MONTHLY NEWSLETTER OF THE COMBONI MISSIONARIES OF THE HEART OF JESUS
The Beatification of Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli
in the land of Uganda: Kalongo, 22 November 2020,
The Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe
Having heard the views of Father General and his Council, and having consulted the Local Church in Gulu through its Archbishop, His Grace John Baptist Odama, the Local Church in Como, in the person of its Bishop Mons. Oscar Cantoni, and also the views of the Ambrosoli family, it was unanimously agreed that the Beatification of Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli should take place at Kalongo where Fr. Giuseppe carried out his missionary service fully and totally. It was agreed that the more suitable date for this event would be the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe.
Since this is a matter of a Pontifical Act, it was necessary to consult the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu who willingly agreed to preside at the Beatification ceremony, especially because of its missionary importance.
Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli is indeed a witness of the mission and more than once expressed the desire to be buried among his Acholi people where he spent 31 years of his service to the mission.
We Comboni Missionaries are filled with joy by this event and, at the same, time, with responsibility. In the first place, Kalongo (Northern Uganda), the location where the beatification is to take place, was once part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Central Africa of which Comboni was the first Vicar Apostolic and where Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli gave the best of himself in the work of the hospital and the midwifery school. Uganda represents, therefore, an important factor of material continuity, being the furthest outreach of the Vicariate that Comboni vainly dreamt of reaching, a dream that is now realised through Fr. Giuseppe, the first son of his Institute to be beatified.
Uganda is even more meaningful in the spiritual sense, for two reasons. Firstly, Fr. Ambrosoli, like our Holy Founder who preceded him, becomes part of the hidden foundation from which the African Church majestically rises. Secondly, because it is further confirmation of the method indelibly inscribed in his Plan: “Save Africa with Africa”! We therefore have many reasons to be grateful and to carry on the work with renewed vigour for the good of the Church and African society.
Sc. Adrupiako Akuma Pascal (CN) Kisangani (RDC) 01/01/2020
Sc. Ruiz Eche Javier Martín (PE) Pangoa (PE) 04/01/2020
Sc. Biseka Guerlain Joachim (CN) Bangui (RCA) 17/01/2020
Holy Redeemer Guild
February 01 – 15 C 16 – 28 EGSD
March 01 – 07 CO 08 – 15 E 16 – 31 DSP
February – That MCCJ Circumscription Superiors meeting in Rome may be enlightened by the Spirit and so discover the best ways to impart new vigour to our missionary service in the various continents. Lord hear us.
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.
Visit by the Superior General
Our Father General, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse, has, for the third time, paid a visit to the Congo Province, lasting from 15 December 2019 to 2 January 2020. On this occasion he visited the communities in the region of Isiro, greatly experiencing some of the difficulties that characterise the Congo mission: the great distances between our missions, impassable roads and difficult communications. He experienced at first hand the situation of poverty in which the Congolese people live. But none of these difficulties prevented him from reaching the confreres even in the most distant and out-of-the-way places, receiving a warm welcome both by the communities and the people. Fr. Tesfaye was struck by the beauty of the immense riches with which the Congo overflows: flora, fauna, water, mines, parks, the vitality of the people and their perseverance, their simple but joyful faith as well as the inculturation of their liturgy with very lively Eucharistic celebrations, not to mention the African heat.
Leaving Kisangani on 16 December, accompanied by the out-going Provincial Superior, Fr. Joseph Mumbere, and Provincial elect, Fr. Léonard Ndjadi, Fr. General visited the Comboni communities of Dondi, Mungbere and Isiro. A meeting with each confrere and each community with visits to works of the mission were important elements in strengthening each confrere in the missionary vocation and appreciating the ongoing missionary work. The highlight of every visit was the celebration of the Eucharist during which we thanked God for the gift of the missionary vocation, imploring that he give us the grace to continue our mission in a spirit of communion and solidarity, faithful to our charism and in collaboration with the Local Church and the entire Comboni Family.
Both at Mungbere and Isiro, Fr. Tesfaye met the groups of Comboni Lay Missionaries, the families of the missionaries and the Comboni Sisters. He then met the Bishop of Isiro with whom he discussed the mission of Dondi. He also made a pilgrimage to the three sites associated with Blessed Anuarite, Virgin and Martyr. We also remembered our own four martyrs killed during the Simba revolt in 1964.
At Kisangani, on New year’s Day, Fr. Tesfaye received the perpetual vows of Sc. Pascal Adrupiako, in the presence of confreres, Sisters, relatives and friends. On that same occasion, Fr. Léonard Ndjadi, the new Provincial of the Congo, in conformity with Canon Law, made his profession of faith and so inaugurated his period of service to authority. The Congo Province sincerely thanks Fr. Tesfaye for his visit. It was a nice way to end the year. His canonical and fraternal visit, his simplicity and joy did us a world of good. We shall be eternally grateful. Long may the mission continue!
Amazzonia and beyond
The celebration of the Synod for Amazonia drew public attention to some issues of vital importance far beyond the entire American continent and of relevance far beyond the event of the Synod.
Consequently, the Comboni Missionaries in Rome have decided to resume the study of these themes by holding three conferences that will take place over the coming weeks at the Generalate at 8.30 pm.
On Thursday, 27 February, with the title of The destruction of the forests, the theme of the environment will be taken up, looking at similar situations in other continents. The speakers will be Dr. Stefania Falasca, a journalist with “Avvenire”, and Fr. Dario Bossi, Comboni Provincial Superior in Brazil.
The second encounter, entitled Towards new ministries, will be held on Thursday 12 March. Sr. Gabriella Bottani, coordinator of Talitha Kum, an international Network against human trafficking and Bro. Alberto Parise, former Director of the Institute for Social Transformation, Nairobi, will speak on the emergence of unforeseen needs and challenges and how they stimulate the generation of new ministries.
Dalila De Rosa and Giorgia Nigri, who hold doctorates of research in civil economy from the LUMSA University, Rome, and are economists in Benedetta Economia, will lead the third conference entitled: Towards another economy, on Thursday 2 April.
At the end of March, immediately after the gathering at Assisi promoted by the Pope, there will be a presentation of the “Economy of Francesco” and the passage from the management of resources to the care of our common home.
Casavatore: conferral of ministries of lector and acolyte
On 15 December, at the parish of St. Agrippino of Arzano (Naples), Mons. Beniamino de Palma, Bishop Emeritus of Nola, conferred the ministries of Lector and Acolyte on some Casavatore scholastics.
After the homily, the Bishop addressed these words to the Lectors: “You will proclaim the Word of God in the liturgical assembly, you will educate adults and children in the faith and guide them to receive the Sacraments worthily; you will bring the missionary announcement of the Gospel of salvation to those people who do not yet know it. It is therefore necessary that, as you announce the Word of God to others, you may welcome it into your own selves in full docility to the Holy Spirit”.
To the Acolytes he said: “To you I have entrusted the duty of helping the presbyters and deacons in carrying out their functions, and, as extraordinary ministers, you may distribute Holy Communion to all the faithful, including the sick. This ministry binds you to live ever more deeply the sacrifice of Our Lord and to conform yourselves ever more, in what you are and in what you do, to Christ”.
The scholastics who received the ministry of lector are Gbedenya Kodzo Daniel (T), Got Tob Emmanuel (KE) and Bimbo Ngoabide Esdras Ulrich (RCA). Those who received the ministry of Acolyte are Tekle Melaku Wolde (ET), Valverde Arce Byron José (Costa Rica-PCA), Djekoundamde Florent (TCH) and Moisés Zacarias (MO).
Ongata Rongai: death of a scholastic
On the evening of 1 February 2020, two of our scholastics were involved in an accident on the road between Ongata Rongai and Nairobi, about six km from the scholasticate.
In the head-on collision with a lorry, Sc. Bernard Amolo was killed outright while Sc. Stanislaus Jobo, who was driving, survived the crash and is at present in hospital having suffered several fractures. He is in a state of shock and has no recollection of the accident. There was also a woman passenger in the vehicle with them who was also killed. She has not yet been identified due to the fact that, after the accident, the vehicle was vandalised and whatever items were in it were stolen.
As soon as he heard of the tragedy, the Provincial Superior informed the family of the death of Sc. Bernard. He visited Sc. Stanislaus at the hospital and spent hours talking to the police and visiting the place of the accident in order to get a better idea of how the accident happened and obtain as much information as possible.
A new missionary for the Asian mission
Fr. Eduardo Antonio Revolledo Villanueva, Fr. Edu to his confreres, was ordained priest on 21 December 2019, by the Comboni Bishop Luis Alberto Barrera Pacheco, of the diocese of Tarma, in Peru.
The ordination was celebrated in Lima, at the parish of Cristo Misionero del Padre, and saw the participation of a large number of the faithful, among whom were some of Fr. Edu’s relatives and friends and some confreres, together with the Superior of the Asia delegation, Fr. David Domingues, representing the Combonis working in the continent of Asia where Fr. Eduardo carried out his missionary service as a scholastic and as a deacon.
Born in Peru in 1991, "Edu" joined the Institute to realise his deep desire to dedicate his life to the mission. He did the novitiate in Mexico and studied theology in Kenya.
After theology, he was sent to Vietnam to study the language of that country at the Comboni community.
He was afterwards transferred to Taipei, Taiwan, where he studied Mandarin. He also made his final profession there in July 2019 and was ordained deacon. He will return to Taiwan to continue his study of Mandarin with the aim of carrying out his missionary work in the Chinese world.
THE BROTHER: Carlos António, of Fr. José Carlos Mendes da Costa (†).
THE SISTERS: Sister Maria Clementina, of Fr. Armindo da Silva Dinis (BR); Carmen, of Fr. José Manuel Garcia Oviedo; Maria da Paixão, of Fr. Manuel dos Anjos (MO).
THE COMBONI MISSIONARY SISTERS: Sr. Natalizia Carollo, Sr. Lina Maria Costalunga.
THE SECULAR COMBONI MISSIONARY: Rita Di Nizio.