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 Dr Daniel, Rector of St Peter’s Major Seminary in Malawi, updates us on the joys and challenges of seminary life in 2022:
St Peter’s Major Seminary, located in Zomba, Malawi, is an inter-diocesan offering a five year formation program for candidates to the priesthood from all dioceses in Malawi. The Catholic Bishops of Malawi founded the Seminary, which first opened its doors in January 1977. Hence, the seminary has been in existence for 45 years now, and in five years’ time, we will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee.
The motto for the seminary is Duc in Altum, Latin for ‘put out into the deep’ (Luke 5:6), the words that Jesus said to Peter when he first encountered him, prompting him to go into deep water and lower his nets for a catch.
The year at St Peter’s
The past year was very challenging; healing from the wounds of COVID-19 has not been easy. So the last academic year was a mix of both joys and struggles.
On the one hand, there was joy that seminarians could come back to the formation house. On the other hand, we were anxious about supporting the formation programme, because one impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was that the cost of goods on the market almost tripled. Sustainability became so difficult.
Despite many drawbacks, we joyfully witnessed 22 seminarians getting ordained Priests in May 2022, additionally 7 students were ordained Deacons. And in October 2022, we opened the Academic Year with a total of 110 seminarians. There are also 10 resident Priests teachers and formators, and 22 support staff.
In an effort to build self-sufficiency, Seminarians are engaged in various kinds of services within the Seminary community such as animal husbandry, fish farming, chicken-rearing, and vegetable growing.
This is to encourage them to appreciate manual work and self-reliance. This helps Seminarians to make their own home habitable, and also helps to provide Seminary necessities with their own hands.
As the famous dictum of Benedictine Spirituality goes: ora et labora (‘to work is to pray’ or ‘work and pray’). The Seminarians take part in caring for the common home through manual work.
Strong faith for the future
The Seminary is committed to providing a thorough human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation so that the seminarians may become zealous pastors in the service of Christ, his Church and its mission in the world today. In particular, candidates are invited to take seriously their mission as future priests in the Church and in her evangelising mission.
We predict that 2023 will be more challenging. The economy of Malawi has nearly collapsed. The local currency is not stable and keeps on fluctuating. The cost of goods on the market keeps on skyrocketing. Despite such a gloomy economic front, we are joyful for the continued growth of faith and vocations.
Fr Dr Daniel, Rector
Message from a Seminarian
It gives me immerse joy to express my heartfelt gratitude to you all for your abundant generosity in financially supporting me here at St Peter’s Major Seminary. Your support means a lot to me as a Seminarian.
A simple ‘thank you’ does not justify how deeply I appreciate your generous support to me financially and spiritually. Your prayers and selfless nature are very much evident as a result of your thoughtfulness in sponsoring me. This is what keeps me going and feel knowing that really, I have a sponsor who prays for me.
Vatican Council II asserts that: ‘The work of fostering vocations should be done generously. It should cross the boundaries of individual diocese or country, and with the needs of the universal Church.’
This is exactly what you are doing for the Church in Malawi and in particular, St Peter’s Major Seminary. I feel humbled by your altruism and generosity.
May Almighty God bless us all.
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’.