The GC appoints a new father master to the novitiate in Eritrea and also to that of Portugal as of July 2016.
Animated Comboni Video
The translation into various languages of an animated video on the life of Comboni is now complete. It is a valuable means of missionary animation and pastoral youth ministry. The video is on the Spanish Aguiluchos' YouTube site (aguiluchos.net) and the Latin American version can be found on Vimeo di Vida Misionera, Ecuador, video channel (vimeo.com/vidamisionera). These are the other addresses and languages available:
Spanish (Spain): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJnSMRPn1UI
Latin American Spanish: https://vimeo.com/161674233
Those who wish to produce translations in other languages may con-tact the archives of Mundo Negro, Spain.
Events in 2017: An Assembly of all Circumscription Superiors with the GA will be held in early 2017. Details to follow.
The Celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Insti-tute (founded on 1 June, 1867) will take place from 1 January to 31 December 2017, and will be inaugurated with a letter from the GC. It will include a symposium on the mission from 25 May to 2 June, 2017, for the entire Comboni Family. An ad hoc committee will be appointed in October to prepare the programme.
In October 2015, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life published the document "Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church". This document underlines the value and relevance of this vocation today and places at its centre 'fraternity' as a gift received, shared and handed on. The reflection group "All Brothers", made up of Brothers working at the Curias of their respective Institutes in Rome, has produced printed material for the reading of the document as well as a series of dynamics and prayers to study it and make it known.
Amalgamation of the General Secretariats into the Mission Secretariat (EV, MP, JPIC and CLM) and the Secretariat for For-mation (BF, OGF). The decision to amalgamate the Secretariats was determined by the General Chapter, 2015 (CA '15 nos. 64-65). The new General Secretariats of mission and formation will serve as instruments of sharing, discernment and dialogue. The GC will provide more precise guidelines and indications at a later date.
Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Generalate
On 3 June last, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart, the Patronal Feast of the Institute, the community of the Curia, together with neighbours, friends and benefactors and in the presence of the Bishop of the area in Rome, celebrated the fifty years of the Generalate. The celebration recalled the fifty years of service to the Institute and the mission of the General Administration in a spirit of gratitude towards all the confreres, living and dead, who served with so much dedication in the various offices of the Curia.
The formative dimension of the House was also recalled including:
1. The theologate that was based here for forty years from its opening until 2006 when it was transferred to Naples. In all, around 300 students studied here on their way to ordination to the priesthood.
2. The Renewal Course which has welcomed as many as 1,108 con-freres for the 46 different Sabbatical programmes it has run so far.
3. The community of 'confrere students' who did further academic studies in preparation for more qualified service to the mission.
4. Since 2010, the House has also been the Centre for Ongoing For-mation within the Institute where the Comboni Year and the Course for Elderly Confreres have been held.
5. Besides these, we may add the General Chapters, courses, meet-ings and other formative activities that have taken place in this House in the fifty years since it was opened.
The next Comboni Renewal Course: The next Renewal Course is scheduled to begin in January 2017 and end in May 2017. It is open to confreres between 50 and 70 years of age.
Results of the straw ballots for the election of the Circumscrip-tion Superiors. The GC has received and analysed the results of the straw ballots carried out in the circumscriptions and encourages the confreres to participate in the elections with a spirit of belonging and to accompany with their prayers the entire process of the elections. The GC reminds us that there must be sufficient time for personal and community discernment between the straw ballots and the elections.
Provincial Financial reports. In a meeting held last May, the Council for Finance studied the reports from the Provinces. The GC invites the circumscriptions to follow the instructions and suggestions of the General Secretariat for Finance so that a uniform system may enhance the general audit and thus the Institute's transparency.
Ecuador: Solidarity with the earthquake victims. Last April 16, a massive earthquake struck Ecuador, causing hundreds of deaths and leaving thousands of people homeless. The GC requested contributions on behalf of the victims and the General Economate made itself available to assist those circumscriptions wishing to do so to make a concrete gesture of solidarity with the people affected by the disaster. The Conference of Religious, Caritas, the Jesuits and other organisations, have been able to send much needed aid to the earthquake victims. The GC thanks all the circumscriptions for their spirit of solidarity.
Perpetual Professions: Malawi-Zambia - 1; Poland - 1
Priestly ordinations: Congo - 2
The Provincial Superiors and Delegates of Francophone Africa met from 24-29 May at Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in order to share their respective post-capitular journeys in view of the preparation of new six-year plans and to take stock of the situation of the Afriquespoir Centre (CAE).
In late May, the Council for Finance met at the Generalate in Rome. The continental representatives, technical councillors and the mem-bers of the General Economate took part. The main purpose of the meeting was to examine the financial reports of the circumscriptions and General Administration. The themes discussed during the four-day meeting were: the application of the General Chapter, the Stat-utes of the General Administration Funds, guidelines for the review of the accounts, reserve funds and formation courses of treasurers.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the General House in Rome. It was on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, to whom the Comboni Institute is consecrated. To prepare for it, a triduum of prayer was arranged on the theme: "The house well built (Lk 6,48): the house of the Lord, our house" and in memory of these fifty years, 1966-2016, a small photo exhibition was prepared, with a presentation booklet that was distributed to those present.
The German Comboni Lay Missionaries (CLM) carry out their activities especially in marginalised situations. Besides supporting the projects of the Comboni Family, they keep in touch with the CLM in other Comboni provinces and do mission promotion in the local Church and parishes. The regular meetings throughout the year in the various Comboni communities help them to learn from one another, to share ideas and keep in step with the MCCJ priorities. Their work is appreciated by the Province and their cooperation during the "Katholikentag in Leipzig" reinforced missionary cooperation.
The 100th "Katholikentag" ("Day for Catholics") was held in Leipzig (Germany) at the end of May. The theme of the day was "Look, here is the man". Leipzig, the city chosen for the day, is in eastern Ger-many where 80% of the population have not been baptised and Catholics are only 4% of the population. This biennial meeting is al-ways a remarkable event, unique on the stage of the universal Church. As we know, Comboni himself took part in the day for Catho-lics at Mainz, in 1868.
For four days, thousands of Catholics from all over Germany gather, together with members of religious communities and Catholic associa-tions and organisations such as Misereor, Adveniat, Missio, Reno-vabis, Opera of St. Boniface, Caritas, etc. There is ample space for conversations, praying together and the exchange of ideas and opin-ions on a great number of ecclesial and social themes. Representa-tives of the world of politics and the Evangelical Church come to seek dialogue with the Catholic Church. Our Province was also represented with its own stand.
Fr. Alex Zanotelli has been honoured with the award "Trentino of the Year 2016", on 18 June, at the Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento. This recognition was accorded him by the cultural group and the his-torical publication "Uomo-Città-Territorio" for his life spent fighting alongside those of least account, in defence of the weakest, of "water as a common good", of justice and the protection of creation as well as care for immigrants. Fr. Alex dedicated the prize to the commissions working for "water as a common good" in the province of Trento
The IX running of "Oh, what a summer!", is due to take place in Ve-rona from 22-24 July, organised by the Nigrizia Foundation, with the participation of a number of African communities. It is planned to have concerts by the "Original perdido jazz band" and by "Dove comincia il mondo" by Fabrizio Colombo, the screening of two films, Luoghi comuni, by Angelo Loy and Difret, by Zeresenay Mehari, sponsored by Angelina Jolie, with live music and dance by DJ Ducmarco and 9ditroppo.
On Sunday, 19 June, the fiftieth anniversary of the Comboni pres-ence in Chitima, in Tete diocese, and the foundation of the parish of Saint John XXIII, was celebrated. The local Bishop, Msgr. Isaure, thanked the Comboni Missionaries for their presence and for their work during the past fifty years and encouraged them to continue to collaborate with the local Church, by means of prophetic missionary pastoral work.
Banda Missio launched their second CD during a concert in the Casa das Artes at Vila Nova de Famalicão, on 8 June, last. More than 250 people attended the concert which, according to the participants, was a success, a genuine celebration offered by the Banda.
O Sonho de Deus (Dream of God) CD has 13 songs by the Comboni singer-composer Fr. Leonel Rodrigues Claro who, eight years ago, founded the pop/rock band to play Christianity-inspired music to unite mission and youth in youth vocations ministry.
Fr. Leonel explained that ConTigo, the first CD which also had 13 songs, came out in 2014. It was more vocational as it emphasised one's close relationship with God. The second CD, more in the rock style, explores the idea of departure, of relations with humanity. "We are intermediates and builders of the dream of God for humanity", he said.
Fr. Leonel Claro will shortly return to Chad but thinks that Banda Missio is quite capable of continuing to perform concerts, including those about prayer.
On 29 May, at the provincial house of Lomé, the Family Day for rela-tives of Togolese Combonians was held. More than 100 people took part.
On Saturday, 11 June, in the chapel of the Provincial House in Ca-caveli, Lomé, two scholastics celebrated their final profession. On 18 June these same two scholastics were ordained to the diaconate at the Comboni parish of Our Lady, Mother of the Redeemer, Adi-dogome, by the laying on of hands by Msgr. Denis Amuzu-Dzakpah, Archbishop of Lomé. The new deacons will exercise their ministry in the communities of the Province where they are doing their missionary service.
IN PACE CHRISTI
Msgr. Giovanni Migliorati (24.08.1942 - 12.05.2016)
Fr. Luigi Stefano Generoso (26.12.1937 - 31.05.2016)
Bro. Mario Fortuna (27.11.1938 - 12.06.2016)
Fr. Vittore Gilardi (04.02.1923 - 24.06.2016)