#SACBC - Seminaries indaba

Some might not be familiar with the term "indaba". It is used to mean a "gathering" or "meeting" and many times to talk about a problem or to find common ground on a matter. It was in this sense that our program said we would dedicate this day to the "seminaries indaba"

We were joined by the staff of our formation houses: St Francis Xavier (Cape Town) and St John Vianney (Pretoria) but also by a delegation from St Joseph's Theological Institute (Cedara). 

The purpose of the day was to engage with each other on a fruitful conversation and find common understanding regarding seminary formation.

Aware that seminary formation can be very broad, we worked on three topics: 
  • Coordination of bridging year centres (these are the places where new seminarians are sent by the dioceses before joining the "propedeutical" year in Cape Town);
  • Human formation in seminary training;
  • Discernment through screening and ongoing evaluation of seminarians
A brief introduction on each one of these topics were made and we then dedicated the next hour to work in groups on one of these topics. Each group had a 50/50 of bishops and priests. We were basically asked to share on:
  • what our concerns are regarding that specific area,
  • what it is we would like to see (... the ideal!)
  • what practical suggestion we had to move from our concerns... to the ideal!
The spirit was very good, the sharing open. 

The rest of the day was dedicated to listen to the different groups and to take some decisions in this regard.

Though these kind of gatherings had been done in the past, this one was the first after many many years and we do hope they will be done regularly from now on. 

In the afternoon we received great news: Pope Francis has authorized that the decree of Benedict Daswa's martyrdom be promulgated (Tzaneen Diocese). It is another step to the proclamation of the first South African blessed. 


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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