(2014) Ever since meeting Fr. Evarist Lubega, an African priest who was on a Sabbatical stay in Buffalo in 2002, the ministry that would become known as ROTA has been dedicated to assisting African clergy. Compared to the challenges of ministry in America, most African Clergy work under more desperate circumstances, longer hours, and drastically less remuneration. Since these early years we have tried to collect Mass Stipends that we would share with new Coptic Priests in Egypt, Western Rite friends who are priests in Uganda and bishops and priests both in South Sudan. We have furnished travel tickets for a variety of clergy friends to come and stay with us in Buffalo while conducting Mission Cooperative Appeals in area parishes. We’ve also provided funding for ongoing education for clergy in various countries.
We’ve been able to expand this outreach to include African Seminarians whom the Lord sends to our doors. We have been able to assist Daniel Ogbeifun from Nigeria, who has come as a missionary seminarian to Buffalo. The assistance took the form of but had not been limited to: course required books, supplies, clothing, and computer technology. We rejoiced as Daniel was ordained a transitional Deacon and who was ordained a priest in June of 2015. Fr. Ron will accompany Daniel after his ordination when he will return to celebrate with his family and friends in his West Africa homeland of Nigeria. Members of St. Columba Brigid welcomed a young man to stay with them for his first month visiting Buffalo. Moses Ikuelogbon, also from Nigeria, came to inquire if he would be able to be a seminarian for Buffalo. After his first month in Buffalo he moved in with Fr. Ron at the St. Lawrence Residence and over the next nine months learned about the Diocese of Buffalo as well as the parishes of St. Martin de Porres and St. Lawrence. In August 2014, Moses, who was accepted by Bishop Malone as a candidate for formation, moved into Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY to begin his studies.
That same month of August 2014 we welcomed Denning Achidi, born in Cameroon, who was a seminarian with the Order of Mary Immaculate (OMI) priests at Holy Angels. After discussions with Fr. Walter, the vocation director of the Diocese of Buffalo, Denning moved into the St. Lawrence Residence and he too has become aware of the Diocese and the parish families of St. Martin de Porres and St. Lawrence. In January he will be joining Christ the King Seminary. May God continue to bless them. ROTA continually is committed to assist them in their needs throughout their seminary career.