Terms and glossary
CHARISM: This is the way our Comboni Institute derives its identity and specific manner of following Christ from the original inspiration of our founder St Daniel Comboni.
COMBONI MISSION CENTER: It is a Comboni Community dedicated to Mission Promotion activities within the area where the house is located. The Comboni Mission Center (CMC) provides the vital service of reaching the people of God in the area around them, adapting to their local interests.
COMBONI MISSIONARY BROTHER: A Comboni Missionary Brother is called to realize his missionary vocation as lay person consecrated to God for the mission, sharing actively in the growth of the human and Christian community especially through the exercise of a profession.
CONFRERE: It is a member of the same religious institute.
FORMATION: The institute of the Comboni Missionaries welcomes with gratitude those whom the Lord calls to be missionaries, apostles and heralds of the Good News. Thus, formation aims at helping the candidates to priesthood and brotherhood in their journey towards an experience of God that will enable them to know the people of their time in order to communicate to them the Word of God in a more effective way. This is an integral formation that is characterized by the ideal and experience of St Daniel Comboni that will help the candidates to face the demands of the missionary service in today’s world. Throughout the period of formation the dispositions considered basic for missionary spirituality are taken into account and verified: patience and fortitude in adversity, contradictions and disillusionment, spirit of initiative, acceptance of people in diverse situations and cultures and the disposition to live and work in communion with the other missionaries and pastoral agents from different countries.
INCULTURATION: The missionary is committed to the process by which the Local Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit assimilates Christ’s mystery and re-expresses it in its own language, culture and religious forms.
INTERNATIONAL BROTHER’S CENTER: The Comboni Missionary student who will be a Brother completes his basic preparation for perpetual profession and missionary service at an International Brothers’ Center (IBC) to which he is assigned by the General Administration. The structures, formation programs and educational requirements of the International Centers are given in view of preparing the young religious to complete his professional formation. Each brother is expected to acquire during this formation stage the training and other skills that would be useful in the mission.
MCCJ: These are the first letters of our religious institute’s name in Latin: Missionarii Comboniani Cordis Jesu, [The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus]. We are an exclusively Catholic Missionary Institute dedicated to the evangelization of peoples. We were founded in Italy in 1857 by St. Daniel Comboni.
NAP: North American Province of the Comboni Missionaries.
NOVITIATE: The Novitiate is an initiation into the Comboni Missionary way of life through structured experiences. The Novitiate prepares the novice for a total and radical consecration to God for missionary service as a Comboni Missionary by the profession of religious vows according to the Rule of Life. The Novitiate lasts a minimum of 20 months and a maximum of two years. An essential element of the structure of the novitiate is the “desert”, understood as a dimension of life and that also includes an environment and structure that facilitates the encounter with God and the encounter with one self, in recollection and solitude. The “desert” is a biblical dimension with two fundamental meanings: a place of meeting with God and a place of temptation, of the test that reveals the ambiguity of the heart and leads to self-knowledge.
POSTULANCY: The Postulancy prepares the postulant or candidate for priesthood or brotherhood to make a responsible decision to enter the Novitiate. The length of the Postulancy is from one to three years, including some theological preparation. The postulant is given the opportunity to further discern his vocation, to live in community, to study, to engage in pastoral work, to know and assume the Comboni Missionary Charism, and to experience the way of life and ministry of the Comboni Missionaries. Candidates for the priesthood must have successfully completed the minimum studies necessary in order to undertake or conclude the philosophical-theological curriculum. Brother Candidates must have their secondary education completed or a profession. During the Postulancy the brother candidates are helped to progressively interiorize the characteristic elements of their own lay vocation, to serenely assume their own identity and to make themselves evangelizers through the witness of life as men of God who live and work with the people and promote their condition of life and dignity.
RULE OF LIFE: The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus publicly commit themselves to a particular way of life in order to fulfil better their missionary service in mutual responsibility and edification. The bylaws of this way of life are contained in the document called “Rule of life” which in fact these are the constitutions of this religious institute.
SCHOLASTICATE: This is a Comboni community of young religious men of different nationalities, united by the same consecration guided by a team of formation directors. In the formative process towards a full Comboni vocational identity, the period of temporary vows constitutes the moment in which the candidate is called upon to assume the Comboni Missionary identity as a priest by means of the study of Theology and an initiation to priestly ministry.
VOCATION PROMOTION: It is an integral part of mission promotion, and it aims at assisting in the discovery, interpretation and development of the missionary vocation. Conscious that the Comboni Missionary life is a gift from God to the Catholic Church and to the world, the Institute has the duty and right to present and make known its own proper Charism in its concrete realizations: Priests, brothers, sisters, seculars, associates and lay members.