For 7 years, in Kinshasa, D.R. Congo, the Orthodox University of the Diocese of Central Africa has been operating. There have been more than 50 graduates, most of whom have since helped in the missionary programs of our Orthodox Church. The foundation of the Orthodox University was grandiose for sure, because such a project naturally entails ongoing operating expenses. For this reason, the Metropolitan of Central Africa appeals to your love:
The existence and operation of our Theological School is a great blessing of Almighty God here in the heart of Africa, because it provides us with new priests, professors, teachers, catechists, laborers of the Gospel. Therefore, its contribution is invaluable. Moreover, faculty and students together contribute immensely to the missionary work of our Metropolis as well. Indeed this year we had 15 young men graduating from our School full of fervent zeal and ready to take action. Our joy is great. We have new shoots that will bear spiritual fruit. New laborers of the Gospel.So far, five of them have already been ordained and the rest have been assigned catechetical work. Some of them, after arranging some matters, will enter Priesthood.
However, the operational costs of the School are unbearably high for the Mission, which fills me with anxiety. They come to 9.ooo € monthly. How will it be possible for us to open this year?
I plead with St. Athanasius the Athonite, the patron saint and protector of our University, to illuminate our brothers in order to help so that our School will continue preparing laborers of the Gospel to minister to our brothers here and propagate Orthodoxy.
There are plenty of needs in our Metropolis. Most of our parishes lack priests. Our faithful gather together by themselves in the grass-thatched huts-churches without a pastor morning and evening in order to chant the Matins and Vesper services or the canon of supplication to our Most Holy Lady. The number of priests is so limited that they cannot possibly serve the needs of all parishes. As a result, a large number of faithful are deprived of attending the Divine Liturgy and partaking of the Holy Communion.It is our Theological School that instructs and provides us with priests, catechists, chanters, teachers for our schools. Therefore, what it actually does every year is to provide our Church with laborers of the Gospel. This is why we should make sure that it continues to operate and give us new laborers.
You can easily understand the difficulties I face every month to meet the monthly expenses for the Theological School. Many times, I have thought of suspending operations until we could find a sponsor. But always I have refused, thinking that, if we close the University, then Catholics, Protestants and other denominations and religions will rejoice and will accuse us that the Orthodox Church was unable to operate the only Theological School it has in Francophone Africa. Moreover, we will suspend the operation of a school that gives us preachers of the Gospel to work in the Mission.
Many people are thinking of making a donation for the construction of a Sacred Church, a school, a health center. Their wishes are all pleasing to God; nevertheless, I believe we have to understand that the buildings as such are good, but if we lack priests and catechists or theologically educated teachers, how can we possibly have believers? Without them the buildings will be desolate, and they could not possibly fulfill their mission.
This is why I am making an appeal to all of you for your assistance in order to continue operating our School of Theology. Each one can conduce to that in their own way, by praying or by giving your contribution, no matter how small it might be, so that the operational needs of the School will be met and our parishes will finally get priests.
We don’t need to do a lot, but only do what we can. See what you can do with little money for the Orthodox students of Kinshasa:
- With 10 euros, you provide stationery for a day
- With 16 euros, you pay for the daily operation of distance learning systems
- With 18 euros, you donate the daily water
- With 33 euros, you secure their medical care for whatever need that may arise during the day
- With 67 euros, you give the oil needed for the generators to operate
- With 85 euros, you help the weekly missionary trips of the students
- With 95 euros, you pay daily wages for all staff
Becasuse with God’s grace and your own help, the few laborers of the mission can become more.