TESTIMONY OF A SEMINARIAN

TESTIMONY OF A SEMINARIAN

My Vocation Surfaced after Participation In Sunday Prayers in the Absence of a Priest

My name is Hubert, I was born in the diocese of Luiza in the RDCongo. I went to primary school in this area. Baptized in infancy, I was integrated in a group of young people where I was able to benefit from the catechetical teachings thanks to the dedication of the chief catechist in my village who prepared me until my first communion when I was 12 years old.

During the catechism lessons, once a week as a child, I asked the catechist questions about why the priest did not reside in our village in order to give us the possibility of receiving communion every day. The catechist’s responded as follows: “Since our community has not yet sent a young person to the seminary to become a priest, it is difficult for us to have the Eucharist according to your wishes”. In addition, added the catechist: “Be attentive during the prayer that I recite on Sunday during the prayer in the absence of the priest”. Indeed, when he finished his brief commentary on the Sunday readings, the catechist introduced the second part of the prayer of the assembly saying: “if we had a priest among us, we would have received communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord”!

These answers given by the catechist aroused in me the desire to become a priest. But, the difficulties experienced in talking to my Christian parents and above all convincing them of the seriousness of my approach were enormous. First of all, in my family, I am the second boy and it was inconceivable for my father to let me enter the seminary. Since I had not moved into a school in the centre of the parish, I had developed a certain inferiority complex in regard to the young people of the parish, who were used to meeting priests and were used to the ritual of the Mass and other sacraments. Also the financial difficulties were a serious obstacle given the very humble conditions of my two farming parents with seven children in their care, including only two boys and five girls, all at school age.

My perseverance finally convinced my father of the seriousness of my vocational outlook. I submitted my application to be admitted to the propaedeutic seminary in Luiza. After passing a test, I was retained and it encouraged me enormously. It’s been five years since I set out along the priestly path at seminary. I have already successfully completed the preparatory year for the propaedeutic seminary, three years of philosophy at the Seminary in the province of Lomami where I spent all the academic year at the seminary, far from my diocese and my family, due to a lack of financial means to pay transportation back and forth during Christmas and Easter holidays. Moreover, raising the financial means necessary to contribute to my formation, despite the support and the sacrifices of our diocese, is challenging for my poor parents. They do so by making enormous sacrifices to the detriment of my brother and my sisters. I continue my journey, in spite of these material difficulties, animated by a justified hope of reaching the goal: to become a priest so that a community of Luiza ceases to make the communion of desire, and that, in the logic of the Incarnation of the Word of God was made flesh, my brothers and sisters have the opportunity to truly receive communion each day in his Body and Blood. I trust in the Lord and his divine providence.