Your Chance to Do a Work of Mercy

A reader writes:

As a Catholic, you are aware of the priest shortage and dwindling number of vocations to the priesthood. I have a page on FB called “Adopt a Catholic Seminarian.” I am writing to you to ask for assistance getting this page noticed. I have less than 300 FB “friends” and assume you have many more! My efforts at sharing the page produce very little action. Currently I have 6 seminarians listed- I was able to find partial help for one but not the others. They are all from Uganda, which is predominantly Catholic and very poor. The average wage there is a dollar a day! NONE of the seminarians have electricity in their family homes, or plumbing! It is hard for me to imagine. I have posted pictures and some information on all of the young men currently listed. They need assistance with “cost sharing”- they are required to pay $250 per semester. That amount is next to impossible for them. Many of us sponsor children through CFCA and that cost is very similar to being a benefactor for a seminarian- less than $50 a month! I am not asking for money- in fact any payments to these seminarians is arranged with them, not me. I am assisting 2 currently and send them money through Western Union. And yes, I know there are internet scams abounding. I suggest to anyone considering being a benefactor to establish a relationship with the young man they choose, and get to know him. I did that- we talked daily and used Skype on several occasions. I was able to see them at their seminary, and I have also met their families using Skype. I am totally comfortable with them and it is a joy for me. Other than that, an interested person could also suggest to pay the rector at the seminary directly. If someone can pay just a portion, that’s fine too. I think it would be a great thing if a parish wanted to sponsor a seminarian! These young men are energetic and full of faith. They just need a little help to reach their goal of the priesthood. Would you consider helping promote the “Adopt a Catholic Seminarian”page? It could make a big difference if more people knew about their plight. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Thank you-