Catholic Mission supporting 80,000 seminarians
Catholic Mission has said that the Society of St Peter Apostle - one of three major works it funds - supported more than 80,000 seminarians across the world during 2004.
It says the Society also subsidised 924 seminaries, mainly in Africa, and at these seminaries there were nearly 10,000 new admissions and more than 2000 priestly ordinations.
The figures were part of a report made by the Society's Secretary General Monsignor Jose Antonio S. Galvez, to the General Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies (known in Australia as Catholic Mission) in Lyon, France, last month (May).
Catholic Mission National Director Fr Terry Bell attended the assembly with 130 other heads from across the globe.
The 80,297 seminarians were supported with more than $A23 million, raised mainly from donors in developed countries. The Society also provided more than $A600,000 to support 3,379 male novices and $A1.1 million for 6,556 female novices.
Money raised across the world last year increased marginally to $A34.2 million, with most contributions from Europe ($16.8 million). More than $335,000 was raised in Australia. Father Terry said these funds were distributed directly to seminaries in Rwanda, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.
The Society of St Peter Apostle began in 1889 when mother and daughter Stephanie and Jean Bigard answered a plea for help for funds and prayers by a French missionary in 1889. The missionary was the bishop of Nagasaki, Japan, and he was unable to provide for local seminarians training for the priesthood. From this initial call began the Society, dedicated to the work of fostering local Church leadership worldwide. It assists the training of priests, religious, lay leaders and catechists as servants of their people.
In Australia the Society includes the Seminarian Supporters Program in which donors commit $1500 a year during the last three years of a seminarian's formation, in mission dioceses across the world.
Supporting 80,000 seminarians (Catholic Mission 2/6/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Society of St Peter the Apostle
3 Jun 2005