Help equip a "little seminary" in Paraguay

Project Code: 233-08-49

The Apostolic Vicariate of Chaco in the west of Paraguay covers an area of some 37,000 square miles – more than Maine – yet it has a population of barely 30,000 people whose locations are extremely scattered. On top of this, roads are often very poor and some are impassable in the rainy season.

Most of the people in this region belong to the various indigenous ethnic groups. Poverty and unemployment are widespread throughout the region and young people in particular have few prospects of a better life; many do not even complete their schooling. And while there are few opportunities for employment, at the same time most families do not even have enough land to grow their own food and feed themselves. As a result, many are forced to emigrate to other regions of the country. Help to equip a "little seminary" in Paraguay

But there is also an interior change in the people which the Church views with some concern. The traditional institutions such as the family are also undergoing a profound crisis here, and parents are often ill-equipped to guide and help their growing children. As a result, many young people are left searching for meaning and direction outside the family. This search brings with it the danger of falling into the wrong company, such as gangs or other harmful ideologies.

Bishop Gabriel Escobar Ayala wants to do more to help and accompany such young people. Above all he wants to confirm them in their decision for the Faith, since a sure grounding in their religion can also provide them with a secure foundation for their future life. And there are some young people who would gladly consider the priesthood or the religious life in the right context, but until now there has been no way of providing them with a systematic and intensive guidance and accompaniment.

The bishop wants to establish a sort of “little seminary” where these young people can study systematically and be spiritually accompanied. At the same time, vocations workshops and days of recollection could be held there, with the opportunity for counselling and personal guidance. Another idea is to train young people to become group leaders for their own communities. This would be not only an enrichment of the Church’s youth work on the ground but at the same time an opportunity for such young people to gain the kind of knowledge and experience that would later serve them in a profession or in their own families. In this way they would increasingly grow into a role of responsibility.

With the generosity of our benefactors, ACN will be able to help with $8,400. Will you help us fulfill our promise to equip this “little seminary” to help young people in Paraguay?


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