Sponsor the Training of Seminarians in Cameroon
Project Code: 113-02-79
Last year the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (known also as the Scheutist Fathers) celebrated its 150th anniversary. Founded originally in 1862 for the China missions, the congregation is present today in 23 different countries and on four continents. Among their many activities, the Fathers are responsible for parishes in a number of dioceses in Cameroon and Senegal. Some of the parishes run by the congregation are in the towns, but others are situated in remote and inaccessible rural regions.
In southern Cameroon, in the tropical rainforest, travel is often hindered for months by the heavy tropical downpours of the rainy season. By contrast, northern Senegal lies in the region of the Sahel where, as in northern Cameroon, the climate is extremely hot and there is very little rain. Here, local people and even animals have to endure droughts and hunger. In the Diocese of Louis in Senegal, which lies on the border with the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Church must also struggle to pursue her mission in an environment entirely dominated by Islam.
Thankfully, there is no shortage of vocations. The regional province for West and Central Africa, for example, currently has 42 seminarians. One of these is François Xavier. After completing his secondary schooling (A-levels), he planned to go on to university to study, "like every good Cameroonian with ambition," as he puts it. But suddenly a thought came to him that would not leave him in peace. "I had the impression that someone needs me and the desire came to me to come to know Christ better."
At first his ambition was the stronger force, and he concentrated entirely on his studies. But one day he gave it all up in order to follow the call of God, and it was then that he joined the Immaculate Heart Missionaries.
In a similar manner, young Marcel also ended up following the call of God, which he had already felt earlier, while he was still at school. At first his mother did not really take his desire seriously. Later, when Marcel insisted that he wanted to become a priest, she found it very hard to accept, because she had always wanted grandchildren and Marcel was her only child. The young man felt very discouraged at first, and even stopped going to church altogether for a time, but inside he felt more and more dissatisfied and unhappy.
"It was then it became clear to me that life without Christ is unendurable," he recalls today. He therefore joined a youth group in which vocations were encouraged. In the year of 2010 the Holy Father’s motto for the 47th World Day of Spiritual Vocations, "Witness awakens Vocations," made Marcel realize that he wanted to give his whole life to Christ.
Meanwhile, he had spent a year gaining practical experience in a parish. This experience strengthened in him the desire to join the Scheutist Fathers, so that he could "bring the Good News to the peoples who do not yet know the Gospel." He pursued his course despite the opposition of his family.
Every one of the 42 seminarians has his own vocation story to tell. But what is common to them all is that they have given up everything in order to follow Christ and serve their neighbor, wherever they may be sent. ACN is helping to support their training, as we have in previous years. This year we are contributing $7,900. Will you join us in sponsoring the training of these seminarians in Cameroon? We are sure they will remember you gratefully in their prayers.
This project is an example of our work. Your donation will be attributed either to this or to another similar project that accords with the pastoral needs that ACN witnesses.