Advertisement

Kenya’s PMS Launches Vocations Sunday Appeal to Revive Stalled Formation Projects

Image promoting Vocations Sunday to be celebrated on Sunday. April 25

The leadership of Kenya’s Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) is appealing for generous donations to revive stalled projects in Seminaries and other houses of formation as the Church prepares to celebrate Vocations Sunday on April 25.

The PMS National Director in Kenya, Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio, told ACI Africa on Thursday, April 15 that not much was collected in the Vacations kitty last year owing to COVID-19 restrictions that were imposed on Church gatherings in the country.

The situation forced the office that operates under the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) to freeze a number of projects that had been planned for various Seminaries and formation houses across the East African country, Fr. Luchidio said.

“We postponed many projects including renovations of chapels and other extension projects in a number of Seminaries and formation houses. In other places, we told the Seminaries to work within their means since we couldn’t provide everything they required,” the Kenyan Cleric said.

He revealed that only KSh.6 million (USD $60,000.00) was raised from all Catholic Parishes in Kenya against the KSh.10 million (USD $100,000.00) target. This happened despite the PMS decision to postpone the collections date from May to December last year.

Advertisement

“I think the faithful were overwhelmed. There were so many contributions to be made when the churches were opened after the lengthy lockdown last year,” said Fr. Luchidio.

This year, Kenya’s PMS has set the same target of KSh.10 million, and hopes to achieve it despite the protracted restrictions against in-person worship across the country.

“We can only pray and hope that things will be different this year and that we shall be able to meet our target,” the PMS Director told ACI Africa.

The member of the Clergy of Kenya’s Kakamega Diocese added, “But with the ongoing restrictions, things aren’t looking up. Already, five counties in Kenya have been zoned with no in-person Church gatherings and in other places, only a third of the congregations are allowed for public worship. We can already foresee very little contribution towards the Vocations Sunday kitty.”

The Vocations Sunday Kitty is Pope Francis’ way of supporting the program of the Seminaries and Novitiates in Mission territories through the society of St. Peter the Apostle.

More in Africa

This support, Fr. Luchidio explains, goes towards various extension projects in formation houses including construction of libraries, chapels and any other extraordinary work away from the normal learning.

It is also from this kitty that those in formation are supported through tuition, accommodation and payments that are made to Seminarians and Novices. Fr. Luchidio explains that in Kenya, Seminarians are paid US$ 430.00 while novices are paid US$400.00 every year.

In a communiqué addressed to Bishops, members of the Clergy, Religious and the lay faithful in Kenya, the PMS Director recalls Pope Francis’ message on formation of Priests and women and men Religious.

“Pope Francis reminds us always that the vocations’ promotion and guide is the key to authentic witness. Through formation programs, are the candidates able to make decisions to serve the people of God with dedication, diligence and love,” says Fr. Luchidio in the communiqué obtained by ACI Africa.

He notes that this year, Pope Francis gave the Church the model of St. Joseph, asking her members to dream of vocations in the example of the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus Christ who is the patron saint of the Universal Church.

Advertisement

He says that in the Church’s dream for authentic vocations, there is a need to journey with all persons in the vocations team through constant prayers and material support “so that they can undertake the programs faithfully and with love.”

“It is at this point that we request all people of God to pray for vocations in this month of April, and on April 25, on the occasion of the 58th celebration of Vocation Sunday, we donate generously towards the work of St. Peter the Apostle, the Pontifical office that is charged with the responsibility of assisting the formation houses in the Church,” Fr. Luchidio says in his communiqué dated April 12.

Corporates, Church organizations, and especially Parishes all over the country have been called upon to start directing their contributions to promote vocations in the Church to KCCB-PMS Restricted Funds, Account Number 1178590927, NCBA Bank, Mall Branch Westlands.