Missio England and Wales has a long-standing relationship with five seminaries in Kenya, India, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Nigeria. These seminaries offer the opportunity to sponsor the training of a future Priest. When you sponsor a seminarian, you are building the Church of tomorrow, today.
Here, Fr Expeditus, Rector of Our Lady of Lanka National Seminary in Sri Lanka, updates us on the joys and challenges of seminary life in 2022:
In addition to the devastating pandemic, in 2022 our nation sadly experienced severe instability in governance and a hideous economic crisis. These circumstances propelled a skyrocketing of prices of essential commodities, shortages of fuel, gas, medicine etc. of an unprecedented nature, which forced people to the streets, depriving them of their ability to sustain their lives. This state of affairs has resulted a lot of restlessness, anxiety and despair in our people.
Solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka
In these circumstances, the formation of future shepherds is no easy task. The Seminarian must be infused with a profound pastoral orientation that adds new elements and new perspectives to the formation in the Seminary. And it is more important than ever that our seminarians develop a profound pastoral instinct. The better the quality of the Seminarian, the better will be the quality of the shepherd.
It is our Christian duty to be ignited with a sense of solidarity with the thousands of our own people, sharing their common lot and being tangible signs of the Kingdom through our Christian lives and witness.
Causes for joy
At the moment, our challenges are huge. But it is not totally bleak and depressing for a person who is rooted in faith and hope. We certainly rejoice in the faithfulness of the Eternal Shepherd. It is not so much about our faithfulness, but that the Lord of the harvest has been faithful at all times: ‘I will give you shepherds after my own heart’ (Jeremiah 3:15).
He continues to call personally those whom He wants to be his instruments; hand picked to use for a mission known only to Him. It is God’s project for each of us that sustains us even at this very worrying time. We rejoice! ‘Lord God Almighty, how great and wonderful are your deeds’ (Revelation 15:3).
We have a total of 190 seminarians who are studying for the Priesthood – 108 Diocesan seminarians and 82 Religious seminarians. It is with deep gratitude to God that 25 Diocesan Priests and 9 Religious Priests were ordained in 2022. For all these young men, we place the heroic sanctity of our beloved Saint Joseph Vaz as their model and inspiration.
As a nation, first it was the Easter Sunday bomb blast, then the COVID-19 nightmare, and now the severe social and political decadence and hideous economic crisis… one is naturally compelled to give into despair, frustration and restlessness.
However, we believe in a God who reveals all in good time; He comes with a specific message and with purpose. We need to ‘believe in falling rain while we travel deserts dry…’
We hope and wait on the Lord without getting tired of waiting. Our Lord is never early, never late but He is always on time… ‘Faith is to believe what we do not see, the reward of faith is to see what we believe’ (St Augustine of Hippo).
Fr Expeditus, Rector
Message from a Seminarian
May the peace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!
With a great sense of gratitude, love and good wishes I pen this letter to you. This letter brings you my heartiest and honest appreciation for the immense contribution you render to our formation, as we are getting ready to be good and Holy Priests.
You will be happy to hear that every morning we sing praises to the Lord Almighty for the gifts we have received through the sacrifice of our benefactors. We, with one voice, pray for you – our loving and generous benefactors – that showers of grace may fall upon you so that your life may be filled with peace and joy.
How blessed are we to encounter Christ in you, whose hearts are filled with riches in the value of generosity as we march towards Holy Priesthood.
I send you my heartiest thanks for the immense contribution you make to our formation. I have almost come to the end of my seminary formation and with God’s grace I will be sitting for the final examination next July. The Seminary years are a time of journey, but above all – a meeting with Christ.
I have wanted to be a Priest since childhood. My grandmother taught me to pray and the prayerful atmosphere at home influenced me greatly.
The formation I receive in the Seminary has given me the opportunity to mould myself into a worthy servant of God; spiritually, academically, and in humanitarian and pastoral ways too. It has become my second home. Above all the daily Holy Eucharistic celebration, liturgy of hours, adoration, spiritual direction, recitation of the Holy Rosary have helped me to be more prayerful and be with the Lord.
I am profoundly touched by your incredible generosity in supporting us spiritually through your unceasing prayers, and by going an extra mile in making us happy and comfortable through the financial assistance rendered joyously.
Do continue to pray for all the seminarians, that we may become holy Priests in the vineyard of the Lord. I entrust you and your family to the providential care of our Lord Jesus Christ that He may shower His abundant blessings upon you and keep you safe from all danger and harm.
May Our Lady of Lanka, Our Heavenly Mother be with you and guide you.
When you sponsor a seminarian, you build the Church of tomorrow, today.
- To find out how you can sponsor the training of a future Priest as an individual, or as a family, a community or a parish project, click here>>
- You can also donate here, by choosing ‘Train tomorrow’s Priests and Sisters’.