New Major Seminarians in Burkina Faso Urged to Embrace Vocation with “courage, strength”

Bishop Prosper Bonaventure Ky with the 80 Major Seminarians. Credit: Fr. Paul Dah

New Seminarians at Sts. Peter and Paul Kossoghen Major Seminary in Burkina Faso’s Catholic Archdiocese of Ouagadougou have been urged to embrace the call to the Priesthood with “courage and strength.”

In his homily during the annual Cassocks Day at the Major Seminary, Bishop Prosper Bonaventure Ky described vocation as “a reality common to all human beings, since every person, every man, every woman begins in the womb.”

“This celebration is a source of hope and thanksgiving, for today's chosen are like flowers, flowers in the field of vocations; flowers that give hope of selected fruits, the hope of devoted, generous pastors; pastors after God's own heart,” Bishop Ky said during the Wednesday, June 12 Eucharistic celebration.

He told the 80 new Seminarians in Burkina Faso that the origin of their vocation is God, “who has called you; He who has called you and chosen you.”

“Today, through this solemn celebration, the Church officially recognizes your call and considers you official candidates for the Priesthood,” the Local Ordinary of Burkina Faso’s Catholic Diocese of Dédougou said.


As Major Seminarians, he emphasized, “you must embrace this vocation with courage, strength, and love for the Church and God’s people.”

“God's first call to everyone is the call to life, the call to salvation. God wants everyone to be saved. He calls us to life so that we may have salvation, we may have a life of union and communion with Him,” the Burkinabè Catholic Church leader said.

He continued, “You didn't call yourselves; God called you; He called you and chose you. In other words, the desire to consecrate yourselves to the Lord and to the service of the Church is a consequence of the call you received from God in the womb.”

The 59-year-old Catholic Bishop, who started his Episcopal Ministry in July 2018 emphasized the need to understand the call of God as “a personal act; a lineal and voluntary act.”

“It is voluntarily and without any force or influence whatsoever that one commits oneself to the followership of Christ,” he said, and warned, “If one of you carries someone else's vocation, he's under arrest. I hope you don't want to become a Priest because a man, an aunt, a father, a mother tells you.”

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Bishop Ky urged the new Seminarians to commit themselves to the calling they have responded to, and to remain faithful.

“Always answer ‘here I am’; always answer ‘present’ to God's calls. No doubt, there could be circumstances that don't depend on you, that don't depend on your goodwill, but always have the dispositions that with them you are today, now, or of the present,” the Catholic Church leader said.

Seminarians must “take the responsibility to remain faithful, even in the trials, which certainly won't be lacking,” he said, and continued, “When Jesus says to take up one's cross and follow Him, He's not telling us to import crosses. There is no other cross to import than simply our daily life to be led according to God's will.”

“Lord, bless our brothers who come forward for your service and the services of your people,” Bishop Ky implored, and added, “May they let themselves be led by your Holy Spirit and cling to Christ out of unreserved love. May our prayer assist them, so that your Church may one day have the joy of welcoming them among Priests.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.