Could you make a special gift to help the training of future Priests and religious Sisters overseas?
Internationally, Missio provides young churches in developing countries with funding to train 25,000 future Priests and 11,000 religious Sisters each year.
These Priests and Sisters are future Church leaders: building a vibrant Catholic Church for tomorrow, passing the gift of faith on to future generations worldwide.
Despite the dangers from the ongoing conflict in Cameroon, St Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary has seen an upsurge in vocations.
Tensions between the Anglophone regions and the rest of Cameroon have been growing for years. In 2016 small, disorganised protests sprang up in English-speaking townships and rural areas. The government responded in disproportionate and inhumane ways. They terrorised communities, burned villages and murdered innocent people. Now, an ongoing conflict is threatening the lives of thousands of people.
Growing in faith
St Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Bambui is training 157 Cameroonian students for priesthood this year. Fr Ignatius has been the seminary Rector for eight years and a teacher for 24.
‘We worry constantly about the students,’ he says. ‘The crisis is making the whole environment unsafe. We can hear gunshots, but no one has come here to attack us, thanks be to God.’
But despite the dangers, the seminary doors remain open. And despite – or perhaps even because of – the hardships, there has been an upsurge in vocations. In 2018, 32 young men were ordained as deacons in comparison with 13 in 2017.
It’s wonderful news, but it means resources are stretched more than ever – and they need our help.
Will you help?
In Bamenda, some schools have been closed for two years. Even the university closed for a year. And food prices have doubled.
Fr Ignatius says: ‘We try to be self-sustaining. We grow our own vegetables and we have pigs, goats and sheep.
‘We had to borrow money to open at the beginning of the year. We have to cut back on non-essential items, so we eat less meat and travel less. We pray we stay healthy and don’t need operations or medications.’
In our complex world, we need brave young men to take up the call of Christ. And by supporting them through prayers and donations, you’ll have a real impact on the communities they will serve.
Earlier this year, our sisters and brothers in the Church in Mongolia celebrated the ordination of their first native Priest, Fr Joseph (right, pictured at his ordination by Bishop Padilla). Thanks to you, Missio was able to support his training.
Many young men throughout the world are dreaming about becoming a Priest. Sometimes other worthy aspirations supersede those dreams. But for some the dream will remain unfulfilled because the bishops do not have enough money to support the seminary training.
On behalf of Fr Joseph and many others like him, thank you for your vital support of their seminary training – it is making a difference.