GENERAL NOTES - Consulta October 2018

1. Appointment

The GC appoints Fr. Girau Pellicer José Antonio second formator at the Cape Coast scholasticate as from 1 January 2019.

2. Intercapitular Assembly September 2018

The Intercapitular Assembly which is “a meeting of the members of the Council with all the provincial superiors and the heads of the secretariats… to verify the implementation of the Chapter’s decisions and to study new ways for their continued realisation.” (RL 144), was held in Rome from 9 to 29 September.

We in the GC wish to thank all the participants and those who contributed to the smooth running of the Assembly; we again thank the two confrere secretaries and the three confrere translators whose commitment facilitated the work in the hall. Our sincere thanks also to all the confreres and workers of the Generalate who spared no effort to assist all who were involved in the Assembly. Finally, we wish to thank all the confreres and all the members of the Comboni Family who sustained us with their prayers.

The content of the Assembly have been published in the October 2018 issue of Familia Comboniana.

3. A book on JPIC and the World Social Forum

A book entitled “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, by those who took part in the World Social Forum (WSF) and the Comboni Forum (CF) in March 2018 in Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), was launched at the Intercapitular Assembly. The book – printed in Italian, English and Spanish – includes reflections and experiences of the Comboni Family in the last eleven years in the sector of justice, peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), and indicates possible pathways for the future. We hope the book will be well publicised in both the printed and digital versions, on our websites and in our magazines, in our communities and houses of formation. We trust it will become a supplement for moments of reflection and retreats, to improve our pastoral in the field of JPIC and help us as we seek new pathways of ministry and new paradigms of mission in its social and environmental dimensions.

4. Letter to the Comboni Brothers

The four reference Brothers of the respective (sub) continents and the General Assistant Brother who met in Rome for the Intercapitular Assembly have sent a short message to the Brothers to evaluate progress since the last Chapter. At this important moment in the life of the Institute, with its lights and shadows, the message is intended especially to emphasise the signs of hope in the present time from the perspective of ministerial mission.

5. Rule of Life

The General Council, in evaluating the process of Revisiting and Revising the Rule of Life, wishes to thank all the circumscriptions, communities and confreres for the work done up to now. We are indeed happy with it and we encourage everyone to go ahead with the process.

Analysing the proposals emerging from the Intercapitular Assembly as to whether or not the work of the circumscriptions should be extended until December next year, the General Council, together with the coordinator of the commission, believes it convenient to adhere to the established schedule. Proposals for revision must reach the central commission before the end of February 2019. Any circumscription which, for internal reasons, may be late in doing so, may send its work to the commission before the end of May.

The central commission will operate in two stages: a selected commission (the coordinator and the two secretaries) during the month of March and the full commission in the month of June 2019.

The General Council again encourages the individual confreres and the communities so to continue with enthusiasm this process of revisiting and revising the RL that we may not only achieve a revision of the document but also come to live with greater commitment our vocation and mission.

6. New Vademecum

Removing it from what was formerly the second part of the Directory of the General Administration, on 22 October, the GC approved the new Vademecum for the administrative management of particular situations of personnel which will be made available to all circumscription superiors in the various languages.

7. Canonical processes

The General Council, during this Consulta, has examined the canonical situations of various confreres and wishes to thank those circumscription superiors and the confreres themselves who collaborate so attentively and actively in these processes. Nevertheless, they must also point out that, sometimes, collaboration is quite lacking and, in some cases, entirely absent. At times, confreres are left to themselves, with no accompaniment on the part of the Institute. It also happens that the period of exclaustration or absence from community comes to and end but no one sees to the matter of taking the steps necessary to “regularise” the position of those confreres who find themselves in an irregular position. The GC encourages the circumscription superiors or their delegates in the work of the canonical processes or, in the case of confreres in difficulty, to accompany the “exclaustrated” confreres or those “absent from community” so that the time requested for vocational and missionary discernment may reach a good conclusion within the established period.

8. Year of Interculturality

According to the Guide for the Implementation of the XVIII General Chapter and its themes of on-going formation, 2019 will be the year of interculturality (cf. CA ’15, 47, 1-6). To carry out this proposal, the General Secretariat for Formation (GSF) has prepared supplements for personal and community reflection and prayer, to assist the whole Institute to study this theme, bearing in mind the riches of inter-culture lived by the Institute. “Multi-culture is a grace that has been part of the ‘charismatic patrimony’ of our Institute ever since its foundation” (RV 18).

To assist each confrere, each community and circumscription in this journey, the GSF has organised a workshop in Rome to run from 20 to 27 January 2019. Each circumscription will send a representative to this workshop, possibly the person who, in the Secretariat for Formation, is responsible for formation or accompanies on-going formation so that he may then animate the whole of the circumscription on the theme of interculturality: organising, accompanying, evaluating and making known the results of the work. This work of animation will be organised especially with the preparation of the community superiors and according to chosen modalities, bearing in mind the local situations: one community at a time or a number of communities together etc. The process on the theme of interculturality is a journey of on-going formation: there will be times for reflection, attending to the challenges that we face, of searching for instruments to make this gift bear fruit for our growth, at the personal level, the level of community life and that of missionary witness.

This seminar has as its objective to enable the participants to have an experience of interculturality and to reflect on past experiences, using a methodology similar to that of the Ratio Missionis. This will then lead each community to choose concretely how to live this gift, to describe this commitment and insert it into its community charter.

Furthermore, a letter will be sent from the GC/GSF containing the motivations and practical orientations to live deeply this year of interculturality.

We shall also have other instruments of animation on the level of the General Direction. E.g. printed material-supplements on the theme of interculturality through Familia Comboniana, already published messages and articles such as the Limone Symposium and the intervention of Fr. Mileto Palmiro at the Intercapitular, and new initiatives. The GC wishes to encourage continental and circumscription initiatives to increase our understanding of the theme.

9. Projects presented to the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI)

Due to comments received by the GC, it is now established that all confreres requesting finance for projects they present to the CEI, apart from the approval of the local Ordinary, must also obtain approval from their Provincial Councils and also the General Council.

10. Journeys and commitments of the GC

Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie

30 October – 10 November       Poland (visit and spiritual exercises)

21 – 23 November       USG - Ariccia

24 Nov. – 16 December      Visit to the province of Peru with Fr. Alcides Costa

17 December       CLM General Assembly

Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins

19 Nov. – 15 December      Visit to Sudan

Fr. Pietro Ciuciulla

5 – 15 November         Visit to the province of Togo-Ghana-Benin

26 – 29 November      Financial Council

27 – 30 November       Provincial Assembly, Italy

P. Alcides Costa

24 Nov. – 16 December      Visit to the province of Peru with Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse

Bro. Alberto Lamana Cónsola

13 Nov. – 10 December      In Paris studying French

Perpetual professions

Sc. Kasereka A. Wasingya (CN)     Cairo-Zamalek (EG)      07/10/2018

Sc. Antonello Giovanni (I)              Cairo-Zamalek (EG)      07/10/2018

Priestly ordinations

Fr. Wamalwa Kelly Maino (KE)    Kitale (KE)      13/10/2018

Holy Redeemer Guild

November                01 – 15 SS  16 – 30 T

December                 01 – 15 PE  16 – 31 U

Prayer intentions

November – For the Lay Comboni Missionaries as they celebrate their VI General Assembly, that they may renew their commitment for life to the mission, accepting the challenges of today and giving themselves in a way that is truly lay and Comboni. Lord hear us.

December – That we may allow the light of Christ incarnate to shine in us as we proclaim that light to all who await the Lord in the darkness and solitude of suffering. Lord hear us.


Fr. José Joaquim L. Pedro, Rhetoric and Orality in 2Tm 4,1-8: Hermeneutics in the light of the Hortatory Speeches of the Makhuwa people of Mozambique, CUEA (Catholic University of Eastern Africa), Nairobi 2017, pp. 270. With this doctorate thesis in Biblical Theology, with numerous supporting notes and a vast bibliography, Fr. José Joaquim examines the rhetoric and orality of some verses of the second letter of St. Paul to Timothy and proposes a comparison with the exhortative discourses of the Makhuwa people of Mozambique.


Bishops promote Comboni

The President and the Secretary of the Vietnamese Episcopal Conference have sent the Holy See an official request asking for Saint Daniel Comboni to be placed in the universal calendar of the Catholic Church so that his liturgical memorial may be celebrated everywhere in the Mass and the liturgy of the hours on 10 October. This was decided by the bishops of Vietnam at their recent Assembly at the end of September. The letter, addressed to Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, shows how the motivations of the request are based upon the life, witness and charism of the Holy Founder, evangeliser of the African peoples, animator of missionary collaboration between churches and model of an “Outgoing Church” to bring the “joy of the Gospel” to all people, as Pope Francis teaches. The letter was added to similar requests sent to Rome and may be more easily successful if more such requests were to be received from various countries. It is important to note the meaningful and tactful gesture of the Vietnamese bishops in signing their request with the date of 10 October, dies natalis and feast of St. Daniel.



As from the first of November, the Curia community will have a new superior: Fr. Celestino Prevedello, e-mail:

Celebration of the solemnity of St Daniel Comboni

On Wednesday, 10 October 2018, the community of the General Curia in Rome, together with their friends and benefactors, celebrated the solemnity of the Father and Founder of the Institute, Saint Daniel Comboni. Now more than ever before, the personality of Comboni and his work are still light and inspiration for all Comboni men and women, both religious and lay, who learned from him to be believers and missionaries and to look with the eyes of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, on the world and each human being.

The Eucharist was presided by Mons. Giuseppe Franzelli, Bishop of the Ugandan diocese of Lira, and concelebrated by Mons. Damiano Giulio Guzzetti, Bishop of Moroto (Uganda), by the resident priests and by the Combonis taking part in the Course for the Elderly Confreres in Rome.

“To celebrate Comboni – said Fr. Jeremias dos Santos Martins, Vicar General, during his homily – means to live the joy of being Comboni Missionaries: being more deeply aware of the richness and the relevance of our charism; assuming responsibility for actualising it and making it known in the Church and in society”. The Eucharist was followed by a fraternal meal together.

Third edition of the Course for the Elderly

The idea of the Comboni Course for the Elderly (CCE), for confreres over seventy who may benefit from it, emerged in 2012 with the objective of providing a help to live one’s old age serenely and fruitfully, to grow in intimacy with Our Lord in interior freedom and to deepen one’s relationship with Saint Daniel Comboni and the feeling of belonging to the Institute.

The third edition of the CCE was held from 8 September to 1 October in Verona and Limone sul Garda and then, from 1 October to 4 November, at the Centre for Ongoing Formation at the Generalate in Rome.

“Write us off or up-cycle us? The question arises – as Fr. Renzo Carraro, one of the participants, wrote – and, in the case of the elderly, the more constructive policy would unquestionably be to recycle them. This was the choice of our superiors who instituted the Course for the Elderly. In this third edition of the Course we are 23 Combonis, both priests and brothers, between 70 and 87 years of age, still in reasonably good health. Altogether, our missionary service amounts to about 800 years of missionary work.

We saw these two months of the Course as something of a dream come true: we were happy to spend time together, without the pressure of pastoral commitments, resting, playing, attending practical lessons relevant to our life that help us to share our long missionary experience … In two weeks the Course will have finished but the benefits of this exceptional experience will stay with us. We extend our appreciation to the members of the formation team who truly edified us with their intelligence, preparation, dedication and especially their unity of intent”.


New Provincial Procurator

Fr. Hubert Grabmann has been appointed Provincial Procurator of the DSP as from 1 July 2018. He replaces Bro. Hans-Dieter Ritterbecks who has returned to the province of South Sudan. Fr. Hubert is originally from Berching in the district of the Upper Palatinate. He brings a broad missionary experience obtained during the last twelve years when he worked among the Pokot in northern Kenya He will now be in contact with many missionaries and will be responsible for overseeing the projects supported by the DSP in other provinces.

Meanwhile, Bro. Hans Eigner has begun his work in charge of the missionary calendar of the Province: “The Work of the Redeemer” (Werk des Erlösers – WdE). Bro. Hans has also had ample missionary experience, having worked in the missions of Kenya and South Sudan. He replaces Fr. Bernhard Riegel who has been given another responsibility.


Barcelona community celebrates its Golden Jubilee

On Sunday 14 October, the community of Barcelona celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation. Around two hundred people – relatives, friends and benefactors – attended the event.

The Eucharist of thanksgiving was celebrated in the local parish church of St. Frances Xavier at which the auxiliary bishop of the city, Mons. Sergi Gordó, presided, together with the Provincial Superior Fr. Pedro Andrés and the Parish Priest, Fr. Manuel Pérez. The bishop emphasised the important role played by the Comboni Missionaries in the course of the past fifty years in the field of mission promotion and pastoral work in the parishes.

After the Eucharistic celebration all those present moved to the house of the community at number 59, Calle Feliu i Codina, where refreshments were provided for the festive evening. The many Comboni confreres who passed through the community were remembered, especially Fr. Giovanni Vedovato, now in the community of Lucca (Italy), who was one of the founders together with Fr. Juan Aranguren, Bro. Giovanni Cattaneo, Fr. José Rubio and Fr. Isidro Sans.

The parish community presented the members of the community with a plaque bearing the inscription: “From the community of St. Francis Xavier, in gratitude for the fifty years of work in Barcelona, 1968 - 2018”.


Nigrizia wins the Ferrari award for “Front page of the month”

We are happy to announce that the front page of the July-August issue of Nigrizia – “The Revolt of the Clothes. Imported second-hand clothes suppress African production” – has been declared the winner of the award “Front page of the month”, introduced by Cantine Ferrari for the following reasons: “There are many ways by which to vex black Africa, including that of flooding it with used clothes at extremely low prices with one obvious aim: to nip in the bud the local entrepreneurship that dares to produce clothing. But there are some who rebel and Nigrizia, the monthly magazine of the Comboni Missionaries, now more than a century in circulation, has made an enquiry that is summed up in a cover page which, in minimum terms and due to its immediately understandable title, is extraordinarily effective”.

The Ferrari award is an initiative of the Trent winery to celebrate the creativity expressed by Italian editions, with prizes for the best title, article and cover of the year.


Krackow: missionary picnic

Also this year, at the Krakow Comboni house, the long-awaited missionary picnic was held.

On a beautiful September afternoon, the Comboni community provided a number of enjoyable activities, not only for children but also for adults. At the entrance, the children received a passport, a diploma and a "MiniKombonianie" diary, and had the immediate opportunity to test their manual dexterity by creating Africa-style decorations at the Become an Artist stand. Other attractions included fashion, cooking, music, sport and even a short first-aid course.

Of course the missionary picnic aimed to make St. Daniel Comboni known and to present the youth movements and groups connected to the Combonis who, among other things, had helped to organise the event. An interview with Ewa, a Comboni Lay Missionary just returned after four years in Uganda, was a perfect occasion for the guests who heard how people live in that country, what it means for Ewa to be a lay missionary and how she lives out her vocation.

There was no shortage of food: by way of refreshments there were drinks, snacks and cakes, including the typical Polish bigos prepared by volunteers.

Several hundred people took part in the picnic, making it a great success. The magazine Misjonarze Kombonianie containing many missionary articles, was distributed to all.


Celebrating Comboni with the colours of a Silver Jubilee

“God has called us all to be friends with Him and one another”. This was the theme of the homily preached by Fr. Timothée Hounaké, the bursar of the Togo-Ghana-Bénin Province, during the Mass for the solemnity of St. Daniel Comboni. Fr. Timothée, who was celebrating his twenty-fifty anniversary of ordination to the priesthood (14.08.1993-14.08.2018), referred to the Gospel of St. John 15.15, emphasising that Jesus calls us to be friends with him despite our limitations. He then named the confreres who operated in the province in friendship with Christ and who now rejoice in eternal friendship with him in heavenly beatitude. He also drew the attention of the confreres to the necessity of friendship among them, insisting on prayer as the foundation of fraternal relations.

The Mass was preceded by a conference on the Founder in which Fr. Sandro Cadei, who returned to the province on 17 August 2018, brought about some notable aspects of the personality of Comboni, among which was his firm decision to advance the work of God despite the many difficulties at that time.

After a fraternal meal, the provincial Fr. Victor Kouandé shared some information on the recent Intercapitular Assembly and the province. The entire Comboni Family: priests and brothers, sisters, lay people, postulants and novices present in the three countries that make up the province of TGB.

Let us pray for our beloved dead

THE FATHERS: Julian, of Fr. Lix Costop Agustín (PE), Heriberto, of Fr. Sierra Moreno José Aldo (RSA).

THE MOTHERS: Anna, of Fr. Malata Nsofwa (MZ), Elizabeth, of Fr. Mkhari Anthony (MZ).

THE BROTHERS: António, of Fr. Ramiro Loureiro da Cruz (P); Pietro, of Fr. Luigi Sala (I); Eduardo of Fr. Homero Gerardo Ramírez Ramírez (PCA).

THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Lucia Giampietro, Sr. Defendina Baldelli.