Since 1996 the bloody fighting, especially in the Kivu province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has claimed over 5 million lives. Unimaginably brutal massacres, mass rape, arson, abductions and wholesale lootings continue to this day. This conflict, it is claimed, has cost more human lives than any other since the Second World War. One of the driving forces behind this ongoing tragedy is the unbridled greed for mineral resources, for this is a region rich in copper, uranium, cobalt, zinc, tungsten, tin, gold and diamonds. But above all, some 80% of the world’s entire resources of coltan are found here. On account of its high heat resistance and conductivity, this metal is now an essential element in the production of modern computers, mobile phones, space satellites and the like. Hence the control over these resources means immense wealth and power, and human lives count for little or nothing in such a conflict.
In the midst of all this, Catholic priests and religious are sharing the sufferings of the people, persevering along this blood stained Way of the Cross and helping in whatever way they can. Many have already given their lives. Yet despite this – or perhaps precisely because of this courageous witness – many young men are still prepared to follow the call of God. Thus, for example, in the theology seminary of Saint Pius in Murhesa, there are 89 candidates studying, in the hope of one day being ordained as priests and working as good shepherds to their people.
In addition to a sound academic formation, the seminary attaches the greatest importance to the spiritual formation of these future priests, and great emphasis is placed on prayer, personal contemplation, Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession.
But of course without financial support the seminary could not take in, or provide this formation to, the many young men who feel called to the priesthood. Hence it is no surprise that ACN has been regularly helping towards the formation of these seminarians. The rector of the seminary, Abbé Crispin Bunyakiri Mukengere, writes: “Your help enables us each time to complete the academic year normally. Without this support we would be totally blocked, or would simply be forced to cut short the academic year.”
This year ACN is once again helping for the seminary with a contribution of 25,800 Euros, so that these 89 young men can indeed complete their path to the priesthood.
This project is just one example of our work. Should you wish to support it, or another similar project that accords with the pastoral priorities of ACN, then please contact us to make your donation. Thank you!