|A Curso 2008 participant with some new friends from the local parish.|
September 25, 2008. Mexico City. For North American priests, ministering
to the Hispanic segment of their flock can be challenging
if they are unfamiliar with the language and culture. The
Curso de Hispanidad, sponsored by the Sacerdos Institute, gave
diocesan priests and seminarians a leg up on the challenge.
The program began in 2002 and has been offered every
year since, giving its participants an immersion experience in the
language and culture of the Mexican people within a priestly
and prayerful environment. This year’s course was offered from June
17th to August 1st at the Inter-American Cultural Center in
For the 12 seminarians and priests who attended, the
experience was not only practically useful, but also enriching for
their own vocation.
"The Hispanic Course opened up to me
a whole new world of evangelical and priestly ministry,” said
Anthony Gerber, a seminarian from the Archdiocese of St Louis.
“I not only feel more equipped to serve the growing
Hispanic population in my diocese, but I have also received
a real and renewed spirit of mission, compassion, and love.
What a gift was this summer for my budding vocation!"
Curso de Hispanidad brought the seminarians and priests
out into the field on various pastoral ministry assignments. They
went twice a week to St Ursula’s parish and made
house visits to poor families to pray the rosary with
them, give them some catechesis, and just spend time with
them. They also spent a day on a missions trip
to the rural region of Malinalco with a group of
families from Familia Misionera (Missionary Family).
|Curso 2008 participants with members from St Ursula’s parish, Mexico City, Mexico.|
Visits to the Basilica
of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and to
outlying towns helped the participants see how faith and daily
life are of a piece in Mexican culture.
The experience of
meeting the Mexican people in the field was particularly enriching
for seminarian Glenn Evers, of the diocese of Wilmington, Delaware.
"Curso de Hispanidad is an immersion program that fires
on all cylinders,” he said. “I came back not only
speaking significantly more Spanish, but also attained a more intimate
knowledge of Hispanic culture and a fervent love for the
intrinsic beauty of the Mexican people. Christian charity and generosity
were redefined for me over the duration of the program;
time and time again, I was floored by the sheer
Christ-like hospitality and warmth of a people who live in
Christ. Curso de Hispanidad was a blessing from God in
my life y en el sentido estricto fue perfecto!"
de Hispanidad is sponsored by Sacerdos in conjunction with
the Department of Humanities and the Center for Language Studies
of Anáhuac University in Mexico City. For more information about
upcoming courses, visit the Sacerdos web page at www.sacerdos.org.