Rome (Agenzia Fides) - On Friday 4 May it was the turn of Mgr Jan Dumon, Secretary General of the Pontifical Mission Society St Peter Apostle to report on the Society's activity in the past year. The charisma of the Society is to promote and sustain the formation of local clergy in mission territories, collect funds to build and maintain seminaries and Novitiates and also provide study grants for some priests and men and women religious in mission territories to engage in further studies in their own countries or abroad.
Mgr. Dumon began by reporting on activity during 2006 to make the Society SPA better and more widely known. In June 2006 Mgr. Dumon met the Catholic Bishops, Conference of Tanzania to discuss Opus Securitatis, a pension fund for retired priests. He also had meetings with the country's seminary rectors and teaching staff organised by the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Tanzania. In November he was invited to a CERAO Mission Congress in Ouagadougou to speak about the Society SPA. In January this year he attended a national Mission Congress in the Philippines held to mark the 75th anniversary of the PMS in that country. The meeting focused on the Pontifical Mission Society of St Peter Apostle and Mgr. Dumon spoke on the topic “Mission and Formation in Seminaries”. In March this year he travelled to Bangladesh for a meeting on the same subject and gave a talk on “Forming Future Priests for Missionary Activity”.
With regard to subsidies distributed by the Society SPA in 2006 according to the report presented, the total number of seminaries assigned SPA ordinary subsidies for the first time was 18: 4 in Africa, 6 in America, 5 in Asia, 2 in Oceania and 1 in Europe.
Altogether in 2006 the Pontifical Mission Society St Peter Apostle distributed funds to a total number of 942 seminaries: 503 minor seminaries, 125 propaedeutic seminaries and 314 major seminaries. In fact the Society's primary objective is to ensure seminaries and other institutions stability by guaranteeing regular ordinary subsidies.
The number of seminarians assisted by the Society SPA in 2006 was 81,323 in the world: 51,871 in Africa; 6,328 in America; 18,293 in Asia; 376 in Europe; 801 in Oceania.
In 2006 a total number of 10,213 new students were admitted to seminaries in mission territories and the number of reported ordinations to the priesthood in mission countries was 2,317 distributed as follows: Africa 1,069, Asia 926, America 284, Europe 21 and Oceania 17.
In 2006 the Society SPA assigned subsides as follows:
6,393,145 $ to minor seminaries (50,130 pupils);
1,672,920 $ to propaedeutic seminaries (3,864 students);
14,507,100 $ to major seminaries (27,329 students);
971,250 $ a 3,534 male novices;
1,610,100 $ to 6.018 female novices.
The Society SPA assigned 781 study grants to priests and men and women in mission territories who took courses at institutes for higher education in Cote d' Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Madagascar. (Agenzia Fides 7/5/2007). (RG) (Agenzia Fides 7/5/2007; righe 35, parole 499)