The Catholic Church Africa is something of a record holder – one in every nine priests, one in every four seminarians and one in every six lay Catholics in the world are coming from this continent! Many of the seminaries are bursting at the seams, and – in contrast to other parts of the world – the number of priests is actually growing year by year.
“In the hidden recesses of the human heart the grace of a vocation takes the form of a dialogue. It is a dialogue between Christ and an individual, in which a personal invitation is given. Christ calls the person by name and says: ‘Come, follow me.’” Saint John Paul II
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have been able to provide young men and women with books, clothing and basic living expenses as they study and train to become future leaders of the Church and walk the path of God. In fact, today one out of every ten seminarians around the world is supported by ACN donors!
The Apostolic Vicariate of Yurimaguas in the east of Peru is mostly in the Amazon rain forest, in an area that is home to various different indigenous Indian groups. The 224,000 or so Catholics in this region live scattered over an area greater than many small European countries. There are just 25 priests to care for them, and these priest all face long, difficult and dangerous journeys as part of their mission.
It is one of the roles of the priest, of course, to help people transform their pain into the joy of the resurrection, and ACN supports the seminary every year for the formation of its seminarians. This year we will be helping once again, with $26,500, so that these 91 young men can follow their vocation through to ordination. Will you join in supporting the training of these seminarians in Colombia? We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers.
In Northeast India, the Church is still relatively young. In 2016, it celebrated just 120 years in this region, which is still one of the poorest and most inaccessible parts of India, plagued by poverty, unrest and social problems. It is an isolated and underdeveloped area.
There is good news from the Diocese of Sambalpur in the eastern Indian state of Odisha: the number of vocations to the priesthood has been continuously growing over the last few years. This is in no small part because the diocese has launched an active vocation apostolate in the schools, which introduces young people early on to the idea that they could be called by God.