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Often in rural areas in places like northern Ghana, Church figures - like priests and sisters - are not just faith leaders, but also community leaders, advocating and implementing programs that benefit the wider community.

With the majority of families and communities reliant on farming and agriculture for a living, it is imperative that they have the right skills and knowledge. Distressingly, this is becoming increasingly uncommon, and with high levels of poverty and little government support, communities rely more and more on the Church.

Thankfully, the seminarians at St Victor’s Major Seminary are undergoing not only vital spiritual formation, but are also being prepared with agricultural skills and hands-on training, which they can then pass onto their local communities when they become priests.

Monsignor Thomas Anamooh, rector of the seminary and a key driver of the agricultural program says:

“It is aimed at preparing the future priests to become active agents of progress and transformation in the lives of people they will be ministering to in the future.”

Meet Patrick...

Ghana Farm 5854

26-year-old Patrick Anasenchor has never thought of becoming a priest, until the bishop spoke at his high school, and posed the question:

“Why do you not want to go to the seminary, but you always want priests to serve you?”

Patrick had seen his local priests support the community, building boreholes for fresh water and transporting the sick to hospital towns away, as there is not ambulance or hospital nearby, and always wanted to help in some way as he could see the need outweighed the supply of help.

Patrick’s father was very proud of his son when he shared his decision, however growing up in a multi-faith home, Patrick faced the difficult task of convincing his mother, who is of Islamic faith, that becoming a priest was his calling.

His first year at the seminary was difficult, with his mother pleading with him to return home, however as time went on, Patrick and his mother’s relationship improved. Now in his sixth year, Patrick has no regrets about his choice.

Throughout their time at the seminary, Patrick and his fellow seminarians will be given spiritual formation, vital education and training for their lives as priests serving their local communities.

In addition, they will all experience various forms of agriculture, such as raising animals, crop farming, and learning up-to-date practices.

Agricultural Skills Training

This video explains the work of the St Victor’s Seminary Integrated Agriculture Project

These training courses at St Victor’s have both short and long term benefits:

  • Short term: Food produced and animals raised at the seminary are aimed to not only sustain the seminary’s needs, but can be on sold for income to help the seminary become self-sustainable.
  • Long term: The knowledge and skills learnt by the seminarians will then be passed onto farming communities to help improve their practices.

This year, Patrick has been placed in the team looking after the piggery, where he will learn how to rear and care for pigs. He also supports the crop farm, growing and harvesting corn for the seminary and for external sale.

You can support spiritual formation and skills training for seminarians like Patrick to help benefit communities in need in Ghana!