During his recent visit to Nigeria, Bishop Richard Pates visited a high school minor seminay in a city called Ihiala. There, he found extreme poverty. The seminary's walls and roof were dilapidated and there were very few windows. Few desks, chairs or books were available. With no constant power supply, electricity was spotty. Sewage, water and drainage systems all needed to be reconstructed.
Though the students at the seminary learned under extreme conditions, Bishop Pates found the faith and call to the priesthood very much alive in the community and the country. He ordained 10 priests for the Spiritan religious community and 15 to the transitional diaconate during his visit.
Bishop has asked Des Moines diocesan schools and religious education programs to raise funds for the seminary students. They will begin this effort during Lent. Watch in your local parish for opportunities to which you can contribute to help the students at the seminary in Nigeria. Or, you are invited to make a donation to the effort by contacting Dr. Luvern Gubbels, diocesan schools superintendent, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-237-5013.