The Comboni Missionaries with the friends and supporters in the UK and Ireland will be celebrating the canonisation of their founder Blessed Daniel Comboni at a number of events over the next few weeks. Fr Carlos Alberto Nunes, mccj sent us the following report: Blessed Daniel Comboni was a great Missionary of Central Africa, founder of the Comboni Missionaries widely known in the UK and Ireland as the Verona Fathers. He was born in Italy, Limone on Lake Garda (Brescia) on 15 March 1831. As a young man he felt the call to bring the Gospel of Christ to the peoples of Africa who for him were the most poor and abandoned of the world. Inspired by the Spirit while praying at St Peter's in Rome, he formulated his 'Plan for the Regeneration of Africa' in 1864. Faithful to his motto 'Africa or death' he visited many countries in Europe to promote and stir up the missionary endeavour. He even had the courage to go and present the cause of Africa to the Bishops gathered in Rome for the first Vatican Council in 1870. Daniel Comboni made many journeys to Africa and was consecrated as the first bishop of Central Africa. He endured many hardships in his mission and died in Khartoum on 10 October 10 1881, when he was just 50. His enthusiasm for the missionary vocation made of him a charismatic person who inspired and inspires many others. He founded the Comboni Missionaries (1867) for Priests and Brothers and the Comboni Missionary Sisters (1872). A Secular Institute grew out of his charism later on and today there are about 4,000 Comboni Missionaries all over the world! Daniel Comboni's missionary inspiration and vision was recognised by the Church when he was beatified on 17 March 1996. He will be canonised in Rome on 5 October 2003. About 200 pilgrims will be travelling from the UK and Ireland to attend the ceremony. Fr Carlos writes: "Do join the Comboni Missionaries, their friends, benefactors and supporters in praising God for the gift of St Daniel Comboni given to the Church and the world! All are welcome as part of this great missionary family!" The following events will be taking place in the UK. For more information also check the Listing pages. Golders Green, St Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, 12 October, at 10.30 am, Mass presided over by Bishop James O'Brien. Glasgow Cathedral, 18 October, 11.30 am, Mass presided by Archbishop Mario Conti Westminster Cathedral , October 19,12.00 noon, Mass presided by the Comboni Bishop Ceresoli Lorenzo (who has been working in Ethiopia for many years). Chiswick, Our Lady of Grace and St Edward Church, on October 26, at 12.15 noon, Mass presided by Mgr James Currie. Leeds Cathedral, November 2, at 11.00 am, Mass presided by Bishop David Constant.
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