Pictured here are 91 seminarians, currently studying at the Diocese of Sonson-Rionegro in southern Colombia.
The diocesan seminary has been popular since its founding in 1980: it has produced 500 priests in total, despite increasing violence against priests in Colombia. Today, at least 200 alums of Sonson-Rionegro work as missionaries in 18 countries; the bishop receives letters from all over the world, asking that he send his priests to underserved parishes.
But Colombia needs his priests, too. Wounds from 50 years of civil war are still unhealed.
While visiting Colombia in September 2017, Pope Francis spoke in front of the Reconciliation Cross, a monument that commemorates the victims of Villavicencio, a former war zone. The cross is bare, with no body.
Christ, he told them, “no longer has His arms, and His body is no longer present among us. But His divine countenance remains. He gazes on us and loves us. The broken and amputated Christ is still more ‘Christ for us’; He shows us once again that He has come to suffer for His people and with His people, and to teach us that hatred does not have the last word. That love is stronger than death and violence. He teaches us to transform pain into a source of life…so that we may learn, with Him and from Him, the strength of forgiveness and the greatness of love.”
Priests help to facilitate the transformation of pain in their people. So, ACN supports the seminary of Sonson-Rionegro each year. This year, we plan to send $26,500, so that these 91 young men can be ordained and heal their native land.
Will you join us in supporting the seminarians of Colombia? We are sure they will remember you in their prayers.
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