What would your life look like if you couldn’t have access to your parish or church? How would you celebrate weekly Mass, a baptism, or Holy Week?
Unfortunately, this is the reality for us now. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, church buildings are locked and parishioners are forced to seek spiritual guidance from home. For our missionaries this is a common scenario. Often our missionaries serve a parish of 50,000 or more people, spanning hundreds of miles–often through seemingly impassible landscapes. In these places, parishioners frequently go months between celebrating Mass and receiving the sacraments.
The missionary vocation calls for a desire to serve, and to grow in solidarity with the poor. This means we must learn through love and respect the culture of the country to which we are sent. This in turn helps the missionaries to form community leaders and animate the local church with a missionary spirit.
St. Daniel Comboni once wrote,
“Our life, Missionary life, is a combination of grief and enjoyment, exhaustion and hope, suffering and consolation, we work with our hands and our heads; we travel on foot and in canoes. We study, we sweat, we suffer, we rejoice. This is all that Providence wants of us.”
Just as our founder St. Daniel says, “we suffer, we rejoice.” We are suffering with you now and we look forward to rejoicing with you too. At Easter we remember Christ’s resurrection from the grave. Our missionaries celebrate this joyous time and all the important events in the lives of the people to whom they minister. We are continuing Christ’s work and living out Christ’s mission in all our ministries in 41 nations around the globe, from Uganda to the United States.
The Comboni Missionaries work hard so our ministry can generate spiritual, moral, and economic fruit for all of God’s people. This is especially important now as we navigate these uncertain times. We are always grateful for your kindness and concern toward the missions. May Easter be an occasion of hope, joy, and love. We are praying for your health and safety.
In God’s Peace,
Very Reverend Ruffino Ezama, mccj
Provincial Superior, North American Province
Please know we are praying for you and ask that you join us in reciting Pope Francis’s prayer:
You shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you. Health of the Sick. At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’s pain, with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to confirm ourselves to the Father’s will and to do what Jesus tells us: He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. Do not despise our pleas—we who are put to the test—and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.