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Crash Course in Hispanic Ministry
North American priests and seminarians go south of the border to learn Spanish and understand Hispanic culture. Next year’s course open for applicants.

hispanic ministry course
Next summer's course runs from June 14 to July 30, 2011.

November 1, 2010. Mexico City, Mexico. For the past several years, the Sacerdos Institute has organized the Curso de Hispanidad (Hispanic Ministry Course) as a means of giving diocesan seminarians and priests an intensive introduction to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. Details about the next summer’s course, which runs from June 14 to July 30, 2011 are available in this flyer.

This past year, 17 diocesan seminarians and 1 priest spent 7 weeks at La Casa San José, owned by the Oblates of Jesus the Priest, in Santa Ursula Xitla, Tlalpan. Their Spanish classes were held on campus at the Anahuac University’s south campus. The course was directed by Fr Juan Pablo Durán, LC, with the support of Fr José LaBoy, LC, as chaplain.

The participants had 5 hours of Spanish class each day, but they also got out of the classroom with their teachers to visit cultural sites such as Coyocán and the Monastery of the Desert of the Lions. Weekends included additional cultural outings: the Historic Center, the Museum of Anthropology, Teotihuacán, Acolman, Xochimilco, and missions in Malinalco.

On Tuesday afternoons, speakers came to talk about topics relevant to pastoral ministry such as: the family and Hispanics in the US, popular religiosity; the Guadalupe event; and the current situation of Mexico and Latin America.  The course also offered two afternoons of pastoral work in the parish of St. Ursula Xitla, where they were able to put their new knowledge to work.

For Nathan Haveland, a seminarian from the Kansas City archdiocese, the course was well worth the time investment.

"I went into the Curso de Hispanidad knowing no Spanish and very little about the Hispanic culture. By the end of my short time in Mexico, the program helped me build a strong foundation in the Spanish language and it also opened my eyes to the incredibly rich and beautiful culture of Mexico.  I really enjoyed our excellent Spanish instructors, our many excursions, and especially our time with the families we met through our parish ministry.  The Curso is much more than simply learning Spanish but a well-rounded program focused on helping seminarians and priests be able to better minister to the Hispanic people in their own dioceses,” he said.

Fr John L. Williams, a priest from the archdiocese of Hartford, CT, noted that the course was rich in practical insights that he can use in his own pastoral ministry.

“As a pastor, the Curso de Hispanidad was an excellent resource for parish ministry. Our utilization of the Spanish language not only in the classroom but at liturgies was most beneficial. As a priest, to have interaction with seminarians was refreshing. Their enthusiasm for ministry and perhaps being able to help them in their own formation was a real blessing. Our experiences with the culture and people of Mexico both in the university setting and in the parishes gave us real practical insights that can be translated into effective ministry in our own parishes or ministries. I would highly recommend the Curso for priests and seminarians,” he said.

For more information about the Cursos de Hispanidad, visit the Sacerdos Institute web page or view the attached flyer.



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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