by Gary Adornato
Wherever the Friars serve, ministering to the poor and spreading the Gospel of the Lord, there is always the need for vocations. As the Light of Christ sparks in lands where our Franciscan ministries exist, men of God do hear the call to service with our order and enter formation.
This wonderful phenomenon amplifies our ability to serve and creates a greater foundation of understanding and trust within mission communities when they are served by their native sons.
Of course, the education of a friar, especially those preparing for the priesthood takes years and a substantial financial commitment.
In the East African nation of Tanzania, where the Conventual Franciscan Friars have a thriving presence with the St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe Custody, the Friars have opened a new seminary.
The Conventual Franciscan Formation House is under the patronage of Blessed John Duns Scotus, one of the most influential Franciscans in the field of philosophy and theology.
According to Fr. Everest Nyaki, OFM Conv., a native son of Tanzania currently studying at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., there are 58 young men in various stages of formation presently studying in the new facility.
In late January, Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv., Minister Provincial of the Our Lady of the Angels Province and Fr. Everest blessed a shipment of Theology books being donated to the new seminary by the Companions of St. Anthony, at the Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City, Maryland.
“As we prepare to send this shipment of books to the friars in Tanzania, where these books will be used in the formation of future friars of the order and future servants of the Church, we commend this whole shipment to the love and protection of the Holy Mother of God,” said Fr. James during the blessing.”
In his blessing, Fr. Everest directly thanked the Companions of St. Anthony for their generosity.
“Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of life you have given us, and we thank you for the American province Our Lady of the Angels and all the Companions of St. Anthony for their generous heart. May you God continue blessing them, and bless our Provincial, Fr. James, and all the leaders of the province, for they are good hearted in saving other countries to be united in this world as one family.”
Fr. Everest also revealed plans to expand the facility.
“In the future, we expect to have more students who will be studying at the Jordan Catholic University college, which is few miles away from our house of formation,” said Fr. Everest. “There is a plan to have more than 10 students, who will be residing at that house of the formation while benefiting from the books that the Companions donated to us with a generous heart.
“The current house only accommodates nine students. There are nine sleeping rooms, a dining room, a small kitchen, a chapel, and a recreation room. Our plan is to build a new wing that will have about 30 to 40 rooms for our students who will be studying at Jordan University College. We are looking for some help from the well-wishers and all who are willing to help us in the formation and accompanying these future Conventual Franciscans and religious priests in the Church, for God’s service and humanity.”
For those who wish to help support the education of young Friars in Tanzania, and across the globe, possible with a small donation to help defer the cost of this shipment of books, we invite you to click on the link below and offer a gift. As always, we thank you for your support.
Click here to make a gift to help defer costs for the shipment of donated books to Tanzania.