from Comboni Missions Vol. 55 No. 3
by Paul Wheeler
Who are Comboni Lay Missionaries? They are a Catholic community of laypeople who live out their faith and ideals by walking with the poor of other countries, sharing our talents, learning from one another, and joining the struggle for a more just and compassionate world. It’s an exciting and rewarding life, but it’s not for everyone…
Once a candidate is accepted, he or she stays at the Comboni Mission Center in La Grange Park, Illinois, for a fourteen-week training program. All meals and lodging are provided. I try not to use the word training, though, because it’s a lot more than just passing along information. We call it “formation,” since we think it’s more a matter of forming a whole, healthy, and faithful adult than just teaching some skills. And the “forming” is a process that goes through the years, and it goes both ways—we receive admirable young Catholic leaders, and we think they have as much to teach as they have to learn, and that they have as much to contribute inside the community as they have to receive. Each of them, in his or her own way, has made us different and better than we would otherwise have been, and they’ve formed us as much as we’ve formed them. Formation, if it’s understood in this way, is a process that’s available to all of us, as individuals, families, and local parish communities, and it’s a process each of us can lead in important and personal ways. We as Christians can be the presence of God, wherever we might be standing. God is always calling us to growth, to new things, to entering deeply into faith and life….