CELEBRATIONS FOR THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMBONI INSTITUTE BEGIN IN JUBA
19 March 2017 – The Comboni Missionaries, a society of priests and brothers founded in Verona, Italy, on 1st June 1867 by Daniel Comboni, celebrate 150 years of foundation this year.
A whole range of activities have been planed world-widely to mark this event. In South Sudan, where the founder Daniel Comboni himself worked as a missionary, celebrations have already begun.
Fr. Dr. John Loboka presenting a book at the University
The Comboni community of Juba has organised the presentation of a book entitled “The Transforming Power of the Gospel. The Kairos of Mission. Explorations in Comboni Missionary Perspective” by Fr. Guido Oliana, a Comboni missionary who works in South Sudan.
The presentation of this book took place at the Catholic University of South Sudan on Saturday 18th March 2017. This event was placed within the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Comboni Institute.
The book, published by Pauline Publication Africa (Nairobi, 2017), contains a collection of articles written over the past fifteen years about mission and has a particular focus on the Comboni missionary spirituality. The author, being a theologian himself, makes a theological reflection on mission and missionary ministry.
Audience at the book presentation at the University
An audience of over a hundred and twenty people turned up at the University to attend the presentation of this book. A lot of them were University students and staff. Also, a good number of Religious and Priests attended the event.
Fr. Dr. Matthew Pagan, Vice-Chancellor of the Catholic University in Juba, welcomed all. Fr. Christian Carlassare, Vice-Provincial of the Comboni Missionaries in South Sudan, made the introductory remarks and historical notes on the Comboni Institute.
The book “The Transforming Power of the Gospel. The Kairos of Mission. Explorations in Comboni Missionary Perspective” was presented by Fr. Dr. John Loboka, a missionary in the Congregation of the Apostles of Jesus and the Rector of the Philosophicum at St. Paul Major Seminary in Juba.
Fr. Dr. Guido Oliana, who is also a Professor at St. Paul Major Seminary and the author of the book, made his remarks and answered some questions asked by the audience. Fr. Jorge Jangara, a Professor of Philosophy, made the concluding remarks, and the retired Bishop of the Diocese of Torit, Paride Taban, after congratulating the presenters, blessed the audience.
Retired Bp Paride Tabam addressing the audience
It was stressed by the presenters that this book “may be utilised in formation houses or by anybody who would like to reflect systematically and critically on the issues in question. The book has in mind mainly Comboni missionaries or candidates to the Comboni missionary life”.
The celebration of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Comboni Institute is not only an occasion of mission animation, but also a call for the missionaries to renew themselves in the light of their history and identity along the years in which this Institute has been committed to the evangelization of peoples, mainly in Africa.
More celebrations are planned to mark this remarkable event of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Comboni Institute. The main commemoration of the foundation of the Institute on 1st June 2017 will be done at the local level in each Comboni mission across South Sudan and a solemn mass will be celebrated in the cathedral of Juba.
Book: The Transforming Power of the Gospel
The Comboni Institute, whose official name is Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, abbreviated MCCJ, evangelises in 41 countries worldwide. In Africa the Comboni missionaries are present in 17 countries. In South Sudan they work in Juba and Moroyok, Kajo-Keji, Tali, Yirol, Mapuordit, Wau, Leer, Old Fangak and Ayod.