From Rome, to America, to Gulu

January 11, 2017

Seminarian Simon Menya (center background) with the children of Gulu, UgandaSeminarian Simon Menya (center background) with the children of Gulu, UgandaOur diverse student body at St. Vladimir’s Seminary always brings forth an abundance of  church traditions during holiday seasons—customs of many nations and various centuries that greatly enrich our common community life.

This year our community celebrated the feast of St. Martin the Merciful, the Bishop of Tours, with purposeful gusto. St. Martin, a 4th-century Roman, is remembered particularly for sharing his cloak with a shivering beggar and subsequently receiving a tender vision of our Lord with the angels. In St. Martin’s honor, on the eve of the saint’s feast in November, members our community lit the traditional lanterns and collected the customary donations for the poor.

The cash collected on St. Martin’s Day was matched by other generous seminarians, and the total sum was then hand carried by 2nd-year Seminarian Simon Menya to his hometown of Gulu, Uganda. There, Seminarian Simon went Christmas shopping on behalf of the children in his neighborhood, buying loads of toys and school supplies. On Christmas Day the children of his village received the gifts with joy and shouted a big “Wapwoyo matek” (Thank you!) to their benefactors.

From Rome, to America, to Gulu. Our Lord’s love fills and transcends time and space.