“With God’s help and the support of faithful Christians, we hope to continue forming the future priests here,” so that they can become “shepherds after the Heart of Christ.” These were the words of Archbishop Lorenzo Voltolino Esti, writing about the seminary in the Archdiocese of Portoviejo, Ecuador. This year it is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and since it was first established in 1992, 77 priests have passed through its doors. Archbishop Lorenzo Voltolino Esti is delighted about this and speaks of the seminary as a “way of hope for our communities.”
At present there are 40 young men living in the seminary, plus a few external students from the religious communities who study here but live in their monasteries, and also some lay Catholics who attend some of the teaching sessions. All this is reason for joy and confidence.
However, the seminary still has its own challenges. On April 16, 2016, the Archdiocese of Portoviejo was struck by a severe earthquake that caused extensive damage and claimed a number of lives. The earthquake also left great financial need everywhere, and this has also affected the seminary, which is in great difficulty since the local Catholic faithful who would otherwise have helped towards the upkeep of the seminary can now no longer support it.
Archbishop Voltolino Esti has turned to ACN, asking us to help him by providing Mass stipends for the priests responsible for providing formation at the seminary. Otherwise these priests have no other source of financial support.
“Please don’t disappoint us, we are counting on you!” he writes. We have promised him to provide the nine priests teaching at the seminary with Mass stipends – a total sum of $14,600.
Your gift of Mass Stipends will support poor priests teaching at this seminary in Ecuador.
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