November, when the sun is losing its strength, the luminosity is fading, the nights are growing, Nature is losing its vitality… it is the right time to look up to Heaven with Hope!
OGF 10/2020 – Mission according to Francis: Features; talents to develop, temptations, maladies and pitfalls to avoid; recommendations for the Journey
Do not waste time and resources, then, in looking at yourself in a mirror, devising plans centred on internal mechanisms, functionality and the efficiency of your own bureaucracy. Look outside. Do not look at yourselves in the mirror. Break every mirror in the house!
In this year marked by the suffering and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the missionary journey of the whole Church continues in light of the words found in the account of the calling of the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I, send me”
He was a 28-year-old aid worker who was gunned down in Somalia in 1993. He had worked on missions in Liberia and for the UN in Somalia. A passionate opponent of the illegal arms trade he was killed by bullets from a foreign rifle.
Cardinal Van Thuan was arrested in 1975 and spent 13 years in prison, nine of them in solitary confinement in Hanoi. He used his time not only for personal prayer but also to write a reflection that continues to inspire.
“I believe in the force of the truth. I believe in what is called a moral liberating force.” Dom Hélder Càmara, Archbishop of Olinda and Recife was one of the great prophets of the Catholic Church.
For some time we religious have wondered about our life in the Church and the power and attraction of our witness. One does not need extraordinary insight or deep analysis to realize that what we call “religious life” has lost something of its impact in the Church and outside its walls. Where have we gone wrong?
She was the granddaughter of a slave, an advocate for racial justice, and the first African American woman to address the U.S. bishops’ conference. Two years ago, her sainthood cause was opened.
Pain, gratitude, encouragement and praise, on this 57th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, those words can be addressed to the whole people of God, against the backdrop of the Gospel passage that recounts for us the remarkable experience of Jesus and Peter during a stormy night on the Sea of Galilee (Mt 14)
American doctor Tom Catena earns top medical missionary award for saving lives in Africa’s forgotten war zone. An American surgeon – who has cared for more than a million patients … Continua a leggere
He always felt that God was calling him. For a while, he resisted that voice, up to the point of being ready to call it quits. Eventually, he yielded to God’s will. Now he is making the best of where God places him. A Comboni Father, Zúñiga Paredes Roy Carlos from Peru, tell us his story.
Forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Lord who enters the Temple and comes to encounter his people. In the Christian East, this feast is called the “Feast of Encounter”: it is the encounter between God, who became a child to bring newness to our world, and an expectant humanity.
From my early childhood I loved to be outdoors, especially at first light in the morning. There was something very attractive and fascinating, whatever the weather or the time of year. Later on I realized that somehow God was present and speaking to me in a very personal way through nature
In the last of this series of confreres’ reflections on mission and the Word of God, Fr David Glenday shares in letter-form his thoughts on how God’s Word has formed him as a missionary.
I have set out seven points from which some may be chosen as the themes of sharing in the community. It should be a way of praising God for the way the Word leads us in our lives, making us feel loved, forgiven, nourished and sustained by this Word that we carry with us.
Comboni Brother Juan Carlos Salgado, a medical doctor, has the joy of serving the poor and needy at Bondo hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The soldiers grabbed him. Fr. Barnaba did not resist. He asked to be allowed to take his cassock and pray. He put it on, made the sign of the cross, and recollected himself in prayer while the soldiers released the safety catch on their rifles. “I am ready”
This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn.
He gave his life for the poor of Amazonia. His commitment to guard our “Common Home” was his evangelical mandate.
A patron Saint for the Synod. Brazilian bishops ask the Pope that he be Father Ezekiel Ramin, Comboni priest killed in the Amazon region.
As a young priest, Bishop Dud had always been a kind hearted person, used to spending hours in prayer interceding for the people and reaching out to anyone calling on him. He lived the whole of his life loving people and struggling to keep the various pastoral agents together
Fifty-seven years after their tragic deaths, the Roman Catholic Church of Congo has started the process of beatification of the twenty missionaries assassinated by government soldiers on the 1 January 1962.
A ‘spiritual vacuum’ filled by granny’s tears. A parish youth group that offers peace and opens to others. And the decision to plunge into the sea of mission that offers unbelievable joy. A Comboni Missionary, Brother Gaspar Abarca Andrés tells us his story.
What is the source of the tensions and conflicts we have in the church today? I believe the reason for the uneasiness is the pope’s emphasis on mission. There is a profound difference between a church that is a nest or a niche, in which one can find peace, tranquility and seeming stability, and a church that sees itself as missionary.
His dream was to become a Priest so that the people of his village could have Eucharistic celebrations every Sunday. Fr. Anthony Kibira tells us his story.
“I really believe that a missionary priest is a person called by God to meet the overwhelming gratuitous love of God for humanity.” A Comboni Father Placide Majambo Lutumba Petit from Congo tell us his story.
Many things occur in life outside of our direct control or effort to make them happen. When you revisit them through your memory, you discover that what mattered most is not that you tried hard, but that you said “yes” to what you felt it was right, and you had the courage to jump, not knowing where you would land.
The world is in transformation, and so is mission today. We all notice the changes in the world around us, in the fields of digitalization, globalization, communication, as well as some negative effects such as: the complexity of the digital world, the problem of cultural and religious identity, and the loneliness of modern human beings.
Fr. Pawe Opiola, is a Comboni Missionary from Poland. He is working as parish priest in Kanyanga Parish, among the Tumbuka people in Zambia. He tells us his story.
Sri Lanka is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the south eastern coast of India. Since March 2012, the Comboni Missionaries are present in this country with a community in Talawakelle, the mountainous heart of the country, a paradise between tea plantations and waterfalls.
“We are three Comboni Missionaries who serve a parish of around 25,000 Catholics spread over about eighty villages. Any place can become a chapel. We missionaries divide and visit these places as best as we can, usually two or three times per year. All journeys are on foot because there are no roads for vehicles in the county.”
I would like to focus this preliminary thinking with the Church, along with Saint Oscar, on thanksgiving, or rather gratitude, for all the unmerited blessings we have received. Romero instinctively knew how to understand and appreciate the Church, because he loved her deeply as the wellspring of his faith.
A wearied hope will be healed and will enjoy that “particular tiredness of heart” when it is unafraid to return to the place of its first love and to find, in the peripheries and challenges before us today, the same song, the same gaze that inspired the song and the gaze of those who have gone before us.
Not all women’s religious orders are shrinking. Some are growing at an astounding rate. What is their secret?
An altar boy accompanies the priests of his parish in their safaris to the outstations and enjoys every moment of that ministry. He begins to believe that it could be his path of life and makes up his mind: “I will be a Comboni missionary”. Today, as a priest, he would not change his life for all the gold of the world.
Unique, amazing, overwhelming. And let’s admit it straight away: off-the-pegs clothes didn’t suit him. Pointless to get involved in cutting and sewing… he’d have suffocated in them. He was as he was. That’s how he was made. Every size was too tight on him. And there was nothing to do if the pattern didn’t fit.
I am happy and enjoy being a Comboni missionary brother. It gives me the opportunity to meet God in my life. And I believe that by using my talents well, I will be giving love back to God and become a good servant as the gospel invites us to be (Mt 25:14-30)
A ‘church kid’ dreams of becoming a botanist. He loves reading short novels. One day, he lays his hands on a booklet titled “If the seed falls…” and buys it. It is not a work on botany. He feels fooled. Yet, he reads it all the same… and his life changes radically.
This year, the Missionaries of Africa (also known as the White Fathers) celebrate 150 years of their foundation. The society was founded in Algeria on the 19th October, 1868, by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie and it focuses on evangelism and education in the African continent.
My journey has been an ordinary story of events led by the hand of God. It is a journey of valued little decisions that can best be contemplated as a whole and can only be beautiful if seen by a panoramic view at the end. My parent’s decision to have me baptized, the decisions to keep away from sin, concentrate on school, to be active at church…
He witnessed hundreds of people being killed in his mission in West Pokot, north-west of Kenya. Several times he was threatened and attacked but he never left the missions. He has spent 42 years in the missions serving God’s people and he is still going on strong.
The funny thing in all this development of my vocation to religious life was that God did not tell me in clear terms that this was my vocation. There was no evident sign pointing to it. As we know in the Old Testament, God spoke to Moses, to a people, to prophets, even to kings… Besides, in the Sacred Scripture, we meet with visions, angels, and messengers; then there are dreams and voices. And what about me?
As I look back to these ten years of pastoral work, I (personally) did not build much, but we (together) built a Christian community more mature in faith and concern for each other. This I believe is the House of Jesus. I am grateful to the Lord that let me live in his house and with his people.
While “salvation” and “paradise” are both held sacred and exclusively for believers by Muslims and Christians over the years, the unmistakable reality for all people of goodwill is that the invitation is universal. The janna of the Koran, the paradise of the Bible, the kingdom of Allah – God, is for every human being.
Comboni Father Seraphin Kakwata, Congolese, shares his experience being amongst afro-descendent communities in S. Lorenzo parish, in the province of Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
Comboni Missionary Father Mitiku Habbthe from Ethiopia is working with the Turkana in the remote north-western part of Kenya, a semi-desert area, shares his experience.
Violence committed against each other, unfortunately, emphasizes the stark differences among believers of different religions. But it is also not surprising that acts of mercy and love, the characteristics of one and the same God, can bind people of different religions together.
Fascinated by a priest and his style of life, I decided to be like him. Then, I met the Comboni Missionaries. Immediately I understood that that would be my life. Father Anane Joseph Nhyirana tells us his story.
The Pökot people live in West Pökot County and Baringo County in Kenya and in the Pökot District of the eastern Karamoja region in Uganda. They are estimated to be around 700,000. Like many other people they are going through a profound transformation.
In a country ravaged by war, forgiveness is the contribution Christians can offer to a society divided along ethnic lines and rivalries. A missionary in South Sudan shares a couple of stories on how his teaching brought about pardon, mutual acceptance and peace.
A Comboni missionary, assigned at the outskirts of a town in Peru, at the foot of an active volcano, recountes how the Comboni charism has touched the lives of people and how collaboration in facing challenges to spread the Gospel has made it a grace-filled adventure.
Comboni missionaries have been present among the Ashaninka and Nomatsiguengas indigenous peoples in Central Selva, Peru. Fr. Randy Recalde, a Filipino missionary, says that the presence of powerful drug traffickers and terrorists in the area are the main challenges to missionary work.
A tiny group of Christians in a predominantly Moslem environment, determined to forge ties of friendship and dialogue in a society that still bears the wounds of thirty years of civil war. A Comboni Missionary community tells its story.
This is God’s great choice: the Lord chose to be close to his people. Thirty years of hidden life! Only then did he begin his preaching. Here we see the pedagogy of the Incarnation, a pedagogy of inculturation, not only in foreign cultures but also in our own parishes, in the new culture of young people…
Let us to share three moments experienced by Peter and the first community: Peter and the community disheartened, Peter and the community shown mercy, and Peter and the community transfigured. I play with this pairing of Peter and the community since the life of apostles always has this twofold dimension, the personal and the communitarian.
. “L’ANIMA MIA MAGNIFICA IL SIGNORE”.
Le sue parole sono l’espressione di un grande amore e di rogo non una vivissima gioia, ciò spiega perché il suo animo e la sua vita si elevano nello spirito. Maria non dice: Io magnifico Dio, ma l’anima mia; come se volesse dire: tutta la mia vita e i miei sensi sono come sorretti dall’amore di Dio
New Delhi: Vanitha (woman), the largest circulated magazine in India, has selected a Catholic nun for its prestigious Woman of the Year Award. Sr Sudha Varghese has so far helped some 2,250 girls to graduate from high school or skill training centers.
Concerned about the declining numbers of the consecrated, the pontiff notes that a world dominated by the culture of the provisional and money forgets “the beauty of a simple and austere life”. He calls for evangelising in lieu of the culture of success at any price, shying away from worldliness, yet maintaining the “strength of mission”.
Either the vc will understand this cultural period of transit and once more adopt a deeply relational and communal approach, or it will risk placing itself outside the meaningful human context, no longer meeting any demand or any aspect, any expectation held by men and women today, and, therefore, having nothing more to say, no image to present, no appeal.
My working hypothesis is that the new image of the vc should first and foremost be that of relationship. “Relationship” in its widest and most essential meaning, precisely because relationships are at the basis of human life.
In a new document on the priesthood, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy has reiterated that men with “deeply rooted homosexual tendencies” shouldn’t be admitted to Catholic seminaries and, therefore, shouldn’t become Catholic priests. Much more is also found in the new document.
The dialogue is not a doctrinal truth; it is not just an ingredient, essential though it is. It is the figure of a new way of “being Church” and of “building Church”.
Evangelical Fidelity and personal satisfaction.
Our religious profession implies two dimensions: our life and our mission. In our life, it appears impossible to mark the boundaries between life and mission since everything in our is based on the evangelizing mission.