FAQ - Society of St. Peter

Frequently Asked Questions
► What is the Society of St. Peter Apostle?
The Society of St. Peter Apostle is one of four Pontifical Mission Societies. Its principal aim is to encourage prayer and financial help for vocations to the priesthood and Religious life in the missions.
► Who started the Society of St. Peter Apostle?
In 1889, the French missionary bishop of Nagazaki, Japan, wrote to Stephanie Bigard and her daughter Jeanne of Caen, France, asking for financial help so that he could keep his seminary open. The Bigards gathered a small group of friends and acquaintances and collected the necessary funds for the bishop. Within five years of sending its first donation to Japan, the group was also helping seminaries in India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Korea and China.

► I hear that vocations are growing in the Missions. How many seminarians does the Society of St. Peter Apostle support?
Currently, more than 30,000 major seminarians in some 400 seminaries receive help from St. Peter Apostle. In addition, close to 10,000 men and women Religious novices receive assistance.
► How can I help the Society of St. Peter Apostle?
You can offer your prayers and personal sacrifices for the growth of mission vocations. You can also help young men as they prepare for the priesthood through the Society of St. Peter Apostle with a donation of $700 for a year of studies. A gift of $300 will help toward the formation of men and women novices preparing for a life of service as Religious Brothers and Sisters. You may also want to remember the Society of St. Peter Apostle when writing or changing your Will.
► Why does it cost more to educate a seminarian than a Religious novice?
Seminarians typically spend a greater length of time studying for the priesthood than a religous brother or sister would spend in a spiritual formation program. A greater length of study requires a seminary to provide additional textbooks, classroom supplies as well as room and board for that period of time.
► Once ordained, where do these priests serve?
Very often, priests ordained in the Missions will serve in the very dioceses where they were born and raised. Others are asked by the ordinary (bishop) of their dioceses to serve in other areas of their native countries or in other dioceses throughout the world — even in the United States.
► May I sponsor an individual seminarian or novice through the Society of St. Peter Apostle?
Contributions to the Society of St. Peter Apostle are allocated to seminaries and seminarians in mission dioceses throughout the world according to need, with certain help offered to each seminary by the number of students there. This system of allocating funds helps ensure that aid is distributed fairly and that those who are most desperately in need receive enough support.
► Where are the offices of the Society of St. Peter Apostle located in the United States?
The national office in the United States for the Society of St. Peter Apostle is located in New York City at 366 Fifth Avenue. Monsignor John E. Kozar is the National Director. Each U.S. diocese has an diocesan director, who is appointed by the local bishop.

► Help Answer Their Call
Vocations to the priesthood and Religious life are growing in the Developing World. The typical mission seminarian is from a poor family. The seminarian's family contributes the little it can; his bishop is hard-pressed for funds; the people this young man will serve once ordained a priest are also often struggling merely to survive.
The Society of St. Peter Apostle is the instrument of the Holy Father, the bishops and all in the Church to provide spiritual and financial assistance to seminarians of the Developing World.
A year’s help for a mission seminarian is $700. Maybe you could send that amount, or something toward it. Perhaps you could offer a week’s support of $35 — that $5 a day. Whatever amount you can send will be treasured.

► Are there other organizations through which I can support the work of the Catholic Church in the Missions?
To learn more about supporting the work of the Church in the Developing World visit:
Catholic Relief Services or Aid to the Church in Need
► How do I find our more about the Society of St. Peter Apostle?
Call, write or e-mail your diocesan office or the national office


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