Language, Culture and Ministry Workshops
Challenges for International Priests
International priests serving in the United States bring many gifts and talents to their ministry, but also face distinct challenges. Among the most pervasive challenges are their parishioners' ability to understand their accents, and understanding the complexities inherent in intercultural communication and ministry.
International priests want to be understood by their parishioners in order to minister to them effectively and build good relationships with them. Accent acquisition training is not to "Americanize" the international priest or neutralize his accent so as to diminish his cultural identity. Rather, it gives the priest skills he can implement to communicate in his ministry more effectively.
Developing a deeper understanding of the differing cultural values and behaviors of both himself and his American parishioners equips the priest to act effectively in supporting his parish, his ministry, and those co-workers with whom he ministers.
Workshops aim to give priests the skills needed to:
produce spoken English in a way that is easy for Americans to follow
proclaim the Gospel and other liturgical texts in a listener-friendly manner for North American audiences
learn more about their cultural values and assumptions, and those of their parishioners, and
develop strategies for effective interpersonal communication in the United States.
Trainings are delivered in eight sessions, typically over two or three days, depending on the needs and availability of the diocese and the participants.