Monday, April 7, 2003

Mission founder to be saint


Comboni went to Africa

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

Since the 1860s, Comboni Missionaries have traveled to Africa to do God's work. This year, founder Daniel Comboni will be canonized a saint Oct. 5 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

img
Comboni
"Comboni did the work of God; that we know. We're trying to be faithful to the mission and through that, we hope we're doing God's work," said the Rev. Paul Donohue of Comboni Missionaries, which has North American headquarters in Anderson Township.

For a person to be recognized as a saint, he or she must have lived a faithful life, and the church must recognize two miracles performed by God on the person's behalf.

Dan Andriacco, communications director for the Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, said the church does not create saints.

"We're recognizing what we believe to be a reality. It doesn't add to them. It does something for us. It puts that person up as a model of a good Christian," Andriacco said. "The idea of saints is to inspire us to be better people."

Comboni was born in 1831 in northern Italy. He traveled to Africa with five other missionaries, but within a year he was the only one who survived. He founded his own institute for missionaries, and although he died in 1881 of a fever at age 50, the mission continued, Donohue said.

The mission now has 4,000 priests, brothers, sisters and lay missionaries in 40 countries in Africa, South America and Asia. They have formed hundreds of schools and continue to operate five hospitals.

Since his death, Comboni has been credited with two miracles.

In 1970, Maria Jose' Paixa'o went to a hospital in Sao Matesu, Brazil. She was diagnosed with a terminal infection in her abdomen. But after prayer to Comboni, she was cured, Donohue said.

Then in 1997, a Muslim mother of five children, Ludna Abdel Aziz, was ill after childbirth and expected to die in Khartoum, Sudan, the city where Comboni died. But nuns prayed to Comboni and placed a holy card in her bed, and she survived.

This past February, Aziz was able to travel to Mecca for the hajj, or pilgrimage.

"It broadens one's vision of God to see that the miracle involved a Muslim woman," Donohue said. "It shows us we need to open our theological vision to be able to see God working amongst all people."

E-mail kvance@fuse.net




LUCASVILLE PRISON RIOT: 10 YEARS LATER
Today's stories:
Criminal cases linger
In their own words: Inmates plan murders
Sunday's stories:
Spending cuts endanger reform, advocates say
Widow mourns guard's murder
Key figures during the riot

TOP LOCAL STORIES
Police delay in fatal beating investigated
911 call details
DeWine wants to pry open police strategy
Senate president White leads in a gentler style

PETER BRONSON COLUMN
Scouting the way it used to be

TRISTATE REACTS TO WAR ( Latest war news )
Grenade victim back in Ky.
Local soldier fighting for souls, too
Role of media to be discussed
Dinner for military families
Yellow ribbons encouraged

CINCINNATI-HAMILTON COUNTY
Students expose joys of cameras
Mission founder to be saint
Fernald cleanup might beat deadline
Rising taxes decried in Norwood
Portman: Christian ethics can be part of business
Avondale drug sweep snares morphine, cash

AROUND THE TRISTATE
State to mediate Warren agency flap
Hamilton invited to town meeting
Tristate A.M. Report
Hometown Heroes: Kareoke helps disabled
Obituary: Norma L. Flannery helped save wetlands
Obituary: Singer Toni Mathis started in Cincinnati
Good News: Art bash for children

OHIO
Bike maker evokes Wright brothers with new line
Ohio Moments: War veterans arrive at site of Marietta

KENTUCKY
Florence pilot home safe from Kuwait
Pence may join Fletcher ticket
Court battle costly to Fletcher campaign
Fight over Ky. coal plant spills over to other states