The Experiences of African Catholic Church Seminarians

The Experiences of African Catholic Church Seminarians

James Juma mhm, Karen van der Merwe, Danie du Toit

This qualitative study describes and interprets the lived experiences of African Roman Catholic Church seminarians (priests-in-training). The interpretive lens employed was world view, a conceptual tool extensively used in African-centred psychology. Sixteen African seminarians (age range 21–31 years) were purposely selected and interviewed in depth. Additional sources of data were reflexive notes and observation notes. Data were subjected to various iterative cycles of analysis. Participants described their difficulty in adjusting in the seminaries where teaching and living predominantly reflects a Western world view. They evidenced cognitive dissonance, emotional discomfort and feelings of marginalisation. The findings point to the importance of acknowledging the world views and cultural heritage of seminarians in their training.

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