Comboni Feast: South Sudanese Provincial Recalls Saint’s “missionary insight” for Africa

Credit: ACI Africa

On the Feast of St. Daniel Comboni, the Provincial Superior of the Apostles of Jesus Missionaries (AJ) in South Sudan, an Institute of Priests and Brothers founded by two members of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (MCCJ) in Uganda, has recalled the “missionary insight” that the Saint had for Africa.

In his Sunday, October 8 homily during the anticipated Solemnity of St. Daniel Comboni in South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese, Fr. John Lo’boka Morris lauded the MCCJ founder for working “tirelessly to establish a strong foundation of the Church in Africa for the realization of evangelization on the continent.”

“Comboni’s plan for the regeneration of Africa shows his deep missionary insight and missionary genius for the transformation of Africa,” Fr. Lo’boka said about the Italian-born Saint, who died in Khartoum, Sudan on 10 October 1881, beatified on 17 March 1996, canonized on 5 October 2003, and whose Feast Day is October 10, the anniversary of his death.

The South Sudanese AJ Provincial Superior added, “Daniel Comboni had a profound faith and a profound conviction that the Gospel of Christ is ultimately a message of freedom and force for liberation.”

“His evangelization was to bring a deep spiritual and social transformation so that the Church in Africa would assume an African face,” Fr. Lo’boka further said during the Eucharistic celebration at Comboni House in Juba.


He continued about the Founder of MCCJ and the Comboni Missionary Sisters (CMS), “Comboni’s dream was that of a Church which makes common calls with those who are crucified in history as to experience the glory of the resurrection.”

“If there are many spiritual traits that would mark Comboni truly as a Holy man, for me, it is his courage in which he embraced the cross of Christ in his personal life,” Fr. Lo’boka said, and added, “His life bore a deep imprint of the cross.”

The Juba-based Provincial Superior of AJ, the Religious Missionary Institute of Priests and Brothers that Bishop Sisto Mazzoldi, and Fr. John Marengoni, both Italian-born MCCJ members, founded in Moroto, Uganda, in 1968 for the evangelization of Africa and the World further said that those who interacted with Comboni during his 50 years of earthly life “could see in him a real reflection of Christ the good shepherd.”

He went on to laud the first Vicar Apostolic of Central Africa, who was consecrated Bishop on 12 August 1877 as a “man with great apostolic zeal who worked for the spread of the Gospel among the people of God in Africa.”

“Celebrating St. Daniel Comboni on this day, we are truly thankful to God for raising up such a gallant man, anointing him with the Holy Spirit, and sending him to bring Good News to us,” Fr. Loboka said.

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Addressing himself to MCCJ and CMS members, Fr. Lo’boka said, “We continue to look to you dear Comboni Missionaries for inspiration; we admire your faith and courage and we are profoundly grateful for your dedication and the sacrifices you and your predecessors have made in the spirit and in the footsteps of Bishop Daniel Comboni for the good of the Church in Africa and for the good of Africans.”

“May the prayer and intercession of Saint Daniel Comboni continue to inspire you in spearheading the continuous realization of the vision and dream Comboni had for the regeneration of Africa,” the native of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese implored for MCCJ and CMS members.

He further implored, “May we all be inspired by him and carry on his legacy and the work of evangelization and the establishment of the Church with similar zeal.”

Also speaking during the October 8 Holy Mass at Comboni House in Juba, the Provincial Superior of MCCJ in South Sudan, Fr. Gregor Schmidt, said, “We feel honored to pray with our friends here in South Sudan and neighboring countries that work in Juba.”

“Continue with your commitment and be self-giving and enduring with the love of Christ,” the German-born MCCJ member said.


Kerbino Kuel Deng is a South Sudanese journalist who is passionate about Church communication. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.