Democratic Republic of Congo: Help for the training of 74 seminarians amid the dangers of life in Bukavu.
Project Code: 115-02-79
Life in Bukavu is dangerous. Roadblocks, gang crime and abductions are part of daily life. Bukavu lies in the heart of the frontier region with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, a region that for years now has been the theatre of some of the bloodiest conflicts in recent African history. The civil and social infrastructure has been destroyed by years of violent conflicts and strife, usually over the valuable natural resources of the region. Armed groups operate from here, and the army and police are neither trustworthy nor independent.
What has been created in effect is a kind of lawless region where the only law is the law of the jungle, the only rule the rule of the gun. Criminal gangs and hired mercenaries belonging to powerful interest groups set the general tone. There is little prospect of any improvement in the situation at present. At the same time the economic situation is dire indeed and there are shortages throughout the country.
The Catholic Church in Bukavu strives to help but cannot address every need and is in any case herself dependent on outside aid. The country and the people are weakened by the years of war and violence in the country and the Church herself has suffered a number of losses. In the past two years a number of priests and religious have been abducted, and two of them murdered.
The young seminarians in the Saint Pius XII seminary have long since become accustomed to the insecurity and dangers of life–insofar as one can ever become accustomed to such things. However, they refuse to let themselves be deflected from their goal and continue to study and pray in the hope of becoming faithful priests themselves one day. Their training is soundly based and has been supported for years now by ACN.
Not long ago, the seminarians sent ACN a card, in which they thanked the charity and the benefactors for "always helping us to complete the academic year successfully," as they put it. Their rector, Father Crispin Bunyakiri Mukengere assures us, "Without you, their training in the seminary would not be possible."
Now the seminary needs your help once again for the current academic year to guarantee the training of its seminarians. As the rector explains, present funds will not see them through to the end of the year. But despite these acute economic difficulties, the seminarians continue to work and study as well as possible for their future vocation in the priesthood. ACN has promised them $7,600.
Will you reach out to support these future priests in the Democratic Republic of Congo? We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers.
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