Supporting leadership training
The Society of Saint Peter the Apostle (SPA) supports leadership training and the formation of priests, religious and pastoral workers.
Without your help, mission dioceses would struggle to fund the training of priests, sisters and pastoral workers that they so urgently need. The pastoral workers of today seek to build the Church of tomorrow. You can give the gift of faith by sponsoring a future priest or by donating to the SPA.
Missio Scotland works with Church leaders and supports the seminary at Kaduna in Nigeria by sponsoring students through their training. Students are sponsored by individuals, high schools, and parish groups.
The Society of St Peter the Apostle was founded in 1889 in France by Jeanne Bigard (1859-1934). The tragic deaths of her father and brother led this wealthy woman to leave a lasting and radical legacy—to train indigenous clergy.
Jeanne Bigard and her mother Stephanie had suffered from personal tragedies—the father had committed suicide and her brother was accidentally burnt to death. Both became virtual recluses, living almost as hermits.
They turned to good works and became interested in making altar linen and vestments for missionaries in Japan.
Made aware of their interest, Father Villion, who was stationed in Japan, approached them in 1888. From Kyoto in Japan, he asked them for assistance in building a church. Although very wealthy, they were also very careful with money.
Ultimately they sold some land and a factory and gave 50,000 francs which enabled Fr Villion to build his church.
In 1889, a French Bishop of Nagasaki, Jules-Alphonse Cousin, suggested to the Bigards that they might consider supporting boys in Japan to train for the priesthood. Thus was born the idea of a general society to promote indigenous clergy throughout the world.
The Bigards donated to the new society the whole of their considerable fortune. Approved by the Pope in 1890, it too became a Pontifical Mission Society in 1922.
The Society trains young men and women in their own country and culture to serve their people as religious sisters, brothers, or priests. Also assisted in their formation and training are those catechists who have been chosen to be the teachers and formators of the catechists in their country.