Cornelius Hankomoone, PSS
St. Kizito is a house of formation for philosophy students belonging to the diocese of Gaborone in Botswana, but situated in Lusaka, Zambia. It is solely owned by the diocese of Gaborone. Though Botswana is a relatively wealthy country, the Catholic Church has not had the privilege of establishing its own seminary. All its local clergy were trained outside the country. Initially, seminarians were sent to Lesotho in Southern Africa. Afterward the diocese moved its seminarians to Chishawasha in Zimbabwe. However, with the deterioration of the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe, they moved their seminarians to Namibia. At the completion of their philosophical studies, students would move from Namibia to St. Dominic’s seminary in Lusaka for theology. The diocese was happy with the formation that its seminarians received from Zambia and contemplated moving its philosophy students to St. Augustine’s in Zambia. However, the diocese opted to send their seminarians to St. Bonaventure college which offered a degree.
In 2016, the diocese of Gaborone bought a house next to St. Bonaventure college and named it St. Kizito house of formation. Fr. Aubrey, a priest of the diocese of Gaborone, was appointed as its first rector. The house remained open until 2019 when it was temporarily closed due to a reduced number of vocations. The diocese contemplated closing this house all together. However, the diocese of Gaborone decided to invite the Society of St. Sulpice to take charge of St. Kizito house of formation. It is the hope of the diocese that the Society of St. Sulpice with its long tradition of formation will help the diocese stabilize the formation of its future priests.
Currently, St. Kizito has five seminarians: three in the first year and two in the third year. At the end of the year two students will move to St. Dominic’s seminary for theology. The house anticipates five new students who are currently doing their propaedeutic year in Gaborone.
St. Kizito operates more like a family than an institution. The house was designed for a family and we have allowed that design to shape the formation style of our house. Staff and students do everything in common: they live, share responsibilities, eat, and pray together.