I will admit this post is way long overdue. Back-dated to May 6, 2010.
I had the chance to spend some time with an old friend, Fr. Mel Portula, CICM. Currently, he is Formator/Postulancy Program Director at the Maryhurst Seminary in Baguio City, Philippines. He had visited friends and parishioners in North Carolina during his short stay.
Over dinner, he was telling us about his work amongst the seminarians. They go through a four-year program at the seminary but also take academic courses at St. Louis University. Tuition costs around US$350.00 / PHP 16,200 per semester, which a lot of the seminarians cannot afford.
One class may start off with 40 seminarians; however, on average, thanks to one thing to another, including financial hardships, only 4-5 would end up going to the Novitiate.
Fr. Mel says we could help in many ways, including sponsoring a seminarian, send supplies like basic office supplies (e.g., paper, pencils, pens, etc.), t-shirts, shorts, towels, etc. The Zaballeros are collecting these items and will ship a Balikbayan box to the seminary, and the contents will be distributed to the seminarians in need.
Of course, we could also pray for more vocations to the priesthood, most especially during this Year of the Priest.
He told us to look for a couple of videos the Maryhurst Seminarians had made on Youtube. They did a two-part video, mostly in Tagalog. The description: A presentation that depicts the life of the seminarians in Maryhurst-CICM Mission Seminary in Baguio City, Philippines. It includes the four aspects of life in the seminary namely, Academic Life, Spiritual Life, Community Life and Apostolic Life.
The videos are embedded below.