CONSULTA - MARCH 2015
1 Opening of the cause of Brother Giosuè Dei Cas. On March 20 in Sondrio began the diocesan process for the beatification of Brother Giosuè Dei Cas.
2 General Chapter: observers and invited guests. The GA, in preparing the next Chapter, have finalised the report of the Superior General and his Council. This will be made available to the pre-capitular committee along with all the reports of the circumscriptions and continents. After consultation, the GC has decided to invite 2 scholastics and a trainee Brother as observers to the next Chapter. The general secretaries of Mission Promotion, Evangelization, Basic Formation and Finance were also invited and the confrere elected by the Curia will represent the field of Permanent Formation. Other guests include: the Superior General of the Comboni Missionary Sisters, the person responsible for the Secular Comboni Missionaries, and the representative of the Comboni Lay Missionaries. To these must be added 1 Comboni bishop and a confrere from Poland.
3 Newly-professed and scholastics for missionary service. The Secretary of Formation presented to the GA the options for the 30 newly professed scholastics, 2 brothers and 3 others from CIF. Nairobi and Kinshasa will have the most numerous communities, while in the other scholasticates the number of confreres in formation will be around fifteen in each. As for the finalists, we have taken note of the scholastics who will be returning to their circumscriptions for their missionary service, and those who are about to finish their missionary service in the next months and will be preparing for their final vows and ordination.
4 Publication of the revised Ratio Fundamentalis. The work of revising the Ratio Fundamentalis ended with the approval of the new text by the GA. The Secretary General will make the new text available to all whom it may concern.
5 Convention for the 150th anniversary of the Plan. From March 13 to 15 the convention "Africa in Cammino", with which we concluded the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Plan for the Regeneration of Africa, was held in Rome. The event took place in the auditorium of the "Seraphicum", close to our general house. The celebration aimed at giving a voice to Africans as they spoke of their homes and and local church communities. The event, which included the contribution of the Comboni Sisters and others, was attended by about 260 people. The material of the conference can be found on the internet at www.africaincammino.it. We thank all who worked on this project and sustained it with their support and contribution.
6 Comboni Year of Ongoing Formation. The GA has completed the list of those who will take part in the next CYOF: there will be 22 confreres from 13 circumscriptions. It should be remembered that the CYOF is not simply a formation proposal offered by the Institute to those concerned but the formal decision of a General Chapter.
7 Approval of the Vademecum on Continentality. This small document contains information on the progress made on the theme of continentality. As requested by the General Chapter, a commission was appointed to study material that might serve as an orientation to the work that we continue to do in the continents. The document has been approved by the GA and will be made available to all the circumscriptions.
8 Approval of the General Directory for Finance. On the last day of the Consulta, the GA worked with the treasurer general on the revision of the General Directory for Finance which has now been approved. This document is the result of the work of many people who in recent years have reviewed and updated this Directory, looking in particular to include all the changes that are due for the acceptance of the Total Common Fund. We sincerely thank all who have contributed in preparing this new Directory. This Directory now regulates all the economic activities in the Institute as of 26 March 2015. The treasurer general, in making us acquainted with it, will give the necessary instruction for its application.
Comboni message from the World Social Forum 2015.
To be like springtime in the Church and in the world today
After two years, the World Social Forum (WSF) is back in Tunis, in a context of growing instability and violence in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. It was meant to be a sign of peace and hope in the process of the Arab Spring, threatened by terrorism and the risk of being distorted by religious fundamentalism and repressive governments. The Comboni Family (Comboni Network) was again present, with one of the most representative and international delegations: 37 members, working in 15 different countries.
In a multicultural frame of colours, rhythms and dances, the North African peoples were the most numerous in most of the debates and events. Among the 1500 workshops, the main themes were: the defence of human rights (especially of women, migrants and minorities); the environment and climate, which also requires a change in lifestyle; alternatives to the neoliberal hegemonic system; spirituality and interfaith dialogue.
As Comboni Family we find ourselves very much in tune with the engagement of civil society organized in different parts of the world. The stand set up by the Comboni family was an important instrument of mission promotion: in the plurality of our origins and backgrounds, we witness the Christian commitment to change together that which destroys life. We believe that the mission is primarily to share the mystique that feeds our actions and inspires a transfigured vision of "a different and possible world."
In continuity with the last 4 Comboni Forums, we re-propose the following:
" Liberation from today's slavery, especially that of human trafficking
" Human mobility and the defence of the rights of migrants
" Reconciliation and dialogue in countries affected by war, with a focus on inter-religious dialogue and specifically on Islamic-Christian dialogue
" The defence of creation and public goods in synergy with the victims of environmental injustice and a review of the lifestyles of our communities and provinces.
Called to recognize the "new areopagi" of the mission, we reiterate the importance of the Comboni presence at the World Social Forum, proposing it as a meeting point where to check the direction and effectiveness of our paths as we journey together with a humanity that is on a pilgrimage to "new heavens and a new earth". (Tunis, 29 March 2015)
Perpetual vows. Chad - 1; Togo - 1
Conference in the Curia. On Wed., 25 March, in the Chapter Hall we held the second of three conferences on the "existential peripheries" related to the realm of the family. The theme chosen was "Homosexuality, (in)compatibility between religion and psychology?". The speaker was a psychologist, psychotherapist and lecturer at various post-university schools of psychotherapy. More details can be found on the website www.comboni.org, in the section Current Comboni Press.
Provincial Assembly. From March 10-12 the confreres of the province gathered for the Annual Provincial Assembly. The main issue of discussion was the questionnaire sent by the General Council to all circumscriptions in view of preparing the XVIII General Chapter of the Institute. The resulting reports will be taken by the delegates to the Chapter to the meeting of the sub-continent. due to take place in Zambia from May 4-11, in order to prepare the continental report.
New Publications. Our missionary experience among the Gumuz people, a Sub-Saharan Nilotic group inhabiting mainly the Western area of Ethiopia North to the Blue Nile River, on the border with Sudan, has given Fr. Núñez the opportunity to enter into the day to day life of this people. As a result of this, Fr. Núñez's has written a book "Pequeñas Exploraciones entre los Gumuz, un Pueblo Marginal de Etiopía" which has been published by the Editorial Mundo Negro (Madrid). This is the second book of this kind, following the publication of the "Al Norte del Nilo Azul. Los Gumuz, un Pueblo Marginal de Etiopía" in 2010. Shama Books Publications of Addis Ababa has now printed the English version of the latter under the title: "North of the Blue Nile. The Gumuz People". The presentation of this book has taken place on 25 March, 2015, in the auspices of the Spanish Embassy, organized by the same book publishing company.
Cardinal Berhaneyesus Surafiel. The elevation of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa to the rank of Cardinal, continues to be celebrated in different events. The solemn reception of the new Cardinal on Feb. 22 was marked by a Eucharistic celebration with a crowd that filled the large compound of the Catholic Cathedral of Addis Ababa.
Erection of the Eparchy of Bahir Dar-Dessie. April 26 has been chosen as the date for the formal erection of the newest Eparchy in Ethiopia. Formerly called: "Pastoral Territory of Bahir Dar", this geographical circumscription becomes now independent of the Archdiocese of Addis Ababa. Bishop Lesanu-Christos Matheos, the Auxiliary Bishop of Addis Ababa, has been nominated the first Eparch of the new circumscription. Two Comboni communities belong to this new Eparchy, namely Gilgel Beles and Gublak, and serve the Gumuz people who have become the fastest growing Catholic communities of the entire territory of Bahir Dar-Dessie.
Pan-Amazonian Church Network. The activity, the vision and achievements of the newly formed Pan-Amazonian Church Network (REPAM) were presented in Rome during a coordination meeting held on 2 and 3 March, 2015. The reference person of REPAM, elected on 3 March, is Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, president of the Commission for the Amazon of the Bishops' Conference of Brazil. The Comboni missionaries who are present in 4 countries (Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia) of the nine of the Amazon region were duly represented.
Artefacts of MuseoAfricano of Verona sent to the Venaria in Turin. On the occasion of the exposition of the Shroud and the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, the Palace in "La Venaria" in Turin will host, from 11 April 11 to 30 August, 2015, an interesting exhibition: "Prayer. The encounter with the divine in the religions of the world". The organizers have asked us for one of our artefacts for this exposition. We shall send the Islamic crown, called "Sibha", which belonged to El Mahdi (1848-85) and which he donated to Joseph Cuzzi, an agent of General Gordon and later a prisoner in Sudan (1884-1898). Being in possession of this crown, Cuzzi's life was spared and he was even released from captivity. Later, Cuzzi donated the crown to his daughter Margherita, who, in turn, donated it to Fr. Giovanni Vantini, who gave it to the Museoafricano.
Norms for financial projects. To better meet the needs and requirements of our missions that are submitting projects for funds, the Italian province has set up the "commission for projects", with the purpose of receiving and assessing these applications, then presenting its opinion to the Italian Provincial Council for final approval, taking into account the financial resources available. To assist in a good presentation of the projects, the committee has drafted some norms that were sent at the beginning of the year to all provincial and delegate superiors of our circumscriptions to be followed when presenting the project. Projects, once approved by the provincials and local delegates, whether addressed to Mondo Aperto or to Fondazione Nigizia, must only be sent to this address: Commissione Progetti (Attn P. Venanzio Milani), Vicolo Pozzo, 1 - 37129 Verona.
Celebration of the Day of Consecrated Life. The Religious Institutes in the Archdiocese of Juba held a 3-day programme to mark the closing day of the year of Consecrated Life, launched by the Religious Superiors Association (RSASS) on 2nd February, 2014, feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The programme began with a pilgrimage undertaken by a large number of Religious men and women and other faithful from St. Theresa Cathedral, in Kator, to all Saints Parish, in Rejaf (the first church built by the Comboni Missionaries in 1919) where the Eucharist was celebrated in thanksgiving. On the second day, another Eucharist was held at the cathedral of St. Theresa, in Kator. The programme concluded with a talk on "the challenges of Consecrated Life in South Sudan today" at the Comboni House and was followed a final Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Apostolic Administrator of Malakal. There are currently over 46 Religious Institutes present in the 10 states of South Sudan numbering more than 400 men and women from different countries who consecrated themselves to serve this new Nation.
Certificate of Recognition awarded to Bro. Rosario Iannetti
A Certificate of Recognition has been awarded to the Comboni Missionary doctor, Bro. Rosario Iannetti, by South Sudan's Ministry of Health for his outstanding medical performance. Bro. Rosario is the Medical Director of Mary Immaculate Hospital in Mapuordit, Diocese of Rumbek. The Mary Immaculate Hospital, situated some 75kms south west of Rumbek, capital of Lakes State, is one of the two County Hospitals of Yirol West County. It has grown to its present 115 bed status over the years, since it was founded in 2002. Mapuordit is situated in the middle of plain bush land in a village with an adequately stocked local market which has grown up around the Hospital and Mission Schools (Primary and Secondary). The Hospital is managed on behalf of the Diocese of Rumbek (DOR) by the Comboni Missionaries (three Brothers: two medical doctors, and one nurse anaesthetist and maintenance supervisor). The hospital employs local staff most of whom have received basic training for the auxiliary nurse status, as well as its own recently qualified staff, still supported by a small number of expatriate Registered Nurses/paramedical staff from the near East African countries and other countries. The Staff, paid directly by the State Ministry of Health (SMoH), has now increased to 51. A Health Pooled Fund (a consortium of five State donors lead by UK), allowed the health facility to employ some 15 new staff and personnel of Mercy Beyond Borders (MBB).
IN PACE CHRISTI
Fr. Ettore Pedrini (16.10.1921 - 21.03.2015)
Fr. Giuliano Chistè (13.01.1930 - 15.02.2015)
Fr. 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)