Tuesday, October 22, 2013
“Many thanks indeed to you for the timely announcement of the forthcoming celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Dekamere Seminary. This is indeed most welcome good news in the midst of the rather difficult and challenging situation that you our confreres and the people of Eritrea are currently undergoing”, wrote Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw in a congratulatory letter on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Dekamere Seminary (1963- 2013) in Eritrea. Below is the text of the letter.
Fraternal Greetings and Happy Jubilee to you all!
Many thanks indeed to you for the timely announcement of the forthcoming celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Dekamere Seminary. This is indeed most welcome good news in the midst of the rather difficult and challenging situation that you our confreres and the people of Eritrea are currently undergoing.
This celebration invites us all to continue reading the signs of the times, seeing God’s presence in our history and to look to the future with a renewed hope.
The Gospel icon which comes to mind and which I would like to propose to you here is that of the parable of the mustard seed: “The Kingdom of God is similar to a mustard seed which a man takes and sows in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it grows, it becomes the biggest plant and tree, so that the birds of the air come to rest in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32.
Today we recall with great joy the small and humble beginnings of Comboni missionary formation at Dekamere 50 years ago. We remember with gratitude all the confreres (both those still alive and those who have preceded us in the Heavenly Father’s House) who have worked tirelessly and generously in the formation of our future confreres. Dekamere is indeed the Mother House for the Eritrean confreres, the vast majority of whom have passed through Dekamere. Many of these confreres are serving the Institute and the Church at large in various capacities. It is also worth mentioning that a good number of those who did not make it to become Comboni missionaries are good Christians and citizens in society having benefited from the formation received at Dekamere. All this is indeed the representation of the mystery of the Kingdom of God that continues to grow and it is marvellous to see this happening also in Eritrea regardless of the present socio-political problems.
As we look back at the good work done at Dekamere and the fruits obtained thus far, the next step is to brace ourselves as a Delegation and as an Institute for the many challenges that lie ahead. You are not alone in this endeavour. I assure you of the concern, solicitude and moral support on the part of the Comboni General Administration.
Let us continue to pray through the intercession of our Father and Founder St. Daniel Comboni that the Lord may always grant us holy and capable missionaries for our challenging times.
Congratulations on the Golden Jubilee of Dekamere Seminary. Ad Multos Annos! And with Comboni I say: Courage for the present and especially for the future!
Fr. John Baptist Keraryo Opargiw, mccj
Secretary General – Formation