“Dear friends, we were thinking of you because you have done so much good for us over the course of many years,” says Father Roman Ratchko, the rector of the seminary in the Diocese of Grodno, Belarus. He had written to us on the occasion of the June 3 celebration of the jubilee of the diocese, which took place in the seminary in the presence of the bishop. The very next day three young men were ordained to the priesthood and another to the diaconate.
Father Ratchko continued, “On this day of thanksgiving we were united with you in prayer and we asked God’s blessing on our friends, benefactors and on all those kindhearted people who have helped us and remembered us in their prayers.”
Last year the Diocese of Grodno celebrated the 25th anniversary of its foundation. The seminary had been completed a year earlier than that, when the Soviet Union was still in existence. And every year, right from the start, ACN has supported the training of these seminarians.
In July, the young priests who were ordained last year were already able to start their ministry in parishes. But all these young men are also very open to the needs of the universal Church and many have offered themselves for service in the missions around the world. Two of them, who have already been ordained to the diaconate, have gone for a year to Cameroon and Brazil respectively, to work there as missionaries. Another has asked to help in the pastoral ministry in the smaller communities in the Archdiocese of Minsk-Mohilev, in Belarus.
In the training of the candidates for the priesthood, the seminary attaches particular importance to raising their awareness of the needs of the people. Every month the seminarians go out to the retirement homes, orphanages and a home for handicapped children in the diocese.
“Thanks to your help, we can now pursue a wide range of projects aimed at better preparing our students for the priesthood,” writes the rector.
This year we are committed to helping once again – with a contribution of $16,000 – so that the 26 seminarians currently studying here can continue with their training.
Will you give to support the training of these seminarians in Belarus?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.