Raised by farmers in a family of nine, life wasn't easy. However, with the help of God, the family was able to cultivate enough crops to maintain their livelihood.
Ongoing struggles, intensified by issues like food insecurity, violence and land disputes, have persisted in parts of Nigeria for decades. Because of this, some live in fear of their safety.
Isaac, a seminarian at the St Augustine’s Major Seminary, is all too familiar with this harsh reality. Growing up in a farming community meant that this family experienced many disagreements between farmers and herders over cattle grazing on cultivated crops, often leading to arguments escalating into violence.
In 2017, when a small argument over herders’ cattle consuming crops on his family’s field escalated into violence, three of his brothers were killed.
Yet, Isaac’s experience of loss is familiar among communities in Nigeria, where tensions among individuals often escalate into ethnic and religious conflicts.
Beyond this tension, priests and other religious leaders are often subject to threats of and actual violence. In 2022 alone, Agenzia Fides, the Vatican's news agency, reported the deaths of four priests and the kidnapping of 28 others in Nigeria.
Despite ongoing hardships and the prevailing fear surrounding Isaac, his unwavering commitment to his calling remains steadfast. He is dedicated to being a peacemaker and fostering a spirit of peace in the communities he serves.
Isaac felt the call of God within him and is pursuing the priesthood to be closer to God.
Even Catholic clergy have been the target of violence in Nigeria; however, this has not dissuaded Isaac from his calling.
Many seminarians, like Isaac, work hand in hand with missionaries to support the Catholic community and foster peace by serving local communities, regardless of their cultural or religious background.
The cost of attending the seminary is often one that men and families from disadvantaged areas find difficult to cover, but is essential for their journey to priesthood. Your generous gift today contributes to their spiritual and practical formation, enabling them to serve as future leaders of the Church and make a real difference in their communities.
Will you lend your support to seminarians like Isaac who are on their journey to priesthood in areas of conflict?