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Curso de Hispanidad Enriches American Priests and Seminarians
MEXICO | APOSTOLATE | NEWS
The participants reported a new appreciation for Hispanic culture, improved Spanish skills, and valuable pastoral experiences.

A Curso 2008 graduate with some new friends from the local parish.
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 Mexico City.

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!" he said.

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
Curso 2008 participants with members from St Ursula’s parish, Mexico City, Mexico.
Curso 2008 participants with members from St Ursula’s parish, Mexico City, Mexico.
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).

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!"

Curso 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.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2008-09-25


 
 

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