27TH CONSULTA - December 2014
1. Delegates elected to the XVIII General Chapter:
In addition to the Chapter delegates who will be present at the coming Chapter by right of office, a further 32 Priest delegates (from 27 different constituencies) were elected and 9 Brothers delegates (from 9 electoral zones).
2. Nominations. The GC has also named the 8 members of the Pre-Capitular Commission.
3. Ongoing Formation Theme for 2015: 'Consecrated Life - sharing on the Letter of Pope Francis'
4. Consulta dates for 2015: Two dates (March and June) have been fixed.
5. Commitments of the GC
- Fr. General: Visit to Ethiopia [28 Dec. '14 - 15 Jan. '15]
- Vicar General: Celebrations in Uganda [10-21 Feb.]
- Fr. Villarino: In sede
- Fr. Tesfaye Tadesse: Celebrations in Uganda [10-21 Feb.]
- Bro. Giusti: Ghana [31 Dec. '14 - 10 Jan. '15]; Ethiopia [11-23 Feb.]
Perpetual professions: Malawi/Zambia - 1, Congo - 1.
Fiesta 2014 for friends and benefactors:
The annual gathering of the friends and benefactors of the missions (500 people) took place on Sunday, December 7, in the grounds of the St. Daniel Comboni Seminary in Quezon City notwithstanding the threat of typhoon Ruby.
On Wednesday, 3 December 2014, Pope Francis appointed Mgr. Odelir as bishop of Chapecó in his home diocese in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. Since 11 October 2010, Mgr. Odelir had been bishop of Sobral, a diocese in the north-west of the state of Ceará. From 1992 to 1996, Mgr. Odelir served Kinshasa, DCR. He then returned to Brasil (1997-2003). In 2003, he was elected Assistant General in Rome and Vicar General in 2009.
A Congolese scholastic was ordained deacon on 30 November, 2014, in the chapel of the General Curia. Anatole joined the Combonis at the age of 23. After two years' novitiate in Benin, he took his first vows in 2009. He did his theology in the Congo and on 10 October last, he made his perpetual profession in Rome where he has been studying for the past two years for a licentiate in spirituality.
On 13 November, 2014, in a packed hall of the CEU in Argüelles, there took place the launching of a book Pinceladas. Desde China con amor by Fr. Daniel Cerezo. The book - a collection of letters to friends in Spain - relates Fr. Cerezo's own experiences and lays out his vision for the Church's mission in China today. He also spoke of the many obstacles that the Church faces such as the constant meddling of the Chinese government in all Church matters and the difficult co-existence with the official Chinese Church. Fr. Cerezo dwelt upon the fundamental role of women in the Church in China and gave the example of the grandmothers, thanks to whom the message of Christ remains alive.
From 24 to 28 November an Introduction Course for newcomers to the Province and/or Europe was held. This is the fourth year such an intensive week of theological-pastoral updating has been offered and it was attended by diocesan priests, other religious and lay-people as well as 8 of our own confreres - 25 people in all.
Spiritual Exercises to be held at Limone in 2015:
1. 5-13 February: Guided spiritual exercises for 8 people
2. 6-14 May: Guided spiritual exercises for 8 people.
3. 12-18 July: Preached spiritual exercises (open)
4. 28 Sept. - 4 Oct.: Preached spiritual exercises (open)
All the exercises start in the evening and end on the morning of the dates indicated.
On 22nd November, 2014, in Pretoria, Deacon Kgomotso Sebopela Ronnie was ordained priest. At the celebration, presided over by Mgr. Sandri of Witbank, Martha, the mother of Kgomotso and a convert to Catholicism, and Steve, the father and a follower of an independent church of South Africa, were filled with joy and amazement that their only male child had become a Catholic so few years ago and was now being ordained a missionary priest. Fr. Kgomotso has been assigned to the Province of Chad, where he will spend the first years of his missionary life. This news gave more relevance to the feast since the people were proud that a son of their community - it was the first priestly ordination in the parish - was going in their name to preach the Gospel outside South Africa.
The Silver Jubilee at Fidjrossé was celebrated on 30 November 2015 - 25 years of Comboni presence in the parish of St. Francis of Assisi, Cotonou, Benin. The Silver Jubilee was prepared for by the whole parish community and involved publishing a monthly newsletter to keep everyone up-dated, meetings, conferences, journeys of prayer, all seeking to better understand together the gift of being Church. A plenary indulgence was granted during the preparation of the Jubilee to encourage a deeper Christian conversion and the Comboni and parish communities pardoned each other for the failings and fragilities of the past. Prayers for the dead of the parish, concerts, a procession through the streets of the quarter filled the month of November and culminated in the Eucharistic celebration held on Sunday, 30 November and presided over by the Archbishop of Cotonou. Thousands of people were present, mostly dressed in the "pagne" prepared especially for the feast. The whole of Benin came to know of this Jubilee through national TV, local radio stations and the Catholic newspaper "La Croix".
Radio Pacis of Arua received award: "On behalf of the staff of Radio Pacis - said Fr. Tonino - I received the prize in Rome on 24 November. The only award given to the African continent was the one bestowed on our radio station." Fr. Tonino, in the morning of the same day, had the joy of celebrating Mass with Pope Francis in the small chapel of Santa Marta. "After Mass - said Fr. Tonino - I had the privilege of greeting Pope Francis and inviting him to come to Radio Pacis during his visit to Uganda, so that he would be heard by millions of listeners in Northern Uganda. Let us hope that the organizers of the Pope's African trip will take into account this opportunity."
IN PACE CHRISTI
Fr. Alfredo Mattevi (14.11.1923 - 26.12.2014)
COMBONI SISTER: Sr. Liana Maria Pera