Comboni Lay Missionaries in Uganda
Comboni Lay Missionaries Uganda is a group of lay men and women, single, married founded here in Uganda in 2000. We are called to live in the Church as brothers and sisters doing evangelization through our way of life, through our professions and the work we do, under the inspiration of Saint Daniel Comboni founder of Comboni Missionaries and Comboni Missionary Sisters.
The centrality of mission and with it the role of the lay people, the ministerial service of the Church and the Comboni charism lived in a “lay” dimension, in Comboni’s example and the demand of the new mission, are the main criteria and motivations which animate the Comboni Lay Missionaries Uganda (CLMU) open to the needs of the local Church and the people
In doing so, we give witness to Christ through our personal, human and Christian maturity, our profession and /or activities of direct evangelization. This work should make every CLMU to find God in the work he/she does and discover God in every situation in the namely; nature, animals, birds just like what St. Ignatius tells us to do.
The Founder – Touched by Love for the Needy
- The Comboni Lay Missionaries –Uganda (CLMU) emanated from; the experience of two Comboni Missionary Priests Fr. Louis (Mexican) and Fr. Henrico (Italian).
- The two priests came to Mbuya Parish in 1995 and 1996, they moved in a slum area to work among the poor, HIV/AIDS patients and street children in the parish. The parish is located in Kampala the capital city of Uganda. It’s on the eastern part of the city about six kilometers from the city center.
- The priests conducted prayers, visited the sick, prisoners, gave counseling to the people, and looked after the street children. Attracted by their life style, two young men joined and started working with them. Later on, another young man and a lady (who was HIV positive) joined them too. Together with the priests, the lay people started establishing small Christian communities, animating the youth, visiting the sick and teaching catechumens in the schools and in the parish.
- Inspired by the love, meekness and charity, which these Comboni priests were showing to the people in this area, this small group of three young men and two ladies among the rest, felt a desire of dedicating part of their life to the vineyard of the lord.
- This idea was shared by Fr. Henrico to the provincial superior (by then Fr. Guido Oliana) and later presented to the provincial council of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ), where it was approved during their ordinary meeting of September 21-23, 1999 as a program of the Uganda Province.
- On January 10, 2000 the first group started formation, which lasted for six months, and on the 11th of June 2000, this group of the first five Comboni Lay Missionaries Uganda, was commissioned to go and work in different parts of the country. Since then, the group has grown to over 15 members working in 3 dioceses of Uganda.
Our identity basically constitutes of three dimensions:
- Lay: We have to animate the secular reality with our profession (politics, education, health, social work, technical world, mass media, etc.).
- Missionary: We have possibly, to leave our own familiar environment in order to go to serve in different locations, where there is a request for our service.
- Combonian: We are animated by the spirit of St. Daniel Comboni; spirit of prayer; Self-sacrifice; inspired by the cross of Jesus Christ; courage to leave and go anywhere there is a need; perseverance when difficulties arise, without giving up; spirit of poverty to be satisfied with what we get as income for our Self-reliance; some sort of “elastic” community life.
- We have a particular link with the Comboni family (MCCJ and CMS). We are considered to be Comboni Lay Missionaries in the full sense of the word, but under particular dimension of the Laity. Therefore, as CLMUs we have our own general guideline of life. We share in the common Comboni charism according to our lay status.
Our Charism: Reach out to the poor and most abandoned
Vision: CLMU envisions a society of youth and young adults who are transformed by the gospel of Christ and live a responsible, productive, happy and meaningful life.
- Social justice
- Love and respect for one another
- Dignity of labour
MISSION: To deepen evangelization in communities, most especially the poor and the most abandoned through our professions