The “HORISON EST” is the periodical Newsletter of the Minor Seminary St Kizito of Zaza.
We undoubtedly address you having in mind that our voice, Horizon Est’s voice, will have diverse pitches of the echoes in your ears according to the epoch of your stay in or attachment to the Seminary.
We are told that its last issue was published before a ramshackle seminary of 1994. The seminarians and educators of the genocide aftermath period have used notice boards to publish their articles under two successive names, fist with “Echo du Séminaire” and later with “Horizon Est”.
However, for want of archival information, we wanted to publish a special issue of HORIZON EST in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of our Seminary.
Is attached the cover of the HORIZON EST-special issue:
And the editorial presented by Pacifique ISHIMWE, the deputy chief editor:
ARE MINOR SEMINARIES SECONDARY SCHOOLS LIKE OTHERS?
Dear esteemed readers of our newsletter, the HORIZON EST, I am glad to greet you. Still in the Pétit Séminaire Saint Kizito de Zaza golden jubilee, I would like to explain how the seminary is like other secondary schools at the one hand and different from them on the other. Many people hold a general misconception that the seminary is about religious issues only. I have heard some people discuss that if you pass well in all other subjects apart from religion, at the end of the year, you get expelled. But you may ask yourself if this is true. This article is aimed at showing how the seminary is, of course, an academics-based school but also, due to its mission, there are various values given to minor seminarians. It will be of the utmost importance to have a view on the mission and objective of the Pétit Séminaire Saint Kizito de Zaza in the progress of revealing the life of minor seminarians, especially at school.
When he founded the Seminary of Zaza in 1968, Late Lordship Joseph SIBOMANA aimed at preparing students who would be future priests (on God’s will and call). He also wished that – even if all of them may not be priests – all be good Christians within the church and the society in general. This prompted for a different sort of training or education as opposed to other secondary schools. As it is understandable to anyone, preparing a future priest requires religious education and spiritual reshaping in the long run. But only this? The answer is undoubtedly no. A priest, a servant of Christ, must be someone who has undergone specific education and training which enable him to serve his purpose. This starts from minor seminary to major seminary. In seminary, we usually abbreviate those values in SSS (trois S) in French standing for Santé, Science et Sainteté literally meaning health, science and holiness in English. The arena of academics is found in science. Religious and spiritual issues are found in sainteté (holiness). Santé (health) concerns the normal life and wellbeing of seminarians. Recall the Latin proverb saying: “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano” (Good Spirit in a Healthy Body). Generally stipuating, seminarians all over the world are raised in the involved spirit.
As I have introduced, some people hold a misconception that education in the minor seminary only involves religious and spiritual lessons. Those think that other secular lessons are optional. However, the daily routine in the Pétit Séminaire presents a different sort of fact. Seminarians like other secondary schools in Rwanda follow the same curriculum which is issued by the Ministry of Education through the Rwanda Education Board (REB). This means that minor seminarians study all lessons studied by other secondary school students in Rwanda. Furthermore, all national examinations done by other students are also done by seminarians. And remarkably, Zaza Minor Seminarians perform well in national examinations. However, in addition to the national curriculum provided and followed, there are social, religious, spiritual and ethical issues that accompany the normal lessons. Those and other various extracurricular activities help the seminarian to be in good conditions while undergoing the full education as intended. From that, we can infer that minor seminaries are like other schools.
Not contrarily to what I was saying, let us have a view on the daily routine and the main activities in Zaza Minor Seminary. This will help us to examine how the life of Zaza Minor Seminarian is organized. The daily routine reflects how other minor seminarians are raised. All days do not have the same organization of activities, but we are going to look at an ordinary day. This is how a normal lessons day is organized:
1. Waking up in the morning
2. Morning jogging
3. Having a bath
4. Morning prayers and mass
5. Breakfast and washing up
6. Starting lessons from 07:40 A.M up to 12:55 P.M, time for lunch
7. Lunch and washing up
8. Returning back to lessons of two or three periods
9. Sports time of about an hour
10. Having a bath
11. Time for the first preparation
12. At 07:05 P.M, time for evening prayers
13. Time for dinner and washing up
14. Recreation of about 15 minutes followed by the second preparation
15. At 09:55 P.M, day concluding prayer and sleeping
Depending on the day or week, there are also other extracurricular/ cocurricular activities such as singing class, manual work, the Holy Rosary, recollection, outing, adoration of the Holy Sacrament of Eucharist, among others. In the life of a seminarian, there is a special period of Great Silence (Silentia Magna). In all those activities, seminarians are trained to be self-starters and self-drivers.
To sum up, I would like to repeat the common words: “Ad augusta per angusta (No gain without pain). Many students say that there are tough rules and regulations in the seminary. Maybe it is true but it is worth repeating the proverb: “No Pain No Gain”. Minor seminarians after completing their secondary studies, may choose either to join the major seminary or to go in the society. No matter when the choice is made well. Wherever there are, minor seminarians are marked by “dignitas” (dignity) and fruits they bear. The so called Home, PSSKZ, has educated many people, among which are priests and other who are laymen. My advice to all seminarians is to keep the course and never be deluded into meanders and shortcuts since it is said: “Work hard as a slave you will enjoy as a king”. I take this opportunity to remember His Lordship Joseph SIBOMANA (RIP) who founded this dwelling, which is celebrating its 50-year anniversary. My thanks also go all who succeeded him to head Kibungo diocese, specially the current bishop, His Lordship Antoine KAMBANDA. The spin-offs of studying in PSSKZ are so many and I myself have encountered some even before completing my secondary studies!
Jubilate Deo, omnes gentes, Alleluia!
By Pacifique ISHIMWE (S5 MCB, 2018), the deputy chief editor
Posted by Father Dieudonné UWAMAHORO
Father in charge of the Diocesan Commission for Communication and