Story Source: Where God Weeps - The Franciscan Brothers came to the diocese of Meru in Kenya in 1984, at the request of Bishop Silas Njiru. In 1989 they moved to the Archdiocese of Nairobi, where they opened a formation house. This formation house became known throughout the African continent and also internationally. Vocations in Africa are growing steadily, and with them the demands on the Franciscan Brothers in Nairobi. Initially the house was used for training the philosophy and theology students from Kenya only, but then more and more young men came from the other countries of the continent, including Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia and Ghana. This international atmosphere now characterises the Franciscan seminary. "The international formation helps them to become more open to other cultures and so become better missionaries", the Provincial tells us. When it was built in 1988, the formation house had space for 15 students. An extra wing was added in 1998, but still there was not enough space, and 38 students had to fit into 36 rooms. "In the next semester the number of students will increase still further, and we also need more formators", said Father Tadeusz Brzozowski, the provincial of the Franciscan Brothers.
In order to be able to accommodate all its students, and also its guests, the Franciscans began work on extending the formation house still further. ACN supported them with a subsidy of €20,000. The work progressed well and it took just under three years to complete the building. Three new wings were added, and the roof was completed just in time before the rainy season arrived. The floor was strengthened and the inner corridors were repaired, and the three new wings were linked to the old building. In addition to the extra 15 student rooms, a library, reading room, sitting room, prayer room and two counselling rooms were built. Soon after, the students were able to move into their new rooms. Now there are 41 young men studying at the seminary, and in much better conditions than before, thanks to the new building.
The Franciscan Brothers are extremely grateful to all the benefactors of ACN. "We thank you with all our hearts for your support for our international formation programme", they write.