A native of Songea, Tanzania, 33 year old John Bosco Nyirenda grew up as one of eight children in a devoted Catholic family with some members choosing life as a religious. He started thinking about the priesthood around the age of 10, and this young vocation flourished within John Bosco through the remainder of his years following his 2004 graduation from St. Augustine College along the shores of Lake Victoria with a diploma in Journalism and Public Affairs.
John Bosco used his education to serve St. Teresa’s Orphanage in his home town, where he quickly became a valuable member of their ministry team. “The priesthood was never far from my mind,” comments John Bosco. “I knew that I wanted to serve God in a mission area of the world.” That vocation finally came to fruition when John Bosco developed a relationship with our diocese through his sister-Sister Atukuzwe - who belonged to a religious community working in Florida. After many months of communication, he traveled to our diocese in 2007 to begin acclimating himself to American Culture.
John Bosco began his pre-theology studies at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans in 2008. He continues to discern his vocation with the assistance of the school formation staff. He is now in first theology.
Jerry is a 41 year old cradle Catholic who was born and baptized in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. His background is in business administration and personnel management, having worked as a manager of a technology store in Monroe. He has been a member of St. Matthew church, serving in liturgical ministries and on the parish pastoral council. He is also a Knight of Columbus. Jerry has worked with troubled youth for a number of years, serving on boards of both national and local organizations. He considers the events that led him to such outreach work as providential: “There was the hand of god.” Jerry began Notre Dame Seminary in the fall of 2009 in the first of two years of pre-theology studies.
Jacob, 19 years of age, was raised first in Shreveport but now lives in Texas. Both sides of his family are from Louisiana and he wants to make the Diocese of Shreveport his future home as a priest. Jacob, like our other seminarians, has a strong Catholic background. He also has an uncle who is a priest, Father John Pardue. Jacob participated in sports and scouting while in high school. He has taken part in the life of the church parish, having both attended and taught religious education classes, taken part in social ministry and has been an altar server. Jacob has taken a few college courses. He is a first year student at St. Joseph Seminary College in Saint Benedict, Louisiana.