Page 4, 23rd March 1979

23rd March 1979
Page 4
Page 4, 23rd March 1979 — Third World vocations

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Locations: Portsmouth, Bimenda


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Third World vocations

Keywords: Religion / Belief

['was interested, and deeply inspired, by the report in your issue of March 9 of the celebrations in Uganda of the centenary of the arrival of the first Catholic missionaries.

A question posed by the writer — "Have we nothing to learn from our African brothers?" — struck a chord in my heart, as I believe that we ham a lot to learn from them. and I also believe that they can help us in a practical way to preserve, strengthen, and propagate the Faith in this "advanced" country of ours.

I have read that. in more than one African country, the number of vocations exceeds the capacity of the churches of these countries to train their postulants. How different this is to the situation in this and other countries!

I have long felt that we should help such countries and ourselves by shouldering at least part of the financial burden of training new priests on an organised and planned basis.

What I have in mind is a development of the existing liaison between dioceses in this country and in African countries — like, for example, the liaison between any diocese of Portsmouth and Bimenda, in Cameroon.

If we are to accept the figures quoted in the advertisement which appears regularly in your publication with the headline "What the Pope Said to the, Bishop", the cost or training a priest in Africa is a fraction of the cost in our own seminaries.

Surely it would "pay" a British diocese which is short of priests and vocations to accept this financial burden? The only string that should be attached to such aid should be an undertaking that the new African priest should serve for, say, five years in the sponsoring diocese.

A valuable by-product of such an arrangement would be the beneficial effect on race relations in this country. country.

J. S. Grant Robertson Kennington


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