Celebration of the International Day of the Comboni Lay Missionaries


Monday, December 14, 2020
Yesterday, December 13, we celebrated our Day as Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM). This year, due to the pandemic, the face-to-face celebrations have been quite difficult and reduced. But from Europe there was an initiative to celebrate our day together via Internet. And so we did.

We gathered more than 100 CLM from all over the world to share our feast and celebrate our vocation together. It is true that our colleagues in Africa had more difficulties in joining together due to the problems of the Internet.

We started with a greeting in several languages by Carmen Aranda (coordinator of the European committee) and we could remember, in a small video made in Brazil, the moment when Pope Francis greeted us during our international assembly held in Rome. It was an emotional moment. Afterwards, we prayed for a while together using each one’s own language. We make present our different realities whether personal, familiar or missionary service that are and have been present during this year. We prayed to the Lord for the difficulties that the whole planet is going through and the particular difficult situations in some countries, as well as to thank Him for all that we have learned during this time and for the moments of solidarity that we have experienced during the year.

We also had the rest of the Comboni Family very much in mind, who were present congratulating us on this day. Then we continued to share the presentation videos that the different countries had sent for this special day. In them we could meet the brothers and sisters of the different countries and see part of their missionary work as well as some music and typical things from each country.

Once this emotional moment of sharing our daily lives was over, we went on to talk individually and in small groups with a new application that not many of us knew.

This was a very beautiful time where we could say hello and share a moment of conversation together, see companions that we only meet in international meetings or meet old community members. It was also an ideal moment to meet new CLMs in a personal way. With the different languages we got along and with the help among us we understood each other. There was always someone to act as a bridge and help in translation.

We ended officially with a farewell message from Alberto as coordinator of the Central Committee and then many of us stayed for almost an hour more talking with each other in a more relaxed way. It was a very beautiful and emotional moment that helps us to grow in our common vocation and to make present the realities of all the communities with which we share life, their hopes, difficulties and dreams.

We thank all the people who made this moment possible and all those who were present and prayed for us during that day.

Greetings to all of you!
Alberto de la Portilla
Coordinator of the CLM Central Committee