, that is its moral content, and then I begin to develop the plot”.

Also present at the seminary were Mons. Anastasio Gil, President of the Pontifical works in Spain. The event ended with the words of the provincial, Fr. Pedro Andrés, who stressed the need to continue being an example and an impulse for the younger generations of today.


Provincial Assembly

The annual Ethiopia Province Assembly took place at Hawassa from March 14th to 16th. Since the year 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of our Institute, we were invited, in the introductory presentation of Fr. Sixtus, to participate in the spirit of this ‘Jubilee’ year. The Comboni Lay Missionaries present in the Province participated throughout the whole Assembly: they had a time to address the Assembly as also did the new bishop of Hawassa, Mons. Roberto Bergamaschi, who explained his vision for the future of the local Church of Hawassa, indicating the contribution he expects from us. Moreover, Sr. Daniela, vice-provincial of the CMS, representing the Provincial Sr Mariolina, read the input sent by her. The most important contribution was given by Fr. Baccanelli who offered us an overall historical picture of the development of the Institute of the MCCJ since its foundation. Fr. Cavallini, on his part, illustrated the course of action and concrete indications to be implemented in the Six Year Plan.

Participants discussed and offered tangible suggestions to be considered by the Provincial Council on the following issues: a) the building of a Centre for mission and vocation promotion in the recently acquired property of Hawassa; b) the handing over of the mission of Dongora to the Vicariate during the period of the Plan; c) the need to study some income-generating projects to favour the process of self-reliance of the Province.

The Assembly also elected Fr. Juan Núñez as the new Probus Vir. In the final Eucharist the Provincial expressed much gratitude to the confreres for the spiritual moments we shared and for the proposals made for the future wellbeing of the Province.


Solemn celebration for the 150th

On 18 June in Verona the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute was celebrated with a solemn Eucharist in the Basilica of San Zeno, the one-time African Bishop of Verona.

Among those present were Superior General Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse with two Assistants, the Italian Provincial Fr. Giovanni Munari and many confreres from other nearby communities, Comboni Sisters, Seculars, youth from the Verona and Padua GIM, the Provincials of the Mazza College and the Stigmatines, diocesan priests and civil authorities. There was also of course a large congregation of the faithful present. The Eucharist was marked by the addresses of the Bishop, the Superior general and the Provincial. There was also a display arranged in the cloister showing the history of our Institute from its origins until today.

The Eucharistic celebration was recorded and transmitted by Telepace. There was a fair amount of coverage of the event by the media.

What a summer (Ma… che estate) … and Filmafrica!

On our premises, in the evenings from 16 to 22 July, as many as eleven African films will be shown (including documentaries). The event has been organised by the Segnavento Association, with the collaboration of the Nigrizia NGO Foundation, the African Museum and Acse. It is the actualisation of the competition won from the ministry of resources, culture and tourism.

MA… che estate” freely invites all to attend the display, reserving for itself the evening of 21 and 22 for jazz music and a guided tour of the African Museum and an ethnic buffet. On Sunday 23 there will be a great celebration of the African communities in Verona with workshops for families conducted by VIP Clown, the presentation of the communities, a parade of African dress and creations, music and the sampling of typical African dishes. Our magazines and activities will also receive due publicity.


Installation of the new Archbishop of Nampula

Mons. Inácio Saúre, a Consolata Missionary and hitherto Bishop of Tete, is the new Archbishop of Nampula. He was installed on 11 June with a joyful and friendly Eucharistic celebration in the cathedral of Our Lady of Fatima.

Our presence in Mozambique, as it’s well known, began in late 1946 with Fr. Giuseppe Zambonardi. The bishop of Nampula, Mons. De Andrade, entrusted to him and five other confreres who joined him the following year, the entire area of Mossuril. Ever since then, seventy years of Comboni missionary presence have been intertwined with the history of Mozambique.

After the Eucharist was over, in an emotional message, the new Archbishop stressed his episcopal motto, “Console, console my People” (Is 40, 1), and added: “As a Consolata missionary and as a pastor, I am called to bring to the people the true consolation of God”.

Mons. Saúre is from Balama originally, in Cabo Delgado and was born on 2 March 1960. He was ordained priest on 8 December 1998 and was Bishop of Tete since 22 May 2011.


Celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Institute’s Foundation

The anniversary was celebrated on 1 June, at the provincial house, in the presence of the Comboni Missionaries of Lima, the Comboni Sisters, a CLM group and the pastoral agents of the Comboni parish of Christ, Missionary of the Father, benefactors and friends, a total of about sixty people.

During the ceremony of thanksgiving, offertory gifts of soil, seeds and water were brought to the altar symbolising the seeds of the Gospel sown over many years by so many confreres on whom the Institute could rely to make the dream of Comboni come true. The flags of the four continents in which we are present were also presented together with the latest CAM book to be published, “Entre memoria y profecía”, that sums up in simple form the journey of these 150 years. Thanks were expressed for the help of Fr. Jorge García who provided the material for this commemorative act and that of Fr. Luis Weiss who prepared the text of the history of the province which next year will celebrate eighty years of missionary presence.

On Sunday 4 June, the solemnity of Pentecost, the celebration moved to the shrine of the Lord of Miracles in Lima, preceded by a procession through the streets of the centre of the city. The church was overflowing with people: friends, the faithful and benefactors … the entire Comboni Family and many religious and diocesan priests. The solemn Eucharist that began to the sound of drums and dancing by a group of African scholastics was accompanied by the choir of the parish of Christ, Missionary of the Father, and concluded with a beautiful hymn composed for the occasion by the choir of the Comboni parish of Chorrillos.


Meeting of the families for the 150th Anniversary of the Institute

On Saturday, 10 June, the Comboni Missionaries in Poland met at the Warsaw house to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute. It was an opportunity to invite the families of the missionaries who, having come from various parts, spent the Saturday afternoon listening to missionary stories and experiences.

On the following day everyone participated in a Mass celebrated by the Bishop Emeritus of the diocese, Mons. Kazimierz Romaniuk. It was also attended by a large number of Comboni Missionaries present in Poland, priests and religious as well as several Combonis on holiday from their mission in Ecuador, Chad, Congo and South Sudan.


Cenacles celebrate 30 years

The Cenacles of Missionary Prayer (COM) have celebrated their thirty years of existence on 1 May 2017 at the X National Meeting on the theme of “Missionaries of Jesus with Mary” at Vila Nova de Famalicão. Also present were more than 200 members of the Cenacles from the dioceses of Braga, Oporto, Aveiro, Viseu and Lisbon.

The Superior general and the provincial sent messages for the event during which testimonies were given by Sr Zélia (Reparation Missionary of the sacred Heart of Jesus) and by Bro. José Manuel Salvador Duarte There was also a lively debate followed by the celebration of the Eucharist and a shared meal. It was a day of happiness and sharing.

The Cenacles, an initiative of Fr. Claudino Ferreira Gomes, are present in various countries of Europe, Africa and America.

Comboni Family Day

About fifty members of the Comboni Lay Missionaries, the Secular Comboni Missionaries, the Comboni Missionary Sisters and the Comboni Missionaries gathered to celebrate the first Comboni Family Day on 10 June, 2017 (Portugal National Day) at Óis da Ribeira. After a Mass of thanksgiving for the 150 years of the Institute, presided over by the provincial and followed by a shared meal, the participants spent the afternoon resting and sharing experiences on the banks of the Lago di Pateira de Óis.

Let us pray for our beloved dead

THE FATHERS: Mariko Lawrence, of Fr. Moses Samuel Huruwella (T); Mponda João, of Fr. Mponda João Mponda (MO).

THE MOTHERS: Mery, of Fr. Gian Battista Moroni (MZ); Pilar Martín, of Fr. Juan Manuel Rodríguez Martín (BR).

THE SISTERS: Maria Isolina, of Fr. José Júlio Martins Marques (MO); Lucia, of Fr. Luigi Girardi (I).

THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. M. Irma Stigliani; Sr. Luisa Manuel and Sr. Giuseppina Lupo, who died in a road accident on 24 June, 2017,in Brazil; Sr. M. Erminia Passavanti; Sr. Radegonda Corno; Sr. M. Giuseppa Panza.