Lungelo Halalisani Gabriel is a seminarian from the Diocese of Eshowe in the Republic of South Africa. He is 28 years old and is studying theology at the Bidasoa International Seminarin Pamplona. Of Zulu origin, his family was not religious, but his parents provided him with the best education in Catholic centers. He is the third of four siblings.
"Although my family had few resources, my parents made an effort to give us the best formation. I received a lot of help from missionaries and religious and their example of life grew within me, to such an extent that I considered opting for the priestly life," he says.
Lungelo is well aware of the lack of priests in South Africa, which hinders the sacramental life of many of the faithful living on the peripheries of the parishes in his country. But even so, the Church continues to grow and many conversions are taking place.
"I want to train myself very well to then be able to serve my country, where there is a great need to give a good formation to the faithful in terms of Christian life, the doctrine of the Church and to enable them to take initiatives within the parameters expected of them" he points out.
For him, the priest of the 21st century must be "someone who is absolutely devoted and in love with God and who, in doing so, leads others to Him. Holiness is expected in his life and that it be coherent and authentic".
He arrived at the Bidasoa International Seminary two years ago, thanks to the confidence of his bishop and thanks to a scholarship of the CARF Foundation. "Studying and training outside my country is something I would never have dreamed of". For him, Bidasoa is more than a Seminary, it is really a family. "I am impressed by the commitment to take care of the Liturgy, the life of piety, study and human growth".