AFRICA - The Comboni Missionaries: 150 years of love for the mission

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 mission   missionary animation   evangelization   missionary institutes  

Madrid (Agenzia Fides) - "The Congregation of the Pious Mothers of Nigrizia, now known as the Comboni Missionary Sisters, took its first steps on January 1, 1872. The day before, Maria Caspi had crossed the threshold of the house that Luigia Zago and Isabella Zadrich had in part made available in Montorio, a town near Verona, to prepare young people 'who follow in the footsteps and fulfill the functions of the pious women of the Gospel', as Daniel Comboni clarified in referring to the missionaries who would work alongside him in Central Africa". This is what the Provincial Superior of the Comboni Sisters in Spain, Sister Angela Colombi, says in a video message sent to Fides, speaking of the 150th anniversary of the institute, which falls in 2022.
Maria Teresa Romo, Comboni missionary of Portuguese origin, explains: "Retracing our history is important to remember and to give thanks, but also to find the light we need to live the present and the future in a 'charismatic' way. Charism, she emphasizes, shapes the lifestyle and the services with which we respond to the needs of a given time in a given place. Living charismatically is equivalent to assuming and carrying out our task in the world". The present moment - observes the religious - has its complexity, which the numerical decrease in our congregation further exacerbates, but this complexity also offers new opportunities: it urgently pushes us to reorganize the presences, the governance structures and the missionary methodology".
This is why a necessary transformation urges us to share more and to "walk together" in a more inclusive way also within the Congregation: "Remembering 150 years - says to Fides Sr. Martina Prado Fernandez, of the missionary and vocational animation in Madrid - sheds light on how to get through this difficult time and marked by further turning points: they are necessary to be able to situate oneself in the future in a meaningful way. This year, she continues - becomes an opportunity to reread our history and find further confirmations in it: they are those that give energy and courage to cross the complexity of our time. The Jubilee - she concludes - is certainly a moment of recognition, because the experience of the congregation allows us to recognize the passage of God, who has so often led us on unknown paths, protected us, strengthened our faith and nourished in us the courage to go forward". (ES/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 20/4/2022)