At the heart of your local parish is a priest who works selflessly to emulate God’s love to everyone who walks through the door. Through spiritual enrichment, they are able to fulfill their divine calling as they build a Godly community. Before these dedicated young men are able to devote their lives to serving others, they must go through a process that spiritually prepares them for this role.
In the book of Matthew, it is written that Jesus states to His Apostles, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). While He calls each of us to spread his love and word, He specifically calls upon leaders of the Church to take action in building the Kingdom of God. We have the amazing opportunity to support these seminarians that the Lord will use to serve in our parishes, mission fields, and communities that are in dire need.
Catholic World Mission has set a goal of supporting 50 seminarians this year. That would be 50 more young men who are able to achieve their calling of building the Kingdom of God! One of these 50 seminarians could eventually be serving in your local Parish or community. We would be able to help seminarians like James Israel by supporting them as they complete the rigorous yet rewarding process of entering Holy Orders.
Originally from the Philippines, James first entered the seminary in June 2014. After years of studying philosophy, he decided to leave the seminary and pursue a career at a marketing company. James began to regret his decision not too long afterward, and referenced St. Augustine of Hippo to describe how he was feeling at the time: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”.
James Israel, Seminarian Student at SMA.
“There was a call within me that I needed to respond to.” – James Israel, Seminarian Student at SMA
After deliberately praying about this call, James decided to submit an application letter to the Society of African Mission Priests (SMA). He then received a positive response and moved to West Africa to join the seminary. It was a joyful yet difficult time for him as he adjusted to the seminary in the Republic of Benin. Everything was new to him including the people, language, food, and culture. However, experiencing all of these new things all at once helped James to be open-minded while learning and living in an international community.
“I was able to deepen my relationship with Jesus Christ who is the source of my vocation and the very model of a missionary priest.” – James Israel
Fr. John Dunne.
Father John Dunne, a Superior at the Society of African Mission Priests, states that the 11-12-year long formation program has a committed practice of sponsoring all education, maintenance, and travel for the young men. This is due in part to most of these men not being able to afford the fees of the Seminary program.
“…we Priests and our students do know that our work and formation is possible only because of the generosity of our sponsors.”-Fr. Dunne, Superior at SMA
It is not just the SMA in the Benin Republic that has been blessed by your generous donations in the past. Fr. Ignatius Malwa SMA, Provincial Leader of the SMA Fathers in Zambia, Africa praises the work that has been done thanks to Catholic World Mission and its faithful contributors.
“All we can offer in return is our prayers of thanks to you and to all those wonderful people who support your fund-raising work…we remember them daily in our community Mass.” – Fr. Ignatius Malwa SMA.
Fr. Ignatius Malwa, SMA.
We have been able to not only support the Society of African Missions Priests but many other religious and diocesan seminarians throughout the years. A fantastic example of the generosity of CWM donors are the Jeep and bikes that were able to be purchased and provided. These modes of transportation make it easier for the seminarians to minister in multiple locations and return to classes in a timely manner.
Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales Seminary in India with the Jeep.
God is calling young men like these to His be priests. Will you help today to assist in their formation?