On 30th. September 2015, the Comboni Missionaries elected the Institute's new General Superior and the 4 members of his General Council.
The new Superior General is Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie who was elected by an overwhelming majority of the Chapter delegates. He is 46 years of age and has served as an Assistant General in charge of Basic Formation and with responsibility for the Comboni Provinces of English-speaking Africa and Mozambique. Fr. Tesfaye was born on September 22, 1969, in Harar (Ethiopia). He is the first African to hold the post of Superior General ……
…… the new Assistents General are Frs. Jeremias dos Santos Martins, Rogelio Bustos Juárez, Pietro Ciuciulla and Bro. Alberto Lamana Cónsola.
While we thank Fr. Enrique Sanchez and his Council for their generous service and fellowship over the past 6 years, we wish their successors every grace and blessing as they take on the responsibilities of leadership, guidance and service within the Institute of the Comboni Missionaries for the coming 6 years.
Pope Francis Mission Intention for October
"That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it." Let us pray.
Asia is the largest and most populous continent on earth. Even though less than 4% of its population is Catholic, 12 % of the world's Catholics live in Asia, 7% in the Philippines alone.
Pope Francis has shown his interest in Asia by visiting Turkey, the Middle East, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. He has said that he would go to China "tomorrow" if the government were to invite him.
So many Asians have not heard the Gospel that Pope Francis wants those who have accepted it there to be missionaries to their brothers and sisters. The Pope said that because the Philippines "is the foremost Catholic country in Asia...Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia."
When the Pope met with young people for the 6th Asian Youth Day, he said that many people "are suffering from spiritual poverty, loneliness, and quiet despair. God seems to be removed from the picture. It is almost as though a spiritual desert is beginning to spread throughout our world." But there is hope for our world.
"Today Christ is knocking at the door of your heart, of my heart. He calls you and me to rise, to be wide awake and alert, and to see the things in life that really matter. What is more, he is asking you and me to go out on the highways and byways of this world, knocking on the doors of other people's hearts, inviting them to welcome him into their lives."
As we pray this month for Asian missionaries, let us commit ourselves to being missionaries in our own daily lives. May the joy and peace our faith gives us open the hearts of others to the Lord.
Pope Francis General Intention for October
"That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated." Let us pray.
This prayer intention of Pope Francis shocks us with the fact that human trafficking - kidnapping, transporting, selling, and buying men, women, and children - is, in fact, nothing less than slavery. Slavery is not some ancient historical practice human beings outgrew; slavery is rampant today.
According to the Global Slavery Index, over 30 million people around the world are slaves. Seventy-eight percent are enslaved for labour and 22 percent for sex. The country with the highest percentage of slaves is Mauritania at 4 percent. In India over 14 million people are enslaved. In the U.S.A. more than 60,000 people are slaves.
Pope Francis called human trafficking a "crime against humanity" and "an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ."
The Pope made human trafficking the focus of his Message for this year's World Day of Peace, noting the many kinds of slavery: modern slaves are people forced into labour, prostitution, selling or smuggling drugs, begging, or military service. Some are kidnapped for sale of their organs or held for ransom.
The Pope says sin is the real cause of slavery. "Whenever sin corrupts the human heart and distances us from our Creator and our neighbours, the latter are no longer regarded as beings of equal dignity, as brothers or sisters sharing a common humanity, but rather as objects."
Pope Francis ended his Message with the challenge: "We know that God will ask each of us: What did you do for your brother?" We can ask ourselves: what can I do to end human trafficking? Our prayer this month for the end of human trafficking is a beginning.
Institute Intention for October
"That, through the intercession of St. Daniel Comboni, we may imitate him in his zeal and total self-giving to the mission." Lord hear us.
In this month of October,
the month of the Rosary
and the month dedicated to prayer
for the success of the missionary endeavour of the Church,
we add our voice to those of the people working to succour the world's refugees
Prayer of the Month
O God, our words cannot express what our minds can barely comprehend
and what our hearts feel
when we hear of people deceived and transported
for the purposes of terrible exploitation
as a result of human greed
and a twisted desire for monetary profit.
We cry out against the scandal of trafficking
and pray for it to end.
Strengthen the victims,
soften the hearts of those who stand by and watch
and send the exploiters away empty-handed. Amen.
-Adapted from a prayer by Sr. Gen Cassani, SSND