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Support the Formation of
Seminarians Worldwide

Since 2014, Catholic World Mission has supported the needs of men discerning the priesthood in India through our work with the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales. Our donors have been extremely generous at every turn, and have risen to the occasion every time these courageous men had a need they couldn’t meet on their own. We are so excited to announce that there are now more opportunities for you to help foster vocations!

With a special focus on missionary orders and poor dioceses around the world, you can help hundreds of seminarians on their way to the priesthood!

Click through the tabs below to learn more about each order and diocese you can help today.

Meet Some of the Seminarians YOU can Support Today!

Seminarian Lloyd D'Souza
Benwen Lopez
Seminarian Janith Danushka
Br. Darren Wallace, LC
Deacon Yakubu Sabo, SMA

Seminarian Support: General Information

About the Priesthood
A priest hears a confession in Rome. The Catholic priest is the living example of God's love in our lives.

What is the Catholic priesthood?

In Matthew 9:36 we hear that Jesus looked with pity on the crowd because they were like sheep without a shepherd. He was sad to see so many people in his day that had no one to teach them about the love of God. That problem has never fully gone away, but the priesthood is God’s gift of shepherds for his people today.

For so many people, the priestly shepherd is the living example of God’s love in their life. He is with them to baptize their children. He watches those same children grow and form families of their own. He is even with them in death as a loving and consoling presence. He is there through joys and sorrows as the good shepherd who walks with them on their journey toward God.

The priest is also a reminder that there is more to life than our basic material needs. Even, or perhaps especially, in our material need the priest is a witness to the spiritual life within us that gives joy and meaning to all the rest. He is the regular, humble witness to the truth that only God will make us fully happy. 

The CWM Seminarian Support program focuses in a special way on missionary priests, men who work as God’s priestly shepherds in remote territories, places where people may have never heard of Jesus, or places where poverty and hopelessness are extreme. These seminarians, once they are ordained as priests, will be sent all over the world to proclaim the love of God and serve those in great need.

When you support seminarians and priests, you are joining–in a very real, powerful way–in the work of Jesus to bring His love to the world through His priests. And when you support these seminarians and priests in particular, you are sending a spark of hope directly to the parts of the world that need it most.

Click through the following tabs to learn how you can share God’s love in places like Bangladesh, India, Africa, Sri Lanka, and beyond!

Program History

Since 2014, you’ve helped us help seminarians.

For several years, you’ve made it possible for young men in India to have what they need as they study for the priesthood. As our support of seminarians grows to include dioceses and orders around the world, we thought we’d look back on how it all began…

Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS)

Our commitment to seminarians through financial aid and other assistance started in 2014 when, through your generosity, we were able to help the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales in Bastora, India. You’ve made it possible for the MSFS novices remodel parts of their campus, buy bicycles for transportation to and from class and ministry outreach, buy a generator for electricity so they can study at night, and you’ve even helped them buy a tractor so they can more easily harvest crops for food and profit. Click here to learn more about all the ways you’ve helped MSFS. Enjoy the photos below!

Little Way Messengers

Another order you’ve helped is the Little Way Messengers, also of India. Their founder, Fr. Balappa Selvaraj, has an incredible story. Click here to read it and learn more about how you’ve helped Little Way Messengers!

Join us in praying for the seminarians of India! Visit the “How You Can Help” tab to give continued support to the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales and Little Way Messengers.

General Updates

October 2018

We start our novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots for our seminarians on October 7! Click here to access the prayers and please, pray with us!

A few days ago, Deacon Rick Medina, CWM Executive Director, shared with his pastor that he was feeling disappointed and losing hope about the small response to our seminarian support program. Deacon Rick told us that much to his suprise, Msgr. Marren wrote him a letter of encouragement. Deacon Rick asked that we share Msgr. Marren’s letter with you here. Our prayer is that if you are feeling discouraged by the recent scandals that have hit our beloved Church, Msgr. Marren’s letter will encourage you as well.

Page 1 of Msgr. Hugh Marren's letter to Deacon Rick Medina

Dear Deacon Rick,

 I write to you inviting you not to grow discouraged with the scandals that surround us in our Western Catholic Church today. This is not the first time in the history of our Catholic Church when evil confronted us. But each time the good Lord sent His faithful messengers to lead us back to Him. I think of St. Benedict of Nursia of the 6th century, the father of Western Monasticism. He is credited for saving civilization when the Catholic Church was in a mess. Again I think of St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century. Again the Church left much to be desired but God called Francis with the words “build my Church.” And of course we cannot forget St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross in the 16th century. Once again the Church had lost its way but once again the good Lord called these disciples to call the Church back to its original holiness. But these great servants of God were only successful because there were young souls willing to follow them in answering the call.

 Today especially in countries where our Catholic Church is still young there are many young souls willing to answer the constant call of Jesus “follow Me.” They however do not have the financial resources to make it possible. Their generosity to answer the call is not deterred by the scandals that surround us but rather they are propelled to push onward by that same burning desire of love that inspired St. Benedict, Francis, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and many others too numerous to mention.

Someone once said “all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” This is not the time for us to do nothing nor is it the time for us to sit on the fence and wait to see what will happen. This is the time for us to join these young souls in their vocation and make it happen. I know there are many good people out there willing to help in this endeavor. All we have to do is let them know that we are with them. That we join them in cleansing the scandals of our Church as Jesus once cleansed the Temple so many years ago. With our prayers and efforts, and with Mary our helper and our guide we will be in our time the Benedict, the Francis, the Teresa and John of the Cross for Jesus and the Catholic Church which He founded.              

Mary help of Christians, pray for us.               

Jesus we trust in You.


Msgr. Hugh Marren

Click through the photos below to see all of Msgr. Marren’s letter to Deacon Rick!

Seminarian Support: Missionary Dioceses


Diocese of Jowai

The Diocese of Jowai is still a very young diocese, but already the harvest is plentiful. The diocese has 31 seminarians, including two deacons, in formation. These men study at seven seminaries operated by other dioceses until Jowai has enough resources to have its own seminary. Most of these seminarians come from very poor families. Here are three of their stories:

Meet Some of the Seminarians of the Diocese of Jowai:

Sambha is in formation as a seminarian for the Diocese of Jowai

Sambha Kyndait

Sambha, 27, comes from a family of 10. Growing up, the family practiced a tribal religion but today, Sambha and one of his siblings is Catholic. Sambha was baptised in 2006, at the age of 15. It was on that day that he felt the call to the priesthood. His desire to become a priest continues to this day. He is hardworking, devout, sincere, and polite.

Click here now to help Sambha and seminarians like him today!

Donbok Pakma

Donbok, 25, is the oldest of three children. His father died when Donbok was just eight years old. His mother, consumed by grief, was no longer able to raise her children, who were each sent to a youth hostel. Providentially, Donbok was sent to a hostel operated by priests, where he lived for several years. Now in his seventh year of formation, he is about to begin his regency period, where he will receive all the practical training he needs to be a holy and pious priest.

Click here now to help Donbok and seminarians like him today!

Donbok is in formation as a seminarian for the Diocese of Jowai, Bangladesh. You can support him today!
Daleiki, 26, is a seminarian for the Diocese of Jowai, Bangladesh. He needs your help today!

Daleiki Shylla

Daleiki, 26, comes from a family of 11 children (he has seven brothers and three sisters!). In high school, he realized he wanted to become a priest. But when he first shared this with his family, they told him they couldn’t support him. When he graduated from high school, he went on to college. He worked during the day and took classes at night in order to support himself. Once again, he felt the tug toward seminary. Now in his fourth year of formation, Dalieki is respectful, obedient, devout, and hardworking.

Click here now to help Daleiki and seminarians like him today!

Diocese of Sindhudurg

The Diocese of Sindhudurg is a missionary, poor, rural diocese in southwestern India. The total population of the diocese is 5,365,706 with 29,794 Catholics. While the Diocese of Sinhudurg is fairly young–it was formally erected on July 5, 2005–great fruit is already being borne here. 11 men are currently in formation for the priesthood, and 28 are ordained priests.

Meet Some of the Seminarians of the Diocese of Sindhudurg:

Support seminarian Lloyd D'Souza as he discerns his vocation to the priesthood!

Lloyd D’Souza

I come from a middle-class family who lives with the fear of God. When I was a child, my parents sowed the seed of priesthood in me, and ever since then, my childhood dream was to be a priest. As I journeyed along in life, the seed began to grow, even though I was caught up with worldly pleasures, which challenged my vocation. However, soon after my tenth grade, I realised the joy of being a priest, and I recognised that the worldly pleasures are only temporary, as compared to the eternal happiness of heaven. I then decided to enter the seminary, and now, I am on my journey towards the priesthood.

Click here now to help Lloyd and seminarians like him today!

Gabriel Fernandes

After completing my high school in 2013, I began discerning about the priesthood. I took it up in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and discussed it with my family too. They were very supportive of me joining the priesthood. I then expressed my desire to join the priesthood to Bishop Alwyn Barreto who then accepted me as a seminarian for the Diocese of Sindhudurg.

Click here now to help Gabriel and seminarians like him today!

You can help Seminarian Gabriel Fernandes of India
Seminarian Benwen Lopez found his vocation after several years in the corporate world!

Benwen Lopez

I first received my calling when I was completing my final semester at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, and I always believed that God called me to serve my home country, India. However, I put my decision on hold and returned to the corporate world after graduation. I worked as an Assistant Editor in Dubai for a business magazine. But although I was exposed to the corporate world, the flashy lifestyle, with tons of opportunity to make a lot of money, I felt a void in my heart. I turned again to the idea that maybe I was called to the priesthood. After an 18-month discernment program, I resigned from my job, and joined the Diocese of Sindhudurg. Surely it was a challenging and tough decision for me to take, but it was the intensity of God’s presence in the Eucharist that drew me to the priesthood.  For me the Eucharist is everything.

Click here now to help Benwen and seminarians like him today!

Join us in praying for the seminarians of India! Visit the “How You Can Help” tab to give much needed support to the seminarians of the Diocese of Jowai and the Diocese Sindhudurg today.

Sri Lanka

Diocese of Kurunegala

Bishop Harold Perera with Deacon Rick Medina, CWM executive director, during his 2017 visit to Atlanta

The Diocese of Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, currently has 12 seminarians in various stages of formation. Each of these young men comes from a poor family, but each one’s faith and desire to become a priest is truly an inspiration.

We’ve worked with the Diocese of Kurunegala since 2017, and we’ve worked closely with Bishop Harold Perera on several projects. We first met Bishop Perera when he visited Atlanta last fall. He has a true love for God, a strong devotion to the Eucharist, and cares for the people of his diocese with a truly pastoral heart.

As education costs increase across the board, the Diocese of Kurunegala must absorb greater expenses to educate its seminarians.

Bishop Perera tells us:

“We are truly blessed to be able to educate our seminarians, but with this blessing comes tremendous responsibilities. We are turning to you, trusting you to help us train up our seminarians, so that they can become priests and serve the suffering people in our country.”

Meet Some of the Seminarians of the Diocese of Kurunegala:

Malinda, 19, is in his third year of seminary!

Malinda Priyanath

Malinda Priyanath, 19, entered minor seminary in 2016. He has one older brother. His father works as a print operator and his mother works as a postmistress. His faith inspires his commitment and drive to pursue the priesthood.

Click here now to help Malinda and seminarians like him today!

Keshan Fernando

Keshan, 17, has one older sister and one younger brother. His brother suffers from physical disabilities, so Keshan’s family is unable to support his studies for the priesthood. In spite of this, Keshan faithfully applies himself to all of his classes without complaint or hesitation. Your support of Keshan and his fellow Sri Lankan seminarians will allow him to share the love of Jesus with the community once he is ordained.

Click here now to help Keshan and seminarians like him today!

Keshan, 17, Diocese of Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
Joseph, 21, Diocese of Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Joseph Himasha

Joseph, 21, is the youngest child in his family. He has two older sisters. Although his family is very poor, Joseph has always seen this as an opportunity rather than a hurdle. Your generosity today will allow him to fulfill his dream of becoming a priest.

Click here now to help Joseph and seminarians like him today!

Join us in praying for Malinda, Keshan, Joseph, and their fellow Sri Lankan seminarians! Visit the “How You Can Help” tab to give much needed support to Malinda, Keshan, and Joseph.

Bishop Perera thanks you in advance for your generosity to the seminarians of his diocese!

Seminarian Support: Missionary Orders

Society of African Missions
Society of African Missions seminarians, newly ordained to the deaconate

See the latest news and updates from the SMA seminarians here.

Society of African Missions (known as “SMA” because of their Latin name, Societas Missionum ad Afros) was founded in 1856 by Bishop Melchior de Marion Bresillac.

Vocations are booming for SMA fathers, with more than 300 seminarians at various levels of formation at five campuses in Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Zambia, and Benin Republic. After being ordained, these men will be missionaries throughout Africa. There are already 109 SMA priests in Africa.

With so many young men in formation, the SMA fathers have great difficulty supporting them. The seminarians come from poor countries and poor communities that can offer very little financial support.

As Fr. Frank McGrath, SMA, told us, “The harvest is great, laborers are willing, but their formation is suffering for want of funds.” YOU can help today!

Meet some of the SMA seminarians below:

Cornelius Omini, SMA

Deacon Cornelius Omini, SMA

Deacon Cornelius Omini, SMA, entered religious life with the Society of African Missions in 2011. But his vocation as a missionary priest was ignited when he was a child, when he served as an altar server at his home parish. He tells us,

Ours is a diocesan parish, but religious priests are often invited to help on Sundays. I recall that one weekend we had a visit from a Nigerian SMA priest, Fr. Cajetan Metu. During his homily that Sunday, he greeted the people in five different international languages and immediately I fell in love with this priest and was eager to know about his congregation.

After Mass I approached him. His simplicity, while listening to my pressing questions, impressed me. It was through him I got to know the Society of African Missions and I wished to join.

When Deacon Cornelius entered in 2011, he learned about the SMA’s founder, Bishop Melchior de Marion Bresillac. Deacon Cornelius says, “His zeal and enthusiasm for the mission moved my heart, so that I too could give my life, leave home and family, for the sake of the work of God.

Of his time with the SMAs, Deacon Cornelius says,

I have no regrets […]. I have felt love and acceptance from colleagues and priests in the SMA. This is a source of inspiration and blessing for me, my family, and my local church. I live every day with gratitude to the SMA and I continually commit myself to the service of God’s people as I prepare for missionary priesthood.

I ask you to remember me in your prayers.

Click here now to help Deacon Cornelius and seminarians like him today!

Deacon Yakubu Sabo, SMA

I am Salisu Yakubu Sabo, third born in the family of eight children. I am Hausa by tribe, although we are also called Maguzawa on account of our faith. Maguzawa literally means “those who ran away from Islam.”

Although I felt called to the priesthood right from childhood, and even though my first parish priest was an SMA, I never really knew what SMA was until 2016 when Fr. Patrick Kwis, SMA, the vocations’ Director for northern Nigeria, visited our school and spoke about the SMA Missionary Vocation. That was the time I got to know the meaning of the initials I saw after the name of my former parish priest, Fr. Michael Waters, SMA. My desire to be a priest, and subsequently, an SMA, was greatly inspired by the exemplary life of service and dedication I saw in Fr. Michael Waters, SMA. As a child, I did not really know what the priesthood meant, but all I wanted was to be like Fr. Waters.

My happiest moments as a seminarian are those occasions when I find myself in the areas of primary evangelization. They remind me of how much somebody sacrificed for me to be what I am today; and this always motivates me to be a missionary priest. I am the fruit of the missionary activities of the SMA and today I desire to be a seed that will germinate and bear more fruit among other people.

Click here now to help Deacon Yakubu and seminarians like him today!

Deacon Yakubu Sabo, SMA
Deacon Abel Yashim, SMA

Deacon Abel Yashim, SMA

Growing up, many of the SMA priests Abel knew were from Ireland. The Catholic Church began evangelization in his hometown many years ago. Among those first early missionaries were SMA priests.

I was touched by their simple and dedicated lives and so have opted to dedicate my life to serve humanity through the missionary activity of the Society of African Missions (SMA). I wish to continue the legacy received from the Irish missionaries I knew in a place that I do not yet know.

Deacon Abel will complete his studies in Nairobi next year. He will be ordained in his home parish in the middle belt of Nigeria and then appointed in another country for his missionary work.

Click here now to help Deacon Abel and seminarians like him today!

Join us in praying for the SMAs! Visit the “How You Can Help” tab to give much needed support to these men.

Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales

The Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales live humbly while studying the priesthood. These men studied for years without proper electricity, would walk miles to share their studies and evangelizing in the Archdiocese of Goa & Daman, and hand-pick rice for their meals.

Now thanks to your help things are a little easier there.

Since 2014, you’ve helped the MSFS seminarians by bringing electricity so they could continue their studies at night. You bought bicycles so they could reach more people in the archdiocese. And thanks be to God, you gave them a tractor!

Click here to learn more about the MSFS brothers.

MSFS seminarians in India
Legionaries of Christ

Founded in 1941, the Legionaries of Christ now has 961 priests worldwide and 617 seminarians. A Legionary studies and trains for 13 years before he is ordained to the priesthood. Legionaries are sent as missionary priests to serve in many countries, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Poland, Italy, Israel, South Korea, Ireland, and the Philippines, among others. Their charism is to form Catholic leader-apostles who will in turn transform culture. Meet three Legionaries, all in different stages of formation, below!

Meet Some of the Legionaries of Christ:

Fr. Sameer, 36, was ordained as priest two years ago

Fr. Sameer Advari, LC

Fr. Sameer, 36, has been a priest for two-and-a-half-years. Born in Berlin to a half German/half Indian mother and an Indian father, Fr. Sameer has lived in Dubai, Canada, the United States, and has lived in Rome for nearly a decade.

Inspired by his parents’ fidelity to the faith (his father was a Hindu and had to move after converting to Catholicism), Fr. Sameer says “God called me in a very special way: He prepared the ground and then when the time was right, respecting my freedom asked, ‘Will you come follow?’ Looking back, the most astonishing thing is not just that He asked but that He also gave me the strength, courage, and peace to respond, ‘Here I am, Lord.’

“There is no joy greater than that of being a priest. It is a joy of belonging to God and being His instrument, a joy in seeing God touch the lives of so many people through me, a joy which the world does not know and cannot give, a joy which is a foretaste of eternal life.”

Click here now to help future priests like Fr. Sameer today!

Rodrigo Oliveira

Rodrigo, 20, is currently in candidacy for the Legion. He will formally enter the novitiate in August 2018.

Rodrigo is from Brazil, where he was inspired by his parents’ mutual love for each other and the Church. In high school, he began to have the sense that there was something greater he could do for God. Over the years, this little inkling grew into a desire to give all for Jesus and to enter religious life as a Legionary of Christ.

Click here now to help Rodrigo and seminarians like him today!

Rodrigo, 20, is in his candidacy period with the Legionaries of Christ. He will enter in the fall of 2018.
Br. Darren Wallace, LC

Br. Darren Wallace, LC

Br. Darren is from the south of Ireland, where he and his family raised their own sheep, chickens, bees, and vegetables. This experience taught Br. Darren the value of hard work. Currently in his seventh year of formation, Br. Darren tells us that his vocation grew gradually over time. The first spark came when he was just 10 years old: the thought that “many people might live and die without ever knowing Christ, or might not have access to the sacraments.”

For Br. Darren, the purpose of his formation is very clear: “I am in formation to be an apostle of Christ, to learn how to help guide souls to God and to be their spiritual father, to bring Christ to every corner of the world, and to be a missionary priest wherever our Lord sends me.”

He tells us that his greatest reward and greatest challenge in seminary is the same: “to open and allow myself to be formed into the ‘treasure in clay,’ a missionary vessel, existing to give glory to God, and carry God into the world.”

Click here now to help Br. Darren and seminarians like him today!

Join us in praying for Fr. Sameer, Rodrigo, Br. Darren, and their fellow Legionaries of Christ! Visit the “How You Can Help” tab to give much needed support to these men.

Seminarian Support: How You Can Help, Updates, and More!

How You Can Help
Newly ordained deacons from the Society of African Missions

For these dioceses and religious orders, providing quality formation for their seminarians is of paramount importance. These men will one day serve as missionary priests, bringing God’s love to some of the darkest, most difficult places.

You can help prepare them and by doing so, spread the Gospel!

It costs about $2,500 USD per year for a seminarian’s formation.

It can’t be stressed enough that each of these dioceses and religious orders is doing as much as they can for their seminarians. But they need your help to keep going.

Please prayerfully consider giving as much as you can. Even a little goes a long way:

  • $2,500 pays for an entire year of a seminarian’s formation
  • $1,250 pays for six months of formation
  • $625 pays for three months
  • $208.33 pays for one month of priestly formation
  • $50 helps buy books, pencils, toiletries, and socks

Remember: even if you can’t afford to give $1,250 at one time, if you commit to give $104 per month, you will still do the same amount of good!

Monthly gifts in any amount are the best way to make the longest lasting impact!

Click the green “Give Now” button below to make a life-changing gift and be the reason one more priest is sent into the world to bear God’s love and provide the life-giving power of the sacraments today!

Give Now Donation Button
A seminarian in Rome, ready to evangelize with joy!
Seminarians are men who are preparing to be Catholic missionary priests

Spring 2020 – Seminarians from the Diocese of Jowai are thriving thanks to you!

Thanks to your generous support, the seminarians of the Diocese of Jowai are doing well. Check out their recent photos below:

December 2019 – Thank you for supporting seminarians in Africa

Seminarians from the Society of African Missions in Kenya

We just heard from Fr. John Dunne, SMA, in Nairobi, Kenya. He had great news to share, and much gratitude for your generous support. Here’s what he had to say:

“Greetings from Kenya! I write this note to wish you a very happy Christmas and hope it will be filled with peace, joy and blessings.

Presently we have forty one students living in the formation house and all are studying in the nearby Tangaza University College. A small number are studying Philosophy as we want all our students to do their Philosophy in their home countries. So here we have 14 students from Kenya and Tanzania doing Philosophy which is a three year programme. There are presently 27 students studying Theology, which is a four year degree program.

Our students come from 12 different countries so it is truly an international community. They come mainly from Africa and then India and one from Slovenia. We have decided to form out students in international settings as they will have to live in such communities once they are ordained and appointed to mission. Our formation team is also international.

I write in particular to thank you and all who have contributed towards the generous gift of $6,000 that has been sent to support 20 SMA seminarians for one year, while they are pursuing their studies here. This donation is much appreciated and I would like that the benefactors will hear through your office that we are truly grateful.

We had seven young men from this formation house in Nairobi who were ordained to priesthood in 2019.  In all there were 20 ordained to priesthood in the SMA this current year. There are four deacons who will hopefully be ordained priests with their class mates from other houses in 2020. There are presently eight men who are Acolytes and should be ordained to Diaconate in 2020.

Our students and the formation community pray each day for our benefactors; so be assured that we do not forget! Please remind the generous donors that they too are part of our prayers and thanks.

I conclude by saying once again THANKS to all.

Have a blessed Christmas season.”

Thank you for all you’ve done to make these seminarians’ study possible.

Check out the photos from Fr. John below:

Mercy Missions Atlanta to help deliver meals to children in needHelp Now