Mass stipends for the seminary formators at the seminary in Gbarnga

The country of Liberia in West Africa was initially established by African slaves from America, who had been repatriated back to the African continent. Sadly, however, there has been conflict between their descendants and the already established local tribes, conflict which has continued to this day. From 1989 to 2003 the country witnessed one of the bloodiest civil wars on the African continent. It is a war from which it has still not recovered – not least spiritually. „Even worse than the infrastructure was the destruction of our souls“, says Father Dennis Nimene, the secretary general of the bishops‘ conference. And then there was the Ebola epidemic, from 2014 to 2015, which brought further devastation to the country.

Saint Paul’s College in Gbarnga is the only seminary in Liberia
Saint Paul’s College in Gbarnga is the only seminary in Liberia

Christians account for 42.5% and are a majority in the population, although the followers of traditional African religions likewise represent a large section of the population with 39.4%. However, the boundaries between the two are often somewhat fluid, since there is widespread syncretism, blending a variety of different religious practices together.

Good priests are vital to the future of the Church and society in the country, helping people to find true inner peace again, through faith in God and the Good News of Jesus Christ. In doing so they will not only make a vital contribution to the life of the individual, but at the same time contribute to peace and reconciliation in this wounded land. At the same time their work is extremely important in helping the Catholic faithful to deepen their faith and so avoid sliding into superstitious practices.

34 young men are currently studying for the priesthood

Saint Paul’s College in Gbarnga is the only seminary in the country, and it is here that 34 young men from the three dioceses of the country are currently studying for the priesthood. They are greatly needed, and ACN regularly contributes to the support of their formation.

But it is not only the seminarians who need our support, but also those who teach them. For they are paid only a very paltry salary, and have no time to earn a little extra through other activities, such as serving in the parishes, since their work in nurturing the spiritual and intellectual growth of their students demands the fullest possible attention and commitment. It is not simply a matter of equipping these young men with the appropriate academic training required to proclaim the Faith, but above all of safeguarding and supporting their human and spiritual development.

ACN is helping the seminary formators by providing Mass stipends
ACN is helping the seminary formators by providing Mass stipends

ACN’s help

And so ACN is also helping the seminary formators by providing Mass stipends for their support, so that they can devote themselves fully to their mission in the seminary. Simply put, the quality of the formators in devoting their time and expertise to the spiritual and human growth of their seminarians, is an absolute precondition for the formation of good Catholic priests.

Accordingly, ACN has this year promised Mass stipends for the formators at Saint Paul‘s seminary for a total value of 11,430 Euros.

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