Missio England and Wales has a long-standing relationship with five seminaries in five countries. These five seminaries – in India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Sri Lanka – offer the opportunity to sponsor students studying for the priesthood.

Fr Expeditus, Rector of Our Lady of Lanka National Seminary in Kandy, Sri Lanka shared their latest news with us: 

The year of 2020 has been a year of unique and extraordinary situations of life and challenges due to the COVID-19 nightmare.

Just halfway through the Academic Year 2019/2020 the seminarians returned home because of the Coronavirus outbreak in Sri Lanka. We experienced the abrupt closure of the seminary on 19 March. The Seminary reopened on 17 June under stringent health guidelines and we were able to complete the academic year successfully on 24 August.

A disrupted year, but not without blessings

The first wave of Coronavirus in Sri Lanka was very mild and was controlled to a certain extent. The second wave in November/December 2020 was of a serious nature. The Seminary once again had to close abruptly on 13 December and the seminarians returned to their dioceses.

The involuntary isolation and seclusion have caused considerable distress and triggered numerous reflections about the meaning of life and death.

Despite these challenges, in 2020, by the bountiful grace of God, 30 ordinations were celebrated in seven Dioceses.

Walking by faith, not sight

The theme for 2021 for the Seminarians is ‘We walk by Faith, not by Sight’. This is inspired by the Year of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, declared by the Holy Father.

Today, as a society we have mastered a lot of highly advanced skills but have neglected the most important skill of all: the ability to be alone, waiting in prayer and for God, to reflect on life in silence and stillness, to appreciate the wonder and the beauty of nature, and to savour the beauty of life heeding to the revelation of God in total surrender.

In our own local context, we hope and pray these experiences would evoke in all of us courage, hope and compassion. It is the integral faith founded on the sure ground of God leading us that which moves mountains, banishing doubts and uncertainties and making us to advance to the secure heights of Divine Providence. Our prayers ‘Lord that I may believe first and then understand’, St Augustine of Hippo and ‘Fides Quaerens Intellectum’ (Faith Seeking Understanding), St Anselm of Canterbury.

Our regards and blessing to all our friends, valued benefactors who are remembered with a lot of love and affection, with every best prayerful sentiments and thankfulness from the recesses of our hearts.

How you can help

When you sponsor a seminarian, you are building the church of tomorrow, today. You can sponsor a seminarian individually, or as a family, a community or a parish project.

Find out more about our sponsorship scheme here>>