Understanding the Point about Education for Seminarians & Religious
St. Peter the Apostle . . . one of the Pontifical Mission Societies
In 1889, mother and daughter — Stephanie and Jeanne Bigard — answered a desperate plea. The Bishop of Nagazaki, Japan wrote asking for help to keep his Seminary open. The Bigards came to his assistance and from this emerged the Society of St. Peter Apostle. Today, some 30,000 seminarians are helped annually.
One such seminarian is Napo, who is studying at St. John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa. “As a priest, I want to reach those in the Mission lands and bring them joy, peace and the word of God” Napo understands God’s point . . even now, during breaks from his studies, returns to his rural village, visiting the sick and elderly at local hospitals and hospices, helping terminally ill patients find peace in their final days and teach young children the word of God.
Religious Brothers and Sisters, and Seminarians, like Napo, living in Mission lands receive an annual subsidy of $700 per student . . . $60 a month . . .this is just about $2 a day.
And this $700 must not only cover the Seminarian’s spiritual and educational needs, but those expenses related to day-to-day living. Needs like clothing, food, shelter, books, transportation and some things as basic as paper and pencils.
Quite pointedly . . .We need your Help. . .Your Help — to help these young Men & Women journey in their faith and to assist them so they can bring the Good News to all people in their Mission Dioceses.
Like Seminarian Eulade, who is studying at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary near Butare, in another part of Africa, in Rwanda. “I want to be there for people to come to me with their problems and fears,” Eulade says. “I see my priesthood as a gift – and I want to share that gift with them, the gifts the Lord can offer through my service.”
Sister Josephine Khay Mu, a Zetaman Sister of the Little Flower in Myanmar, teaches young women preparing to be Sisters. Growing up in a Catholic family, she came to know a Religious Sister serving in her village, and decided that she would like to serve God in this same way.
Myanmar is a very poor and mostly Buddhist country, and Sister Josephine wants to serve those in poverty and those who do not yet know Christ. She describes her love for Jesus: “He really gave preference for the poor, the outcast and the marginalized. So I like to imitate Jesus.”
Sister Josephine speaks also of the extreme poverty in her country, the hard work in their agricultural way of life and her resolve to help those most in need: “We have to struggle a lot as a local congregation, encountering many hardships and difficulties. But I believe that with the help of others, we can do mission more effectively and we can share the Good News of Jesus with others.”
Sister Josephine believes that one day the Sisters in her young, growing Religious congregation will one day reveal the Lord’s love across the globe. “We will go to other countries, as missionaries,” she says.
Napo and Eulade are among the 30,000 Seminarians, in addition to the thousands of Religious Brothers and Sisters, like Sister Josephine, throughout Asia and Africa, receive help for their studies through St. Peter Apostle . . . one of the Pontifical Mission Societies.
These future priests and religious are counting on your joining them as messengers of healing hope and peace. “Thank you for your help,” Eulade says, “Please share our stories – and most importantly pray for us, as we pray for you daily.”