MONTHLY NEWSLETTER OF THE COMBONI MISSIONARIES OF THE HEART OF JESUS
Sc. Dossavi S. Mawulomi (Charlemagne) (T) / Lydenburg (RSA) 01.11.2019
Sc. Wedipo Paixão Silva (BR) / Mexico City (M) 18.01.2020
Fr. Fazili Makanzu Germain (CN) / Kindu (DRC) 02.02.2020
Fr Mbala Topa André (CN) / Kinshasa (DRC) 15.02.2020
Fr. Nkwe Lugiri Claude (CN) / Kinshasa (DRC) 15.02.2020
Fr. Juan González Núñez, Addis Ababa through the eyes of its founders, National Archives Library Agency, Addis Ababa, January 2019. Fruit of many years spent as a missionary in Ethiopia, the book retraces, in a passionate and highly readable form, contacts with the Ethiopian people and its culture.
Fr. Juan González Núñez, From Finfinne to Addis Ababa. A history of the Catholic Church in the capital of Ethiopia, Comboni Center Publications, Addis Ababa, January 2020. In this book, Fr. Juan seeks to arouse the reader’s interest in the Catholic history of Ethiopia which may consequently be enriched by debate and further research.
Fr. Giuseppe Crea, Elementi di psicologia interculturale. Attraversare i confini del pregiudizio con un’ottica psicoeducativa, textbook, ed. Franco Angeli, pp. 224.
The present debate on migration phenomena has increased interest in cultural diversity and the processes of integration, and has motivated reflection on how to function in the ambit of intercultural dialogue where it is required that good intentions be translated into attitudes and authentic life which foster coexistence that is both respectful and considerate towards the diversity in each person.
In this process, it is important to recognise the relevance of the psychological dimensions (cognitive, relational, behavioural, motivational, characterological) which, more than others, may be influenced by each person’s culture and which, at the same time, affect how people live together.
This book by Fr. Giuseppe Crea brings to the forefront the psycho-educative approach to how different cultures relate to each other. This may be useful from the point of view of formation, especially for those interested in the observation of intercultural facts in their psychological embodiments: missionaries, volunteers, formators, educators of welcoming communities and, in brief, all those who recognise in their work the urgent need for a new vision of mission that brings to the forefront the synergy of interactions between various cultures, where differences become the real protagonists of the mission.
The structure of the book: together with a theoretical analysis of the cross-cultural aspects of the personality and of interpersonal behaviours, each chapter presents clinical examples that help to clarify the points of contact in the psychology of all cultures. Furthermore, the text is enriched by work forms that are useful in developing specific competences for those involved in an operative mission in favour of inter-culture.
This is, therefore, a work that encourages the observation of the psychic facts of cultural identities while also calling for the uprooting oneself from one’s identifying framework so as to undertake the adventure of encountering those who are different, learning to “cross the borders of indifference and prejudice”, aware that cultural differences are not so much barriers to be knocked down as aspects that characterise the identity of every individual.
Holy Redeemer Guild
March 01 – 07 CO // 08 – 15 E // 16 – 31 DSP
April 01 – 15 CN // 16 – 30 EC
March – That, in their ministry, women may continue to offer support to families and create a sense of belonging in the communities where they live. Lord, hear us.
April – That cooperation with all people of good will may stimulate each one of us to contribute, in our particular ministry of service to the Gospel, to a more just world and a more dignified life for all. Lord, hear us.
Comboni Pact on the Common Home
The Combonis in Brazil, in dialogue with the local Church, are trying to concretise paths of commitment and cooperation to take up the challenges of the Amazonia Synod.
In January and February, they held three retreats in each sector of the Province, occasions for prayer, sharing and reflection.
One of the more remarkable moments of these meetings was the signing of the Comboni Pact on the Common Home. This is a personal and collective agreement that takes its inspiration from the Pact of the Catacombs for the Common Home, agreed by many bishops, priests, men and women religious and lay people, during the Amazonia Synod. In Brazil, this commitment has been rewritten in a Comboni fashion, based upon the challenges taken up by the communities of the Province.
We now propose it to all our confreres, renewing our commitment and working out together how we can live it at Institute level.
a) Assuming the profound conversion to Christ and his Gospel of our mission plans and structures in Amazzonia;
b) Consolidating our Comboni presence in Amazzonia. Incarnating in our Amazonian parishes and presences, a Church that is prophetic, Samaritan, Magdalen and Marian (cf. Final Document, No. 22);
c) Celebrating the faith, walking with the people of God, in communion with all of creation, contemplating the cosmic dimension of the Eucharistic celebration and making progress in the inculturation of the liturgy and of spirituality;
d) Studying the paradigm of Integral Ecology, rejecting, in our missionary praxis, false solutions and shortcuts, to create an economy based on just and sustainable relations;
e) Removing from our communities all forms of colonialist, racist, patriarchal and exclusive mentality, and valuing cultural differences;
f) Insisting upon a pastoral of presence that is friendly towards the poor and close to their life, using a style of life pastoral that is increasingly ecumenical and synodal. Reinterpreting the Good Shepherd’s charism of St. Daniel Comboni;
g) Being committed to ensuring that women begin new processes of leadership in our communities and in the Church;
h) Assuming, in the face of the avalanche of consumerism, a style of life that is joyously sober, simple and in solidarity with the people who have little or nothing; reducing the production of waste and the use of plastic, and fostering the production and commercialisation of agro-ecological products and using, as far as possible, public means of transport;
i) Stimulating the Churches of the global North to come together in condemning the economic model of the sacking of Amazzonia, making the companies and governments of those countries feel more responsible for the violations that occur in our lands; supporting especially the campaign for disinvestment in predatory mining;
l) Keeping alive the memory of the martyrs and assuming with them and the original peoples the commitment to defend their territories. (Fortaleza, São Paulo e Manaus, January-February 2020)
Meeting of Circumscription Superiors with the GC
The Mass presided over by Superior General Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse, on the morning of Sunday 16 February, at the Generalate in Rome, marked the beginning of the meeting of all Circumscription Superiors for the triennium 2020-2022. The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate the work of these confreres in their service of authority and communion among themselves and with the General Administration.
After a day’s retreat directed by the Claretian Superior General Fr. Mathew Vattamattam, the first week allowed time for the General Administration to present the figure of the Circumscription Superior and the instruments at his disposal.
Sunday was dedicated to a relaxing trip to the city of Viterbo.
The second week was dedicated to themes concerning formation, finance, personnel and their accompaniment, concluding with preparation for the next General Chapter which is due to have as its theme: “The Comboni Missionaries in Communion with the whole Church to Proclaim, Witness and Live the Gospel”.
The solemn closure of the meeting took place at the celebration of Mass on Sunday 1 March, presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Cardinal Ayuso Guixot takes possession of his title as a Cardinal
Late in the afternoon of Saturday 8 February, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, solemnly took possession of his Diakonia of St. Jerome of Charity in Rome. Among those present were Vicar General, Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins, accompanied by about ten Comboni Missionaries.
The Rector, Rev. Filippo Goyret, welcomed the new cardinal at the door of the church for the kissing and veneration of the cross. The Bull of Assignment was read by Rev. Felipe Luis Navarro Marfá, Rector of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross who concelebrated the Mass with Cardinal Ayuso, Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoade Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for legislative texts, Mons. Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage and Fr. Paulin Batairwa Kubuya, Secretary and Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, respectively. A further twenty priests also concelebrated among whom were the collaborators of Cardinal Ayuso in the decastery and Fr. Jeremias. Others in attendance were Archbishop Francisco Javier Lozano, Apostolic Nuncio, and the Slovak community based at the church of St. Jerome of Charity. The rite was directed by the Pontifical master of Ceremonies Mons. Vincenzo Peroni.
Cardinal Ayuso opened his homily by thanking Pope Francis for having assigned him “a church so rich in art and history. We cannot fail to notice the beauty of this church. It is indeed a treasure chest of precious artistic treasures that also bear witness to the spiritual riches of those who have gone before us and who desired, through artistic expression, to render glory to God”.
Perpetual vows and diaconate
On 18 January the CAM community in Mexico City celebrated a feast-day of thanksgiving for the perpetual profession of the Brazilian scholastic Wedipo Paixão Silva, who is doing his missionary service in this community. He was accompanied by the community of novices, the members of the CAM community and a group of employees and friends, Wedipo consecrated his life to the mission in the Comboni Institute.
One week later, on 26 January, we again met at the chapel of the Xochimilco continental novitiate for Wedipo’s ordination to the diaconate which was conferred by Mons. Andrés Vargas, first bishop of the new diocese of Xochimilco. The Comboni Family was present in the persons of the Comboni Sisters and the Comboni Lay Missionaries, as were many friends of the communities of Mexico City, Sahuayo and Comalapa, Ver.
We thank God for the gift of Wedipo to the missions, to our Institute and to the Province of Mexico and we wish him a missionary future overflowing with blessings.
Fifty years of priestly and missionary life
On 21 March 2020, in the city of Celaya, Gto., a service will be held to celebrate and thank God for the fifty years of priestly and missionary life of Fr. Jorge Martínez V. Presently at the mission of Oasis, in Guadalajara. Fr. Jorge spent more than twenty years of his missionary apostolate in Uganda and Kenya and served the Province of Mexico for a number of years in the post of Provincial Bursar. We ask the Lord to continue to bless him in this period of his life in which he is called to struggle daily with his illness. Heartfelt congratulations.
XXXII Mundo Negro Fraternity Prize 2019
From 31 January to 2 February 2020, the XXXII Africa Encounter was held in Madrid, during which the Mundo Negro Fraternity Prize 2019 was awarded.
Organised by Mundo Negro magazine and the Combonis of the Spanish province, the meeting this year was on the theme “Generation Africa, Youth in Transformation”. The stress was placed upon young Africans of today who have the capacity to transform society and those willing to do so but cannot, either because they do not have the opportunity or because this has been denied them.
Mundo Negro awarded the Fraternity Prize 2019 to twenty nine year-old Cameroon activist Achaleke Christian Leke for his work on conflict resolution, especially among young people affected by Boko Haram terrorism and former young detainees: “To achieve peace we must educate our young people so that they may understand that, apart from our race, religion or culture, we are all equal”. Christian carries out all this work of liberating young people from the world of violence through the organisation Local Youth Corner (LYC) of which he is the national coordinator.
One of the conferences we had during those days of reflection was given by Fr. Jorge Naranjo, a Comboni and Director General of “Comboni College of Science and Technology” in Khartoum (Sudan), who spoke of the importance today of the role of this institution of the Church in the field of the youth education. Our commitment to the African youth involves, for us Combonis, remembering the great efforts made by Daniel Comboni in the XIX century, to ransom the weakest in the society of his Vicariate of Central Africa.
The concluding Eucharist was celebrated at the parish of Holy Trinity in Madrid, in the presence of more than 500 people who thanked the youth of Africa for their witness that, as the title of the meeting indicates, are young people who transform.
Afterwards, the young prize-winner Achaleke Christian Leke, and Fr. Jorge Naranjo left for Granada and Barcelona where they will give conferences and testimonies on their work and will meet the media.
Visit by the Superior General and an Assistant
From 6 January to 7 February 2020, the Province was visited officially by the Superior General, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse, and the Assistant General, Fr. Pietro Ciuciulla. The Provincial Superior, being in contact with the various communities, arranged for Fr. Tesfaye and Fr. Pietro to visit all the communities and meet all the confreres. They managed in almost all the communities to have a personal encounter with each confrere individually and all the community members together, thus receiving feedback with comments on the situation of the communities.
In his messages to all the confreres, Father General stressed the necessity of reconciliation for profitable community life and, for the same reason, he suggested that the confreres hold regular community and pastoral meetings. In particular, he stressed prayer life, both personal and community, saying that a community that prays together, stays together.
The Province is very grateful for this visit which is a sign of communion with the Institute as a whole and an encouragement for the confreres in the various missionary contexts of the Province.
Opening of “Limone Medical Centre” at Mbuya
On 7 February 2020, Fr. Tesfaye and Fr. Ciuciulla inaugurated the “Limone Medical Centre” at the former seat of Leadership, at Mbuya, in a peaceful environment away from the noise of the city. The Medical Centre is an initiative of the Province aimed at providing health assistance to the communities of Mbuya parish and the surrounding areas. The Centre will also provide emergency assistance to the confreres of the Province who may need special attention and treatment. We thank God for this important achievement of the Province.
LET US PRAY FOR OUR BELOVED DEAD
THE FATHERS: Abel Dimanche, of Bro. Godfrey-Abel Dimanche (EC); Segundo Osvaldo of Fr. Sergio Ivan Paucar (EC).
THE MOTHERS: Ako Bumbo, of Fr. Kondo Komivi Antoine (T); Maria Concepción, of Fr. Gustavo Covarrubias Rodríguez (M); Maria Rosa of Fr. Cabascango Ulcuango Félix Angel (EC); Maria, of Fr. Gino Pastore (MO); María Rosa, of Fr. Félix Angel Cabascango (EC).
THE BROTHER: Charles Pacutho, of Fr. Wokorach P'Mony Raphael (KE).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. M. Elena Filippi, Sr. Alma Giuseppina Pizzocchero, Sr. M. Raffaella Figini, Sr. M. Gabriella Cartoncini, Sr. Adeodata Marin, Sr. Giannaluisa Castiglioni.