On 24 April, the Italian ambassador together with his wife visited the project that two Comboni Brothers are piloting at Marcos Moura, a city quarter on the outskirts of Santa Rita, in the Commune of the state of Paraiba, in north-eastern Brazil. During the first part of the visit, the Ambassador toured the Recycling Cooperative, COOREMM, that has been involved in bringing dignity to the catadores (collectors). Having visited the structures of the cooperative, the Ambassador met a group of the Cooperative members who told him the story of what they had achieved, thanks to the COOREMM and the challenges still facing them. He then made his way to the Projeto Legal where, outside school hours, 126 seven to fifteen-year-old children and adolescents are cared for. Through this project, the people of the outskirts, are given an opportunity to emerge from the 'invisible state' or the crime pages of the media and to be seen, loved, welcomed, respected and valued.
Mobile technology and new experiences of education. A third and final conference on Mobile technology and new experiences of educationfor the family was held on 15 April.
Professor Filomìa spoke of the use of mobile phones by the young and the consequences of this in their lives. She emphasised how mo-bile technology may create a need for ubiquitous connectedness where space and time are lost in an 'eternal present moment', rela-tionships are not determined by physical but 'virtual' presence, with the result that relationships are in danger of becoming shallow; in the network, social norms, the speaker underlined, are seen as 'abstract' and, therefore, less obligatory. All this brings up problems of freedom and supervision.
The problem, she concluded, lies in the many adults who have re-neged on their educational responsibility to provide young people with values against which to measure themselves and to help them to learn how to base the use of freedom upon values.
Sixty years of Comboni presence. It seemed only yesterday that on 13 April, 1955, Fr. Barbisotti (the first bishop of the Vicariate), Fr. Luigi Marro and Bro. Fusetto came to Tachina. In those days, the social situation was in a deplorable state. For this reason, Pope Pius XII decided to entrust to the Comboni Institute this territory inhabited by black people who lived in poverty and endured many hardships caused by poor communications and the climate.
There was an especially moving moment when a wreath was placed on the tombs of Mgr. Barbisotti and Bartolucci and, symbolically, on the tombs of all the 55 missionaries who died during these years as we honoured all who give their lives for others. It would take some time to describe all the many initiatives of evangelisation, the founding of the Christian communities and the training of responsible catechists; the same holds for the human development projects and social services such as the Boys Town, hospitals, centres for the elderly, schools, technical institutes (a field in which our missionaries were particularly distinguished), and not forgetting the work of mission promotion. We may well say that integral evangelisation has been carried out in all its dimensions, according to the method of St. Daniel Comboni, whose example lit up the path trodden by his missionaries in Ecuador. As we know, the Comboni Missionaries reached out from Esmeraldas and Quito as far as Manabí, Guayaquil and Colombia.
On the afternoon of Saturday, 11 April, the Bro. Alfredo Fiorini Centre was opened at Castel d'Azzano, a few kilometres from Verona. It will cater for non-self-sufficient Comboni Missionaries returning from the missions. Among those present at the event were: the Superior General, another of the General Assistants, the General Treasurer, dozens of Comboni Missionaries,the Bishop of Verona, the city mayor, members of the civil authorities and about 800 relatives, friends and benefactors.
Symposium of Limone 2015. Around 30 Comboni Missionaries took part in the IX Symposium of Limone, 2015, organised by the Euro-pean Group for Theological Reflection (GERT), from 7 to 11 April. Its theme "How to be Good News in Europe today". The Symposium also aimed at offering material to those who will participate in the next General Chapter.
At the end of the Symposium, the participants signed a communiqué condemning the project of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Secu-rity of the Mozambican government to cede 102,000 Km2 of fertile land (an area larger than Portugal) to the ProSAVANA Consortium made up of businessmen from Mozambique, Japan and Brazil.
Fr. Castellari Diary is published
The Centre for African Studies at the University of Oporto recently published the book "Deboli tra deboli". Memórias de um missionário em Moçambique. 1964-2005, on the life of the eighty three-year-old Italian Comboni Missionary Fr. Graziano Castellari, who spent most of his life in Mozambique.
The book, to be launched in Verona in July, forms part of the cate-gory Esperienze dall'Africa (Experiences of Africa) and is the first in a new series entitled Storie missionarie (Missionary Stories). It is the diary of Fr. Castellari, and includes an introduction, a preface, photos, maps, a glossary and a bibliography.
The book was introduced by Professor Elvira Mea during a gathering at the amphitheatre of the Faculty of Letters of the University of Oporto on the afternoon of 8 April.She stated that this was "a work that went beyond its expectations, an extraordinary adventure inserted into the history of Mozambique, a marvellous hymn to life and Christian humanism, a great lesson in life".
Workshop on family life and human growth. From the 14th to the 17th of April 2015, the Provincial Secretariat for Evangelization organ-ized a workshop in Juba on "Family life and Human Growth in South Sudan". The workshop was coordinated by a confrere from the Brothers' Centre of Nairobi (Kenya). The workshop was attended,by 12 confreres as well as other pastoral agents of the diocese - doicesan priests, missionaries from other Institute, and 12 lay people all engaged in pastoral work in the parishes.
During the workshop the participants identified a number themes that they felt were particularly relevant. These included: women's empow-erment, youth ministry, forgiveness, better environment for children, a pastoral program for marriage. Suggestions were offered how other issues (such as the dowry, early marriage, work and economy in the family) could be included.
IN PACE CHRISTI
Fr. Giuliano Chistè (13.01.1930 - 15.02.2015)
Fr. Paul (Ugues) Sylvain Songho (31.12.1964 - 21.03.2015)
Fr. Andrea Pazzaglia (21.08.1928 - 23.03.2015)
Fr. Josef Heer (18.03.1932 - 25.03.2015)
Fr. Paolo Tabarelli (04.02.1947 - 31.03.2015)
Fr. Antonio Del Pozo Alvarez (29.04.1942 - 15.04.2015)
COMBONI SISTERS: Sr. Nemesiana Bon; Sr. Linantonia Dal Balcon.