“The minor Seminary is the backbone of a diocese. I think it is very important to have a minor Seminary in the diocese. In order to reach the goal of laying the first stone of the minor seminary, priests and benefactors have given a great contribution and, after six years of commitment, the construction of the building that will be the St. Bonaventure Minor Seminary in Mirpur Khas begins”, says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Samson Shukardin OFM, at the head of the Catholic diocese of Hyderabad, in the province of Sindh, in southern Pakistan.
About 70 priests, nuns, catechists, and laity participated in the historic ceremony of laying the foundation stone held in recent days in Mirpur Khas, a city 75 kilometers from Hyderabad. Bishop Shukardin, who is also the national president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference Commission for Evangelization in Pakistan, also states: “The plan is to start the first academic year of the minor seminary in the year 2023. To realize this dream, we have started the preparatory formation with 25 young Catholics in 2016 at the minor Seminary, and 12 of these are now in the minor seminary, others continue the path of formation in their respective religious congregations”. The Prelate adds: “To start the setting-up of a Seminary, qualified personnel are needed: for this reason, we have already sent a priest and two seminarians to Rome for their studies, while this year another priest will continue the higher studies at the pontifical universities and others will do so in the future”.
Fr William Emmanuel, the rector of the minor seminary, now housed in another building, speaking to Agenzia Fides said: “We are grateful to God and to Bishop Samson for having thought of building a minor Seminary in the diocese. This is a project that will allow us to host fifty seminarians. In the new building, we will have a chapel, classrooms, staff room, offices, library, and computer lab. For the residence of the seminarians, we will use the same structure that we use now for the Pre-Seminary”. “Under the leadership of Bishop Samson Shukardin OFM, we are working very hard to increase vocations in the diocese and to have a good number of diocesan priests. At the moment we have 12 boys in the minor seminary, 6 in the Pre-Seminary”, concludes the priest. The Catholic Diocese of Hyderabad was erected in August 1958 and has 16 parishes. It is characterized by the vast apostolate among the tribal peoples present in Pakistan. The faithful of the diocese belong to various cultures, tribes, and ethnic groups and speak various languages such as Urdu, Sindhi, Kaachi, Kohli, Parkari, Vehari, and others.