In 2020, you reached out to seminarians at St Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Bambui, where armed conflict continues to rage between the military and the rebel ‘Amba Boys’.
The Rector, Fr Ignatius, shared with us:
‘In 2020, the armed conflict did not disturb us much, except for the times when the gun battles were on the highway that runs right in front of the Seminary. At such times, all the members of the community stayed in the backyard, using the buildings as cover’.
The Seminary was closed in March due to COVID-19, and reopened in two shifts: May for the final year Theologians, so that they could round off their course, and June for the rest of the seminarians who could then finish up the year.
Making big adjustments
To ensure safety protocols were adhered to, life in the Seminary was greatly adjusted. The chapel and the hall were organised so that the liturgy and Mass could be held in two locations simultaneously. Meanwhile the refectory was organised so that the seminarians could eat in two shifts. Only the larger classrooms were used for lectures to maximise distance. Hand washing and sanitisation points were set up and the seminarians needed to wear face masks at all times.
Fr Ignatius also shared:
‘God was really good to us and we were able to end the Formation Year without incident. What we missed were the ordinations that are usually celebrated in the course of the Formation Year. However, both the priestly and diaconal ordinations were done in the various Dioceses’.
Building a vibrant Church for the future
Every year, the global Missio network supports the training of over 24,000 future Priests and 8,000 Religious Sisters by providing young churches in developing countries with funding to train their own future church leaders. You make that possible, through funding and sponsoring those with a vocation in mission dioceses. Thank you for helping us build a strong and vibrant future church!