Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Plea for help as vocations boom in Colombia

A religious superior has made an urgent appeal for funds to cope with vast numbers of seminarians in Colombia.

The country's province of the Lazarist religious congregation has 200 priests - most of them young - and yet has as many as 130 seminarians.

Describing the vocations boom, Colombian Lazarist superior Fr Gabriel Naranjo appealed for help from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the international Catholic charity which supports persecuted and deprived Christians.

Speaking to ACN staff on Tuesday, he said the number of seminarians has continued to grow despite the rigorous selection of candidates. He said the qualities the seminary staff look for include a well-tested vocation and a clear evangelical desire to serve God through the poor.

The tough selection process means more than 80% of the seminarians go on to be ordained. In response to the high number of priests and seminarians, the Lazarists of Colombia have decided to send missionaries to areas short of priests - notably Africa and more recently Western Europe.

The Lazarists presently have five missionaries in France, and two each in Germany, Spain and Britain. More seminarians are preparing for missionary work in Europe in this historical reversal of roles.

Aid to the Church in Need

Aid to the Church in Need

25 Jul 2003