After more than 10 years of missionary presence in Chad, our root has evidently well planted on the Chadian soil. It is thus time for us to grow and bear fruits. Numerous seeds have been found in all our parishes and the minor seminary where we work. Young people have expressed their desire to join our Society. That is, in and of itself, a great sign of a tree bearing fruits. Chadians are well on the way of their self-transforming from a church of missionaries to a missionary church. A mustard seed, although smallest of seeds found in Palestine, can be transformed into a big tree under whose branches birds of the sky nest, says the Bible.
So in view of all that, the mission council of Chad mission made a request to the Generalat to begin its first formation house. That request has met a positive reply. In August 2017, in accord with the Bishop’s conference of Chad (C.E.T), the SVDs opened our first postulancy formation house in the diocese of Sarh. We dedicated this house and its habitants to the protection of St. Joseph Freinademetz. Our postulants attend philosophy study at the local inter-diocesan major seminary. Their philosophy program can be detailed as one year of propaedeutic and three years of philosophy. Our postulants live and pray in community under the watchful eyes of Fr. Henrikus Lewa, SVD and Fr. Khaneno Githale Davy-Jean, SVD.
Every beginning has its difficulties and challenges. We, too, face our own set of difficulties. First, our Chadian postulants, although well selected among many, have a low academic level due to the deficiency of the educational system of the country. To get them up to the standard that more or less allows them to succeed in the seminary, they are regularly given support courses at home for at least 6 months to a year. Second, our accommodation (a rented house with four rooms for 2 confreres and 3 postulants) at the moment is greatly insufficient given the long waiting list of aspirants. Thus, some better facilities that we could call “our own” are in demand.
We entrust this formation house to the intersession of our Founder St. Arnold Janssen and St. Joseph Freinademetz, its patron saint. We surely count on the generosity and the collaboration of the AFRAM formation board for ideas, suggestions, prayers, sharing and donations. We trust that, with the favorable reading of the signs of the time, our planting will bear fruits that will last.
May the heart of Jesus live in our heart and in the hearts of all.
Fr. Khaneno Githale Davy-Jean, SVD