“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Mass Stipends for Priests Teaching at a Seminary in Liberia
Liberia was established by enslaved African people from America who had repatriated to Africa. Since then, there’s been conflict between their descendants and local tribes, including a bloody civil war that lasted from 1989 to 2003.
And the country still has not recovered from the war. “Even worse than the infrastructure was the destruction of our souls,” says Father Dennis Nimene, the secretary general of the bishops‘ conference. The Ebola epidemic followed in 2014, which brought further devastation to the country.
Christians are the majority religious group in Liberia, at 42.5% of the population; followers of traditional African religions are a close second at 39.4%. And the boundaries between the two are fluid. There is a widespread mix of religious beliefs and practices.
Good priests are needed not just for the Church’s future, but the health of the country, too. They make vital contributions to both individuals and attempts at societal peace and reconciliation; they also help Catholics to deepen their understanding of the faith.
Saint Paul’s College in Gbarna is the only seminary in the country, and it is here that 34 young men from around Liberia are currently studying for the priesthood. ACN regularly contributes to their formation, but there is also a need to support those who teach them. They receive a very small salary and have no time to earn more through other activities and services, like working in the parishes. The spiritual and intellectual growth of their students demand their full attention.
ACN is helping the formators by providing Mass stipends, so they can devote themselves fully to their mission. Quality teachers and mentors who can give their time and expertise to seminarians is an absolute precondition for the formation of good Catholic priests.
This year, ACN has promised $13,900 in Mass stipends for the formators at Saint Paul‘s seminary.
Will you join us in supporting these priests as they prepare seminarians in Liberia for their ministry in a troubled country?
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