Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus

views updated


(MCCJ, Official Catholic Directory #0380); popularly known as the Verona Fathers. The Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus (Missionarii Comboniani Cordis Jesu), a pontifical congregation of priests and brothers devoted exclusively to missionary work, was founded by Bp. Daniele comboni in Verona, Italy, in 1867. Originally founded as a secular institute for African missions, the institute was changed in 1885 into a religious congregation under the guidance of the Jesuits. Final approval of the Holy See was given in 1910.

From its inception, the congregation gave priority to missionary work in Africa, establishing its mission in Sudan, but a revolution there in 1881 disrupted the work. In 1899, the congregation returned to Sudan to rebuild the missions and establish schools. In 1910 they expanded their work to Uganda, and later to Ethiopia and Mozambique. In Latin America the society has missions in Mexico, Brazil, and Ecuador. Members of the society have written works on the ethnology and languages of the African tribes whom they have evangelized.

When they came to the United States in 1940, the congregation established themselves in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the provincial house is located. The generalate is in Rome.

Bibliography: o. branchesi, Safari for Souls (Cincinnati 1951).

[j. m. carillo/eds.]