New Comboni Bishop The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot to the Order of Bishops in Rome. For several years he has been the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. The date of his ordination will be made known at a later date.
Formators - Four new appointments have been made to our houses of theology world-wide.
MISNA. We give below the note of 22 December 2015, of the President of MISNA announcing its closure:
MISNA is closing. This agency has carried out a service of information whose main characteristic has been that of basing its reports on first-hand testimonies gathered from correspondents - especially missionaries - present in the places where the reported facts took place. The Missionary Institutes that promoted and sustained it for eighteen years (1997-2015), after a long period of financial and management difficulties, reached the painful decision to end its activities as from 31 December 2015. The interventions made from time to time did not provide a lasting solution and no other feasible possibilities were foreseen. MISNA.wishes to thank all those who, during these years of activity collaborated in many different ways to the success of such an esteemed and appreciated service.
Continental Brothers' Reference person: Following the indications of the last General Chapter, each continent is to have a Brother as animator and reference person for the Brothers who will take part in the continental assemblies of Circumscription Superiors.
Meeting of the Comboni Family in Carraia. On 23 January last, the General Councils of the three Comboni Institutes (CMS, CSMI, MCCJ) met together with the representative of the Comboni Lay Missionaries.
The next Comboni Course for the Elderly is planned for the Autumn in Rome.
Perpetual professions: From Congo - 2.
Assembly and retreat: Around 70 confreres working in Brazil met together from 13 to 20 January in Sao Paolo, for their annual retreat and a short Assembly which had as its main objective the planning for the coming 6 years. The Plan will highlight 4 priorities: socio-environmental areas (indigenous pastoral work, Afro pastoral work), peripheries of human rights, mission and vocation promotion.
Fr. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot was appointed Bishop on 29 January, 2016. Since 2012, Msgr. Ayuso has been Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue in Rome, a post to which he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. Msgr. Ayuso worked as a missionary in Khartoum and in Cairo where he taught Islamology. He returned to Italy in 2002 and taught at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome, where for some years he was also the Principal. Msgr. Ayuso has chaired various meetings for inter-religious dialogue in Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Mozambique) and has published books and articles in international magazines.
The German missionary magazine "Kontinente" celebrated its 50th anniversary on 20 January in the city of Cologne. The magazine was founded by thirteen missionary Institutes in 1966, in Germany, to be a voice for the poor countries of the southern hemisphere and to express the richness of the Christian life in the different cultures. Today, the Institutes responsible for the publication of "Kontinente" are twenty-seven. The magazine is published in two languages, German and Dutch, with a total circulation of 200,000 copies.
On 27 January, Comboni College had the privilege of hosting the closing ceremony of the 3rd Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF), one of the greatest cultural events of the country. The Festival presented 91 films from 35 different countries in three different cities: Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman. The best Sudanese Film received the "Black Elephant" Award in the presence of the Minister of Culture and the Ambassadors of Switzerland and Palestine.
The theme of the festival was "cultural resistance". In his speech, the Director of Sudan Film Factory, Mr. Talal Afifi, a former student of Comboni College Khartoum, spoke about the importance of CCK in the formation of a Sudanese leadership sensitive to culture and open to diversity. Fr. Jorge Naranjo, General Administrator of Comboni College of Science and Technology (CCST), presented the festival to the guests of CCK and CCST as a realization of Comboni´s Plan.
CCST was among the partners that supported the Sudan Film Factory in the organization of the festival and the CCK-Secondary School offered its wonderful courtyard for the closing ceremony that was attended by 1,000 people, mainly young Sudanese. The event had a great impact in the Sudanese media and was a privileged occasion to share our charism and service with society. It was also a way of manifesting that educational institutions are not islands but are meant to interact with society in a dynamism of mutual enrichment.
Each year, the Comboni magazine "Mundo Negro" organises the "Encounter Africa, Anthropology and Mission" meeting during which the Mundo Negro "Prize for Fraternity" is presented to one or more people who distinguished themselves for their activities in connection with the African continent. This year's encounter, to be held in Madrid from 5 to 7 February, will focus on the theme "Dreams of Peace". The Director of Mundo Negro and the Provincial of Spain, will present the prize for 2015 to Ugandan Victor Ochen, a well-known human rights activist and founder of "African Youth Initiative Network". He will give his testimony speaking on the theme "Peace as a reality". The encounter will conclude with a Eucharistic celebration at the chapel of the Comboni house in Madrid. The African choir Karibu will lead the singing.
On 28 October 2015, ACSE (Comboni Association for Service to Emigrants and Refugees) celebrated the 20th. anniversary of its establishment by reaffirming its commitment to continue to work for the benefit of the less-advantaged, immigrants and extra-communitarian prisoners" (art. 3). The experience has been described as "a ground-breaking initiative and a school for social service which, in turn, has inspired other similar initiatives" such as Caritas, the Community of St. Egidio and the Astalli Centre - evangelical expressions of the inventiveness of charity (St. John Paul II).
The original acts of constitution were signed by eleven people, six of whom are still with us and five of these remain as associates. It is hoped that ACSE will succeed in continually improving its commitments for the benefit of immigrants in the new reality of society and immigration.
The Province is happy to announce the launching of a new (third) web-site - www.combonimissionaries.co.uk. This new site runs alongside the two already existing sites comboni.org.uk and SouthWorld.net.
On Sunday January 3, 2016, the Secretary General of Formation, presided over the ceremony for the official opening and blessing of the new premises of the Vocations and Mission Promotion Centre at Kalikiliki in the eastern outskirts of Lusaka, Zambia. The purpose of the new community is three-fold: vocations promotion, mission promotion and hospitality to confreres.
The Secretary General of Formation paid an official visit to Mozambique from January 10 to 20, 2016. The visit was short but very intense. In those few days, Fr. John (the Secretary) managed to visit the communities of Maputo, Matola, Nampula Novitiate, Nampula Pre-postulancy, Nampula-Mwahivire, Carapira, Namapa, Anchilo and Alua. Mozambique is at present experiencing a vocations boom (11 pre-postulants, 23 postulants, 15 novices, 3 scholastics) and this is indeed an invitation and a challenge for us as an Institute to invest well in terms of competent personnel and adequate infrastructures.
The Provincial Assembly took place in Lomé from 18 to 22 January" with the participation of almost all the confreres. The meeting reflected on the recent Synod on the Family, the exhortation Evangelii Gaudium as well as our own recently concluded General Chapter. The Provincial presented each confrere with a copy of the Chapter Acts. The work of the past 6 years was also reviewed and a plan for the coming 6 years sketched out.
IN PACE CHRISTI
Fr. Gianfranco Bettega (02.05.1935 - 02.01.2016)
Fr. Dennis William Conway (11.01.1941 - 29.01.2016)
Comboni Missionary Sisters: Srs. Anna Maria Robbi; M. Adalgisa Massoletti; Valeria M.
Secular Comboni Missionary: Laurieri Anna