Papal Foundation: Investing in Nigeria’s future

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Papal Foundation

Papal Foundation

On Saturday Pope Benedict met and thanked the Papal foundation for their efforts to support and help the Church in developing nations on his behalf. He said : “Through the work of the Papal Foundation, you help to further the Church’s mission of evangelization, promote the education and integral development of our brothers and sisters in poorer countries, and advance the missionary endeavors of so many dioceses and religious congregations throughout the world”.

Sr. Francis of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ says she is an example of how investing in the future of one person means investing in the future of an entire nation. Sr. Francis is from Northern Nigeria and she is the recipient of a Seaman Scholarship, founded by Papal Foundation stewards John and Carol Seaman.

Years ago the Seamans asked Pope John Paul II where their donation would be best invested. He replied in the future of developing nations, more specifically in giving young men and women, religious and lay, access to top level education.

“This scholarship has really helped me a lot because I really suffered before”, she told Emer McCarthy. “Actually when I was asked to do this course in psychology I was quite afraid because we don’t have a community in Rome, so I didn’t know where I could live or how I would support myself”.

Sr. Francis says her Congregation, founded by Irish Missionary Charles Heery, focuses on empowering young girls and women in African society, through schools, orphanages, hospitals and clinics. “We train the young children, young girls but also young boys, not just academically but also spiritually to know God”.

“The study of psychology is going to be of immense benefit to us, not just to me particularly, to help my congregation and Church in Nigeria. We have many vocations to religious life in the Congregation…so we need competent hands, somebody who is well informed who will be able to help these young girls in their process of formation. And not just in the formation houses. When I go back to Nigeria, I will also be able to give a hand in the seminaries, in the psychological assessment of the candidates who wish to be priests, because our psychology course here in the Gregorian opens us, gives us many opportunities. And then I could also give help in the parishes in giving family therapy. I have so many areas I can help. This scholarship is going to be a very bigh help to so many others in Nigeria”.


In : Education

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