Women in our history

The Comboni Missionary Sisters tell their stories…

Recently the “Studium Madri Nigrizia”, a group responsible for the publication of our historical documents, handed the first volume of a collection of biographies to the printer. These are biographies of Comboni women that we hope will be comprehensive. Our story is worth telling. It is not just our story; it is the story of the Church and it belongs to all the people of God. The journalist Arnaldo Cipolla from the Italian newspaper the “Stampa” met Sisters Elisabetta Venturini and Caterina Chincarini in Khartoum. He commented that the story of sisters like these, when it became known in Italy, would do good to the faith, would help people to grow, would help people to see persons and situations from a different perspective, a different point of view… Sr. Carla Troenzi, one of our Superiors General, seems, from what we can see, to have had the same thoughts. In a letter dated 13th January 1947 she wrote,

“Dear Sisters, it is my great desire to put into your hands, especially into those of the youngest sisters, some very special books. These books would help to form you for the missionary life, for that solid virtue which spurs us on in our lives.
I think that I could not do better to achieve my purpose than to publish the “story” of the many sisters who have gone before us and who now shine in heavenly glory…Many names come to my mind: Maria Bollezzoli, Giuseppa Scandola, Costanza Caldara, Francesca Dalmasso, Pierina Stoppani…
Therefore I would ask any Sister who knows anything about them to put it in writing, and to record, if possible, the dates and places of the facts of which they write…
I would also ask you to send photographs with your scripts…”

Twenty years later the second Vatican Council would say the same thing: To go to our roots, to return to the source, to recall persons and events, means to rediscover our Christian identity, to understand better the meaning of our lives, to light the path we follow in a world which seems to allow itself to become ever more covered in shadows and confusion….

Therefore we would like to invite all of you to join us in reading our Book of the Mission, the Acts of our history. We will not stop at the first volume of the collection of biographies. We will move on to the second and even to the third which are now being prepared…Month by month, for the whole year we will focus on one missionary woman. We will listen to her voice and relive with her the joys and pains of missionary “work”….


We would also like to ask everyone, relatives and friends, if they have memories or letters of sisters who have died. If you send them to the archive it is the best way to preserve them and to make them known…