Formation Program: Nurturing Our Spiritual Foundation

The spiritual and pastoral well-being of the residents, staff, and volunteers of MSC permeates every aspect of MSC’s activities, informing the path for development and survival of the organization. MSC demonstrates its commitment to sustaining and developing the spiritual core through the established St. Andrew’s House of Formation.

MSC has successfully established a Canonical body called Missionarii Grani Sinatis (Mustard Seed Missionaries)—a “Society of Apostolic Life”—to guide and promote the spirituality of the organization. 

St. Andrew’s House of Formation at Jacob’s Ladder in Jamaica, opened in May 2019, includes accommodations for 12 brothers, conference and training rooms, a library, and a chapel. Currently, four men reside at the House of Formation, one priest (MSC’s first priest to be ordained in the Formation Program) and three seminarians.

In Zimbabwe, the Sisters Formation Program at Mustard Seed Communities is a testament to the organization’s commitment to spiritual growth and service. Currently, two young women are undergoing transformative training with the aspiration of becoming devoted nuns. This program not only equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge for a life of service but also fosters a deep connection to the spiritual core of Mustard Seed Communities. As these aspiring sisters embark on their journey of formation, they represent the embodiment of the organization’s values, contributing to the compassion and faith that defines Mustard Seed Communities in Zimbabwe.

The spiritual core of Mustard Seed Communities is vital to the development and survival of the organization and could not be sustained and developed without your support.

Father Ernest Chikwata

Originally from Zimbabwe, Fr. Ernest’s journey with Mustard Seed began as a youth choir member and volunteer in the feeding program. Over time, his leadership skills became evident, and he now plays a crucial role as administrator of Jacob’s Ladder, where his guidance is sought by both Brothers and staff. In September 2022, Fr. Ernest achieved a significant milestone by becoming the third priest ordained in the Mustard Seed Missionaries, marking a pivotal moment in the organization’s history. Beyond his administrative duties, Fr. Ernest also oversees the spiritual aspects of Mustard Seed Communities internationally.

MSC has been a blessing in his life in many ways. “[Mustard Seed] has made me realize things I didn’t know about myself, it has helped me to always stay positive, and has also impacted how I treat and deal with different people,” he said. He enjoys listening to music, singing, playing instruments, and playing sports.

Brother Louis Dalmas Agan – Novitiate

Brother Louis Dalmas Agan is from Kenya and is currently in his second year of novitiate. Growing up, he spent time with the students of a local school for children with disabilities. Hearing about Mustard Seed Communities’ mission of serving children with disabilities from Father Philip, he was inspired to join MSC Zimbabwe in 2018. He began his formation journey in Zimbabwe in 2019.

Brother Louis Dalmas has found great joy in serving the residents of Mustard Seed Communities. Even when he is having a bad day, a smile from a resident will carry his spirit. At Mustard Seed, he has found that “there is greater joy in self-giving at the service of humanity for indeed our God works differently”. In the future, he hopes to help MSC grow and bring the joy of Christ to more children and individuals in need.

Since arriving in Jamaica in March 2021, Brother Louis Dalmas has worked at the maintenance department at Jacob’s Ladder assisting with plumbing, repairs, and painting. In his free time, he loves listening to music including R&B, playing football, and going to the gym.

Brother Richard Hines – Seminarian

Brother Richard Hines is in his second year with the Mustard Seed Missionaries. He is from Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica. He first became affiliated with Mustard Seed through his church’s summer camp, which was at Jacob’s Ladder in 2011. He later did service hours at Jacob’s Ladder for his last year of high school.

In the apostolate, he works alongside the Spirituality Coordinator and the Maintenance department. Brother Richard enjoys singing and can be heard as part of the choir at Mustard Seed Masses.

“I honestly don’t think I can just yet or will ever be able to make a mark as indelible on Mustard Seed, as it has done and continues to do in my life,” he said. “One of my greatest goals is to really try to give to everyone that comes to us whether it be staff, residents, volunteers, persons who participate in our many outreach programs, a sense of identity and purpose—a purpose and identity that was given to each of us by God, but we all so often, lose track of it. The same sense of purpose and identity Mustard Seed has given me.”

Faith Ngwenya

Faith Ngwenya is a young lady from Bumputu Village in Binga Zimbabwe. Born and raised in a Catholic family she desired to be trained as a religious sister and eventually started her postulant journey with Mustard Seed Communities Zimbabwe in 2022. Faith is currently studying towards attaining her academic qualifications and aspires to become a physiotherapist.  MSC to her, is a place where she can become more equipped in serving the most vulnerable in the community and changing the lives of many. She is looking forward to becoming a religious sister in the near future.

Meggiel Nleya

Meggiel Nleya is a young Zimbabwean from Binga district. Her childhood dream has always been to become a religious sister, leading her to formally join the Mustard Seed female missionaries on February 4, 2023. Meggiel’s aspiration is to inspire children living with different disabilities to have confidence in themselves and help them pursue their life goals. She is currently attending postulant classes and working towards attaining academic qualifications while looking forward to intensive novitiate formation in August. After her profession, Meggiel would like to become an Office Administrator.