Monday, October 19, 2020
The Comboni Missionaries' first ministry in South America began in 1938 with our arrival in Peru. By 1979 our mission had expanded to include Mexico, Ecuador, and Guatemala. Today the Comboni Missionaries are in nine countries in Central and South America. In every place we serve, our mission is the same — to serve the forgotten and marginalized.
In Brazil, our missionaries provide pastoral care to people in the Amazon region while also advocating for human rights. In 1985, Fr. Ezechiele Ramin was killed defending the rights of farmers. He was declared a Martyr of Charity in 2017.
Regions of Peru were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our missionaries were able to provide oxygen and medical treatment to people who would otherwise receive no care at all. They were also able to distribute food to people in Trujillo — a very poor slum.
In Guatemala, our missionary priests and lay missionaries serve the indigenous people in San Luis Peten. We support a medical clinic, schools, and more.
At Holy Cross Parish in Los Angeles, a special group incorporates dance into their liturgical celebrations. Danza Azteca (Aztec Dancers) is a basic expression of artistic and cultural spirit of the native people of Mexico. For the Aztecs this tradition is a part of life. For this group at Holy Cross it is much more. One dancer commented, “The Danza Azteca helped me in many ways that helped me improve at home and at school. The reason why I joined the Danza Azteca is because I believe that this dance is very beautiful, religious, cultural and helps people improve in many ways.” They often perform at special events and feast day celebrations such as Our Lady of Guadalupe.