Seminarians — Riches of Grace


Nowhere is the Church growing faster than in Africa. Nowhere is there such a great wealth of vocations, of Catholic schools and of seminarians as on this continent. And yet nowhere is the Church materially poorer.

The bishops and seminary rectors are delighted at the growing number of candidates for the Church across Africa. They always check carefully to ensure that these are genuine vocations and not merely driven by the desire for security and safety. But then in practice, security is by no means certain anywhere, and in some dioceses life in the seminary can be quite dangerous.

In Burkina Faso – the ‘Land of the Upright’ – in the diocese of Dori, on the frontier with Mali, it takes courage and perseverance to consecrate your life to Christ. The people here are among the poorest in Africa, and gangs of Islamist terrorists sometimes cross the border.

But Damien, Ambrose, Daniel and the 42 other seminarians here are still determined to serve the Lord. They continue to study and in the holidays they live and work in the local parishes to deepen their understanding of life here in the Sahel zone. This will help them later when as priests they play a crucial role, leading the people to Christ. ACN is supporting their studies.

In the Central African Republic the Cardinal Archbishop of Bangui is rightly proud of his seminarians. Last year they all passed their end-of-year exams, three of them with distinction. And this despite the chaos that war has brought to the country. These young men long to lead their people to reconciliation and the peace of Christ. We are helping the Cardinal and  his 53 seminarians.

In Tanzania there are another 46 seminarians and in Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo several hundreds more.

Thanks to your generosity, they are able to devote their lives to God in the seminary. In this way, you too are sharing in the grace of this wealth of vocations.

Edward Barrett