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NIGERIA: Supporting 327 seminarians training for the priesthood Image

NIGERIA: Supporting 327 seminarians training for the priesthood

Category: Theological formation

Trying a vocation for the priesthood is an exacting challenge for any seminarian, but perhaps none moreso than the seminarians at St Augustine's seminary in Jos, Nigeria. Thanks to you we have been able to support the seminarians there – and the priests responsible for their training – as they study against a backdrop of threats and deadly violence.

St Augustine's has suffered repeated threats from extremists. Once, Islamists set fire to a monastery next to the seminary and threatened to overrun St Augustine's. But the students rushed out and the mob ran away. Now, seminarians take it in turns to patrol the site's perimeter wall, making use of a hotline to Jos police headquarters if trouble arises. 

Just months away from ordination to the priesthood, Deacon Hezekiah Kovona is one of 327 young men at St Augustine's. He told Aid to the Church in Need staff visiting the seminary: "When you go back home, tell the people that there are many of us who want to be priests. Extremists in Nigeria follow the way of violence but we want to follow the way of the Lord."

Another seminarian, named Genesis, said: "We attribute our survival to God. People – even our families – sometimes ask why we want to risk our lives as priests but we are not afraid."

Genesis is one of more than 5,000 seminarians in Nigeria – the highest number in all of Africa. Thanks to you, we are able to make a commitment to help students at St Augustine's and others preparing for priesthood.

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Mass stipends - Nigeria

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