Church in Africa





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The steps of a life 1831-2003: A brief cronology of the most important dates 
of San Daniel Comboni till october 2003
15-03-1831 - Daniel Comboni is born at Limone sul Garda (Italy).
20-02-1843 - Enters Don Nicola Mazza's Institute founded to "assist and educate poor young boys".
06-01-1849 - Vows in the presence of Don Nicola Mazza to consecrate himself to the missions of Central Africa for the rest of his life.
31-12-1854 - Priestly ordination.
10-9-1857 - First journey of Daniel Comboni to Central Africa.
15-9-1864 - While praying near the tomb of St. Peter's, he conceives the "Plan for the Regeneration of Africa".
01-06-1867 - Founds in Verona the Institute for the Missions of Africa (Comboni Missionaries) in the framework of the Work of the Good Shepherd, an international missionary organisation.
24-06-1870 - Prepares a document to be presented to the Fathers of Vatican Council I: "Postulatum pro Nigris Africae Centralis".
01-01-1872 - Founds in Verona the Institute of the Pie Madri della Nigrizia (Comboni Missionary Sisters). In the same month of January he starts his missionary magazine: "Annals of the Good Shepherd".
26-05-1872 - Nominated Pro-vicar of Central Africa.
14-09-1873 - In El Obeid consecrates the Vicariate to the Sacred Heart.
08-12-1875 - In El Obeid consecrates the Vicariate to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.
12-08-1877 - Bishop's consecration of Daniel Comboni as Vicar of Central Africa.
12-05-1878 - Begins his first appeals to Europe on behalf of the Sudan suffering from a devastating famine.
08-11-1879 - Organises an international group of missionaries and sends them to Africa from Verona.
10-10-1881 - Dies at 10 p.m. in Khartoum, surrounded by his missionaries. In 1885 Comboni's tomb is desecrated by the Mahdists.
14-02-1928 - In Verona is introduced the diocesan cause of his beatification and canonisation.
06-01-1969 - Canonical recognition of a third Institute inspired by the spirituality of Comboni: the Comboni Secular Missionaries.
25.10.1970 - Miraculous cure of a Brazilian girl, Maria José Oliveira Paixão, attributed to the intercession of Daniel Comboni.
06-04-1995 - John Paul II signs the decree that officially recognises the miracle attributed to the intercession of Daniel Comboni.
17-03-1996 - Solemn Beatification of Daniel Comboni in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
11-04-2002 - The Medical Consulta of the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints recognises that the cure of the Muslim Lubna Abdel Aziz in Khartoum (Sudan) has been quick, simultaneous, complete and scientifically unexplainable.
05-10-2003 - Blessed Daniel Comboni is canonised by John Paul II in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.


The Comboni Missionaries (Mccj) go back to Comboni’s time. The first name, given by the founder in 1867, was Institute for the Missions of Nigritia. 
In 1885 it became a religious Congregation under the name of Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (FSCJ). After the first world war the Congregation split into two branches: the Italian group kept the name of FSCJ, the German group took the name Missionaries Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MFSC). The present name was adopted in 1979, after the reunion of the two branches. Today it numbers approximately 1700 members, present in over 30 countries. 
Their identity is defined by the Rule of Life: “The Comboni Missionaries are a community of brothers called by God and consecrated to him through the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience for missionary service in the world, according to the charism of Daniel Comboni” (RL n. 10).
Areas of work and activities.
At present Comboni Missionaries are working in four Continents. At first they worked in Africa and Europe. In the late 1940's they opened communities in North America, and in the fifties increased their presence in South America. In the General Chapter of 1985 they decided to begin work in Asia too. In this year of the Canonisation of the Founder, Comboni Missionaries have 764 members in Africa (43% of total forces), 534 in Europe (30%), 403 in Latin America (23%), 42 in N. America (2.2%) and 32 in Asia (1.8%). 
The Comboni Missionary Institute is exclusively missionary, dedicated to the Evangelisation of peoples. The characteristics of this missionary service are four-fold: they are missionaries "ad gentes" because they go out to peoples, areas and situations where evangelisation has not yet been completed. They are missionaries "ad pauperes", because preference is given to the poorest and most abandoned from the point of view of Faith and the social dimension. They are missionaries "ad extra", because they are men of God who go outside (exodus) their personal, family, geographical, cultural, social and religious frontiers. They are missionaries "ad vitam" because they make a life-long consecration to God for the Missions. 
Most Comboni missionaries live and work outside their homeland. They are engaged in direct Evangelisation, in the missionary animation of local Churches, and in the formation of future religious and lay missionaries. 
Some Provinces have organised houses for sick and aged missionaries. These men are more visibly associated with the sufferings of Christ, and as such continue their mission through the offering of their pain and prayers, and through the serene acceptance of and joyful witness to their present state. 
Preferentially, Comboni Missionaries work in those Churches where there is First Evangelisation (telling the good news where it has never been heard). They choose the most remote and isolated areas in the interior, or the shanty towns around cities, such as Nairobi, Kinshasa, Khartoum, Lima, Mexico City, Cairo and São Paulo; nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples such as the Karimojong in Uganda and the Turkana in Kenya; minorities in danger of extinction, like the Pygmies in the Central African Republic or the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Indios in Amazonia, Peru and Mexico. They assist and support movement that are engaged in recovering the historic memory and the dignity of their race, such as the Afro-Amerindians of Brazil, Ecuador and the United States. They work in centres for the defence of human rights, and assist movements struggling to obtain land for the landless peasants. 
In all the continents they foster the growth of Basic Christian Communities, an effective means of evangelisation. 
Particular attention is paid to young people, to their education and professional formation, through the support and organisation of numerous schools, both in the city suburbs and in little village lost in the forests. 
In line with the original inspiration of the Founder, Comboni Missionaries have set up in Africa and Latin America, and now in Asia, centres for Bible formation, catechetics, theology, professional and social training, to prepare local people who are active in the work of evangelisation and human development. In this way the missionaries collaborate in making the local Churches increasingly autonomous and able to run themselves and even go out to others in other continents, in line with the ideal of Comboni: to "Save Africa with Africa".


To the Memory of St. Daniel Comboni 

who passionately did everything possible, in his times, to make Africans and the African continent better known and appreciated.
Comboni saw Africans as the protagonists in the regeneration of Africa. He profoundly believed in the African people's potential ability to contribute toward building an African civilization based on the Kingdom Values: Justice, Peace and Truth that liberates. May he continue to intercede for Africa and Africans so that his dream to "SAVE AFRICA WITH AFRICANS" may become a reality in our times. "AFRICA or DEATH" was Comboni's war cry. Imbued with a prophetic spirit, he fought against the Slave Trade. He dared to challenge "the merchants of human flesh" using all the means available to him at the time especially the print media and public relations. 
In our time, new forms of slavery, oppression and "cultures of death" (Poverty, Hunger, HIV/AIDs, Conflicts and War etc.) still prevail in Africa. Consequently, in today's global village, Africa generates more more "BAD NEWS" than "GOOD NEWS". 
We in NEW PEOPLE Media Centre, however, believe that a lot of good things also happen in Africa that are largely forgotten or simply ignored by the profit-driven mainstream media. Recent African initiatives to regenerate Africa by Africans such as the African Union (AU) and The New Partnership for Africa's Development(NEPAD) are positive signs that a New Africa is possible! Comboni, after all, was not just being Utopian!
The NEW PEOPLE site is an expression of our commitment to continue Comboni's commendable effort to make Africa better known, heard and understood. Our aim is to make this site a one-stop reliable and easily accessible information and resource portal for and about Africa. Students, Teachers and Researchers, Scholars, Journalists and the Church in Africa have been taken into account in the development of the NEW PEOPLE pages. The various resources we have pooled together, especially the links to external Internet Resources, have been carefully researched and verified before including them on our site. We shall continue to build on what we have done sofar. Any contributions and suggestions of links that satisfy our editorial criteria will be appreciated.

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