The Comboni Missionaries are a Missionary Institute comprised of Religious Priests and Brothers from many countries, constantly moving and growing, encountering diverse peoples and cultures.Though the missionary does spend some time in his home country, he is open to being sent wherever the Lord leads him – ultimately finding his “home” in the Word of God. It was founded by Daniel Comboni; on the 1st June 1867. He developed a great passion to bring the Gospel to the peoples in Africa.
Even as a young child, Daniel Comboni used to go up the hill and cry out aloud “Africa of Death” At that time many people looked at Africa as the dark doomed continent. He went against the prejudices held against Africans. He kept repeating that God died for the Africans too. Besides that he believed that Africans were the best agents of their own evangelization. This is summarized in his motto “Save Africa with Africa.”
The missionary witness is translated for the Comboni Missionary in a particular way of living the mission, according to a precise methodology, concrete and valiant. The fundamental elements of this way of life come from the words of St. Daniel Comboni. Candidates to the Comboni Missionaries, with the help of God, conform their lives to that of Christ, the Good Shepherd with the Pierced Heart, according to this charism of St. Comboni that continues and expresses itself in the Institute of the MCCJ.
The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (mccj), faithful to the vocation they received are committed to the Church’s mission, and endeavor to be witnesses of the Gospel through an attitude of collaboration and dialogue with other cultures and religions. In this way, we are promoters of a world that is more just and fraternal. As an Institute exclusively missionary within the Roman Catholic Church, we welcome young men who want to dedicate their lives in service of the Kingdom of Life in the areas of our world where the signs of death abound.
The vocation to missionary life is first and foremost a response to God’s call and the Gospel challenge, “Go out to all the world and proclaim the Good News” (Mk 16:15). It’s a sobering thought to think that two thousand years after Jesus walked the face of the earth, the majority of the world’s people still await the proclamation of the Kingdom of God!
The missionary vocation calls for desire to serve and for us, it means to grow in solidarity with the poor. St. Comboni’s passion was for the “poorest and most abandoned.” This calls for an adventurous spirit but above all, a trusting spirit! We learn from, love and respect the culture of the country in which we are sent. The Comboni Missionary helps form local leaders and animates the local churches with a missionary spirit. The Comboni Missionary Brother realizes his vocation by actively participating in the building up and development of the human and Christian family. He does this through his profession (be it doctor, laborer, lawyer, teacher, etc.).
Today world wide there are about 1800 Comboni Missionaries working in 44 different countries. The Charism of the Congregation is serving the Poorest and Most abandoned in a holistic way. Their main concentration is frontline evangelization in places where the gospel is least known. They are involved in Parish work, Human promotion, Justice and Peace, Social Media, Mission Animation, formation of the leaders of the local church and the Formation of future Comboni Missionaries.
On 15 September 1864, he had a mystical experience while in prayer at the tomb of Saint Peter and begun writing a plan for the regeneration of Africa. He cris-crossed Europe looking for support for the African mission and on the 10th October, 1881, the then Bishop Comboni died saying “I die but my work will never die”. His prophecy proved true. In spite of terrible sufferings and series of deaths, his missionaries never gave up. They established hundreds of mission stations in Egypt and in the Sudan. They arrived in Uganda on the 17th. February, 1910 at Pakwach. From there they established the Catholic Church in all the Northern dioceses of Arua, Nebbi, Gulu, Lira, Moroto, Kotido.
In Uganda there are presently 106 Comboni Missionaries working in 25 different places. 44 Ugandans so far have become Comboni Missionaries and are serving in different parts of Africa, Europe Latin America and USA.