For the Catholic Church, Africa is a continent of hope. One in every five Catholics, one in every eight religious sisters and one in every nine priests in the world today lives on the African continent. And for seminarians the proportion is higher still: one in every four young men currently training for the priesthood is African. The number of priestly vocations is rising, year on year. Consequently, the Church in Africa is striving to provide an intensive spiritual, human and intellectual formation for these, her future pastors – and is therefore inevitably dependent on outside financial support.
Such is the case in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Currently there are 59 young men studying for the priesthood in their theology year at the Pope St John XXIII major seminary in Kinshasa. The financial situation of the seminary was already difficult before, but it has been made still worse by the coronavirus pandemic. The local Catholic faithful had little enough already, but now the seminary cannot expect any significant support from them, and the families of the seminarians are just as poor themselves. But it has always been our principle that no vocation should be lost for lack of money.
And so we are proposing to make a contribution of 30,000 Euros for the ongoing support and formation of these fifty-nine theology students.