General Chapter: On Saturday 3rd. October, in Rome, the XVIII General Chapter came to an end. The new Superior General, Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse Gebresilasie, will be assisted in directing the Institute over the coming six years by the new members of the General Council (Frs. Dos Santos Martins, Bustos Juarez, Ciuciulla and Bro. Lamana Consola). Our heart-felt thanks to the out-going General Superior and Council who will, after a well-earned rest, return to more mundane duties back on the front line!
A Polish confrere, Bro. Tomasz, was awarded a Diploma in Social media at the University of St. Thomas in Bogota. His thesis consisted in a series of stories about the lives of Afro women during the conflict in the city of Buenaventura on the Pacific coast. Bro. Tomasz now returns to Poland to work in the field of communications.
About 200 delegates the XIII Continental meeting for Afro-American Pastoral initiatives which took place in Camp-Perrin, Haiti, at the end of July. Taking Haiti's recovery programme after the 2010 earthquake as a starting point, the gathering looked at the relationship between evangelization and the transformative influence of acts of solidarity.
On 22 August, at the Comboni house at Ellwangen (a reception centre for asylum-seekers and refugees) the annual "international picnic" event was held. All the city's asylum-seekers and refugees were invited along with the local people and the many workers and volunteers who man the Comboni Centre which now houses 2,500 people rather than the 1,000 it was set up for.
Some 17 Comboni Bishops met in Fatima during the last week in August. Mgr. Magri from Brazil presided over the Sunday Mass in the main square while the other Bishops were able to celebrate Mass at the Chapel of the Apparitions throughout the week. The purpose of the meeting was to share pastoral experiences and concerns in the various dioceses which the Bishops serve.
One of our confreres, Fr. Placido, was wounded on 11 September at around 6.00 p.m. as he travelled by car from Rumbek to Mapuordit. He was travelling with two Comboni Brothers and a number of local people. Fr. Placido was the only person hit and had to be air-lifted to Nairobi to have the bullet removed from where it had lodged between his ribs.
On 23 August the Province celebrated the 50th. anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr. Barnaba Deng with a Mass at Moroyok. Fr. Barnaba was born in the Bahr El Ghazal district and was drawn to the missionary life when he saw those who had left their own homes to bring the Gospel to the Sudan. In 1962 he was ordained priest in Milan and returned to work in the Sudan. As a Sudanese national, Fr. Barnaba remained behind when the missionaries were expelled from the Sudan in 1964. He was shot in the outskirts of Wau after identifying himself as a catholic priest to the soldiers of the Sudanese government.
IN PACE CHRISTI
Fr. Franco Sesenna (28/9/15)
Secular Comboni Missionaries: Maria Ferron, Teresa Conzato, Gaetana Sartori.
Comboni Sisters: Silvana Villa, Maria Silvia Flores Alvarado, Alessandra Belloni, Colombina Bartesaghi, Clarita Mezzanzanica, Francesca Saveria Lavezzari and Amalia Toffanin.