Altogether, ACN is supporting around 12,000 seminarians, or roughly one in every 10, worldwide. Most are in Africa, though there are also many in India. Currently there are 60 young men studying at the Khristo Jyjoti Mohavidyaloyo Seminary in the state of Odisha, India. It is a relatively small seminary, though it has already produced hundreds of priests. Their motto is “Rooted in Christ, in the service of others”. Around 20 young men will
join them each year. In order to be able to put down these roots in Christ, they need the rich soil of his words and deeds – or more simply, Bibles, catechisms, teaching on the sacraments. Then it needs to be watered by the witness of the Church and the celebration of the liturgy.
We have previously helped the seminary to obtain the necessary books for their studies and prayer. But now these reserves are used up. And while, ultimately, every seminarian will bear the words of Jesus in his heart, he will also need a Bible and breviary for his priestly life – and also for his ministry to others. Most of the vocations in this seminary come from the community of the casteless dalits, the poorest of the poor. And it is among these people that these future priests will live and evangelise. This is a region where Christians face oppression and persecution, and it takes courage to be a priest here. The seminary is now asking us for new books, to inspire this same courage in the 60 new students who will be studying here over the next three years. The cost is just €5,934 – rarely were the seeds of sound doctrine more cheaply purchased.