“Our life, a Missionary’s 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.”

– St. Daniel Comboni

The Missionary Vocation

To talk to someone about your vocation call us at (513) 474-4997 or email info@combonimissionaries.org.

On average it takes 10 years to be ordained as Comboni Missionary Priest and 6 years to become a Comboni Missionary Brother.  If you are interested in becoming a missionary priest or brother, contact the Comboni Missionaries in your home country. 

We are consecrated Brothers and Priests 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. 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.).

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.

  • Discernment: The process of discernment usually begins in high school, with prayer and spiritual guidance from a vocation director in the candidate’s home country. (it would be nice if we could include a list of vocation directors by country, but I think this changes too frequently to be accurate).
  • Postulancy: After a successful discernment, the candidate will enter postulancy to study philosophy for three years. 
  • Novitiate: After passing assessment, the candidate is promoted to the novitiate for spiritual study, and to study the charism of the institute for 2 years.
  • First Vows: At the end of the novitiate, the candidate takes his first vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience to become a member of the institute.
  • Theological Studies: The newly processed Comboni missionary is sent to study theology in view of ordination to priesthood while the religious Comboni brother is sent to study social ministry. Theological studies on average take 4 years but others do go beyond if they are assigned to do theology in a new language. 
  • Missionary Service: After theological studies, the missionary is assigned to a province for Comboni missionary service (experience) for 2 years before the priestly ordination.
  • Ordination
Comboni Missionary Priest

The Comboni Missionaries were born from the heart of St. Daniel Comboni. Today our missionary priests and brothers serve the poorest and most abandoned people in 41 countries around the world. Learn more:

Comboni Missionary Sisters

The Comboni Missionary Sisters perform vital work in our missions – promoting education, work programs, feeding program, and so much more. They are women consecrated to God for the missions. Learn more about the Comboni Missionary Sisters.

Comboni Lay Missionaries

The Comboni Lay Missionaries are a Catholic community of lay men and women who live out their faith by walking with the poor of other lands. Our missionaries serve in parishes, schools, medical missions, and more. Learn more about the Comboni Lay Mission Program.

Priests & Brothers

The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (mccj), faithful to the vocation they receive, are committed to the Church’s mission. We witness the Gospel through 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 service, and for us that means to grow in solidarity with the poor. St. Daniels’ passion was for the “poorest and most abandoned.” This requires 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.

Comboni Brother Doctor
"To Save Africa With Africa"

We live out this phrase by respecting the culture and religion of the people we serve. We have great confidence in and respect for the people — encouraging them to become the protaganists of their story.

"To Make Common Cause with the People"

We live simply, sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people we serve. Making common cause with the poor implies sharing in their destiny, which can at times lead to persecution and even martyrdom.

"To Evangelize as a Community"

We live and work together as an apostolic community — united in prayer and work. In collaboration with local leaders, we provide the local communities with spiritual and material support.

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