Missio is unique in its commitment to supporting each and every seminary in the missionary world; a challenge set by Pope Pius XI in 1922 and still embraced by Missio today as the Pope’s chosen charity for world mission. We also have a special relationship with seminaries in India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. This message comes from Fr Mareddy, Rector of St John’s Regional Seminary in India:

Our seminary is currently providing formation to 94 seminarians. We provide them with everything they need to form themselves to Priesthood.

Our daily life

The seminarians are studying well within the Seminary programme. Our day-to-day life in the Seminary develops them into well disciplined individuals who excel in each dimension of formation. Their spiritual formation is key, so that faith and prayer may become the focal point of their lives. Knowledge of Scripture and of Theology is provided through lectures in the class room. The seminarians have to present assignments and seminar papers, and the third year seminarians present a dissertation using the scientific methodology of writing.

Third year seminarians also get to go on a month-long lgnatian retreat – weekly conferences led by the Rector and other members on the staff. They are also provided with recollections and facility for regular and personal spiritual direction. The social and pastoral programmes are well organised to facilitate an all-round formation of seminarians.

Reasons to be joyful

The last year has been successful. We had the inauguration of the academic year in a prayerful way on 16 June with the Mass of the Holy Spirit presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Poola Anthony, Archbishop of Hyderabad, who delivered the important ‘lectio-brevis‘.

There are many activities in the Seminary. We held events such as Environment Day, St John Marie Vianney Day, Bible Day,  Diaconate ordination, Sports Day, Music Day,  and a celebration with our alumni – golden and silver Jubilarians. On this day, the Jubilarians share their experiences of mission work with the seminarians: the joy in their ministry in leading the people of God, the challenges they faced in evangelisation and mission.

We feel such joy to see the young seminarians participate in all these events, and form themselves to sacred Priesthood. It is really wonderful to see the young seminarians completing their formation and ordained as Deacons and Priests to serve the Lord and His people. This year, 17 seminarians were ordained Deacons by Most Rev Rayarala Vijaya Kumar, Bishop of Srikakulam on 27 October 2023. The staff and the seminarians rejoiced very much at all these events.

Our hopes for the future

Today, the Church is in need of dedicated missionaries who are willing to serve anywhere in the world, remembering the purpose of the coming of Christ as a servant: to serve but not to be served. Based on this, we form our students to be true missionaries of Christ.

India is a multi-religious and multi-cultural country with only 2.5% of the population identifying as Christians. The faithful have become more prayerful and God-fearing. A true pastor is very much needed to nurture them and lead them to God.

The challenges we face

Vocations are many in India. There is a lot of scope for evangelisation and more Priests are required to do this mission. But many seminarians come from rural villages with poor economic backgrounds. Their parents are either sustenance farmers or daily wage labourers with a meagre income; not even sufficient to make ends meet – they cannot contribute anything.

The Seminary is a big building with many rooms, chapel, library, refectory, class rooms etc. As it is an old building, it needs a lot of repairs which we carry out in phases. For example, we must undertake roof repairs of roof to prevent water seepage.

These essential repairs are a big challenge for us, as these works need a lot of money. So the prayerful support and monetary help from Missio towards maintenance of the seminary is indispensable.

Many thanks to Missio’s sponsors and supporters for their prayerful and tremendous financial support in providing for the formation of future Priests.

Message from a student:

‘For God Loves a Cheerful Giver’ (2 Corinthians 9: 7).

Giving and extending a helpful hand is a quality of a true human. But we tend to give to those we know, whereas true Christians give joyfully to the person they don’t know. This is a quality of a disciple of Christ, and I am happy to be the beneficiary of your spiritual and financial support. You have been making sacrifices in your daily life so that my formation may go on smoothly, and I thank you for your generous heart.

From my part, I really thank God for all the benefits that I have been receiving from you. I am benefiting a lot with the sponsorship programme. The help – both spiritual and financial – from my sponsor is helping me to give my time and talents for the common good of the community. I do feel that, because my sponsor is able to make sacrifices for the common good of the Catholic Church, it pushes me to say ‘community first’ as well. 

I assure you that when I reach that altar of God I will continue to pray for my sponsor and for their family. 

Brother Kotte