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October News from Around the World

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Perpetual Professions: Eritrea - 1, Poland - 1.

Fr. Antonio La Salandra, Storia del Seminario della casa dei Comboniani e della parrocchia Mediatrice di Troia, GESP, Troia 2014.
Fr. Enzo Santangelo, Mulheres missionárias e o poder do testemunho, Alô Mundo, São Paulo, August 2014.
By Comboni Missionary men and Women: Servitori del Vangelo. Testimoni sulle orme di San Daniele Comboni in Sudan e Sud Sudan, Dissensi ed., September 2014.

The Comboni Course for the Elderly opened on Sunday, 7 September and will end on 1st. November. This new initiative in Ongoing Formation is offered to confreres over 70 and, if successful, will be run every 2 years. There are 20 participants, all from Europe - the youngest is 74 while the eldest is 84.

A Workshop for the 150th Anniversary of the Plan was held at the Generalate from 15 to 19 September. Some 35 confreres from all the Provinces of the Institute, together with representatives of the Comboni Sisters, the Comboni Secular Women and the Comboni Lay Missionaries attended. The Assembly drew up reflections and working proposals which will be made available to the members of the Comboni Family and will make up a specific contribution to the process of preparation for the next General Chapter.

The General Assembly of Provincial Bursars and Procurators was held at the Generalate from 24 September to 1 October and 45 confreres took part. This Assembly is held every 6 years, usually the year before the General Chapter and has, as one of its main aims, to review the Intercapitular journey centred, in this instance, on the application of the Total Common Fund and the drafting of proposals in view of the next General Chapter. The agenda also included the updating of the General Financial Directory which was reviewed and integrated with the new norms of recent years.

Southworld renewed. In January, 2010, the first edition of Southworld, the online magazine of the Provinces of Europe, was put on-line. From the start it aimed at being an alternative source of news to that of more well-known media bodies and to be an outlet for the "many voices" from the developing countries. Four years on Southworld has become one of the sites that are points of reference for information coming from the South of the world.


Missionary Congress. In August 2014, the Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), held an ecumenical missionary congress in Berlin to review a document which they signed in 2011: "Christian Witness in a multi-religious World". Three Comboni Missionaries were among the participants, one of whom was the official representative of the Vatican in his function as secretary of the Papal Council for Interreligious Dialogue. This was the first time in history that the three Christian bodies (representing about 90% of World Christianity) have signed a joint statement on mission. Rather than developing a theology of mission - on which it would be difficult to reach a consensus - the document aims to establish ethical standards. The significance lies in the following four areas: Interreligious Dialogue, Ecumenical Relationships, Missiology and Human Rights.
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The 150th. Anniversary of Comboni's Plan is being marked in the Archdiocese of Khartoum by a month dedicated to initiatives aimed at encouraging the faithful to become more active in the work of spreading the Gospel. Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako opened this special period with a Eucharistic celebration in Khartoum Cathedral on Sunday, 14 September, the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. On the preceding Friday more than 100 participants - clergy, Religious and lay leaders - had gathered for a day of prayer and reflection.


Perpetual vows and diaconate. Having concluded his theological studies at Asmara Catholic Theological Institute in June, Comboni student, Bahta, took perpetual vows in the August and in September was ordained deacon in the parish where he had carried out his pastoral service over the previous 4 years. He is the second Comboni candidate to receive the diaconate in that same parish.


Inauguration of the restructured African Museum (AM). The new arrangement pays more attention to African history and culture and includes a section on the missionary work of our Institute and the figure of St. Daniel Comboni. The museum experience is more media-based than before and treats more current themes such as the African diaspora, post-colonialism, globalisation and the wars which have afflicted (and continue to afflict) large areas of the continent. The official re-opening will take place on 10 October. This year the African Museum will hosts some 20 workshops for schools involving around 5,000 students.

African Film festival in Verona. The 34th annual African Film festival is planned for 7 to 16 November. This year it will present productions by various directors who find themselves at the crossroads of different styles and various cultures involved in a non-violent struggle for human rights, dignity, tolerance and freedom from all forms of discrimination.


The cyclone in Lower California which last week devastated the coast of Lower California also caused serious damage to the coastal area of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Power stations were destroyed and, in the neighbouring Comboni parish of Saint John Paul II, the wind destroyed 8 of the 9 chapels recently built by the extraordinary efforts of the people. The confreres there are organising collections to replace at least the corrugated iron sheets for the roofs. Many people have lost their homes entirely, built as they were of cardboard, wood and iron sheets. There are food shortages and many cases of robbery from the tents where supplies are stored, resulting in higher prices for foodstuffs. Thankfully, though, there has been no loss of life.


The Annual Provincial Assembly was held at Maia from 5 to 10 September. During the first 2 days representatives of the Comboni Sisters attended as did reps from the Comboni Secular and Lay movements. Together the participants reflected on the Comboni mission today and made plans for the coming year.

On Sunday 7, one of our confreres - already a Fidei Donum priest since 1979 - made his first religious profession as a member of our Institute, while 2 others celebrated 60 years of consecrated life.


90 years of Comboni Missionary Presence. A vigil of praise and thanksgiving drew parishioners, members of the Comboni Institutes and Comboni Friends together from all the parishes of the Diocese of Witbank and from other dioceses of South Africa in which the Comboni Missionaries are working to mark 90 years of our presence in South Africa and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Comboni's Plan for the Regeneration of Africa. The pilgrimage to the Mission of "Maria Trost" or "Mary the Comforter", thus named by the German Comboni pioneers after the Marian Shrine on the outskirts of Graz (Austria), had a profound symbolic and evocative meaning. This was the first mission established by this small group of Comboni Missionaries who, after having been expelled from the Sudan, arrived on 11 February 1924 in Maputo, then called Lorenzo Marques, in Mozambique, to embark on a new evangelizing mission in a foreign environment and hostile to the Catholic Church. They reached Lydenburg, South Africa where they set up their tent, on 20 March 1924. The Vigil, which lasted the whole night, was a moving celebration of unity in the diversity of languages, nationalities and cultures. The audience of about 3000 pilgrims were introduced to the life of St. Daniel Comboni and his Plan. A climax of the Vigil was the Eucharist presided over by the local Bishop, Joseph Sandri Mccj.


Perpetual vows. The Provinces of S. Sudan and Congo celebrated the perpetual profession (12 July) and diaconate (13 July) in Mapuordit of a Congolese confrere who has served there for one year.

Justice, Peace and Reconciliation. Our Province has now set up a Justice and Peace office with the appointment of a full time animator. It will be his job to coordinate the JP initiatives of the Province, liaise with the Religious Superiors' Association of South Sudan and the JPIC office of the Bishop's Conference, and to make local society more aware of JP issues on their door-step. He will also have to update the provincial website [] daily and coordinate our service in the Juba UN IDP camps (for internallly displaced persons) where there are almost 40,000 (mostly Nuer) people.

Saint Paul Major Diocesan Seminary begins academic year. Some 70 seminarians plus staff and guests took part in the celebration to mark the opening of the academic year at Saint Paul Major Seminary in Juba. One of our confreres project-managed the much needed construction work allowing this new year to actually start while another 2 confreres will have significant teaching and formation responsibilities thereafter.

Bishop Joseph Gasi Abangite died on Saturday 13 September 2014, at his home Diocese of Tombura-Yambio in Western Equatoria State. Bishop Gasi worked tirelessly for God's people, for education and peace and to establish the secretariat of the Episcopal Conference of Sudan. He was a great national peace promoter. Thousands of people - including many Church and government leaders - attended his funeral. In his honour, a week of mourning was announced for the entire Western Equatoria State.


Bro. Michael Dietrich (31.12.1938 - 09.08.2014)
Fr. Pietro Chiocchetta (18.11.1920 - 24.08.2014)
Fr. Urbano M. De Cesare (24.05.1920 - 24.08.2014)
Bro. Pietro Dusi (20.02.1933 - 12.09.2014)
COMBONI SISTERS: Teresa Maria Corno; Pier Augusta Radice

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