He explained about the initiative that Fr. Anthony Mwituria oversees, “If we get a lump sum, we invest it and out of what benefits we get from the investment, we use it to run our Seminaries, renovate our Seminaries, build our Seminaries.”
People of goodwill can make annual contributions of any amount to SEF, Archbishop Muhatia said, adding that there is the option of “adopting” a Major Seminarian and contributing to expenses relating to his eight-year formation period.
He said, “We encourage those who want to support a Seminarian directly to do so. They can choose to educate a Seminarian through the eight years by saying that I'm going to pay for the fee for one Seminarian for the entire eight years, to see the Seminarian from spirituality, to the completion of theology.”
The identity of the person “adopting” a Major Seminarian might be revealed after the candidate is ordained a Priest, the Kenyan Archbishop told ACI Africa, adding that the identity of the sponsor is withheld because “we don’t want you to feel discouraged if the person is discontinued from formation.”
The 54-year-old Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in Kenya’s Nakuru Diocese in February 2010 said that while parents can facilitate the formation of their respective sons, the funds should be given to the Local Ordinary, and not directly to the Major Seminary.
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He said, “It is acceptable for parents to support the education of their children; there is nothing wrong with that. But for purposes of taking care of other little details and logistics, it is better for a parent to do it through the Bishop.”
Parents “must understand that by supporting your child it does not mean they must become a Priest,” Archbishop Muhatia further said, adding that parents can play a role in the discernment of vocations to the Priesthood by forming their children in the Catholic faith.
He explained, “Parents are the first teachers because the family is the first school. Papa and Mama are the first teachers, they are the first feeders. The mothers literally give them milk. The faith is supposed to be the same.”
“The way the parent feeds the infant on milk when they are tender, likewise parents are supposed to feed their children on their faith,” he emphasized, and added, “Once your child grows up like that in the faith, making their choices about God becomes easy.”
“A parent removes very many obstacles in the way of a child if they bring them up well in the faith. If values are inculcated in a child when they are still young, choosing to serve God becomes almost automatic,” Archbishop Muhatia said during the June 3 interview with ACI Africa.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.