VIFTY-FOUR medical students are being trained as lay
medical missionaries in a University College for Medical Missionary Aspirants, which has been run by the diocese of Padua since December. 1950. The College was founded as a result of the personal experiences, in Palestine, of Dr. Francesco Canova, a Professor at the University of Padua.
The College, which is a member-organization of the International Secretariat of Lay Missionaries. and is represented on UNESCO, is an integral part of the University of Padua, which provides a regular medical course together with special facilities for tropical medicine and surgery. The College itself runs courses in languages, ethnology and religious history.
Successful students of the college receive a contract, which guarantees them living quarters and hospital facilities in their mission territories, and a salary of approximately £ 100 per month, for a twoor threz-year engagement. Italian doctors usually stay in the tropics for a longer period of up to five years. Of the 54 students at present at the college, 18 are Italians, the rest from I I missionary countries. Since its inception, the college has sent 80 doctors to India, Taiwan, Japan, Israel, Iraq, Indonesia, Jordan, and to 14 African countries.
The college's first graduate was assigned to the diocese of Vijaiawade in India, in March, 1954. By the end of that trear, other medical missionaries had left Italy for Tanganyika. Kenya and Jordan.
The college's operating costs are supplied by the Diocese of Padua, with help from the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, the Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church, and from private contributions. The academic fees of the University of Padua run to some £25 per annum; this. together with accommodation and text-hooks, is provided free for needy students.