St. Junipero Serra Spanish Institute
An Apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

The Crisis

Nearly 17% of Americans are of Hispanic origin and 13% speak Spanish as the primary language at home, making the United States the 5th largest Spanish speaking country in the world.[i] A generation ago one could have assumed that the vast majority of such people were Catholic, now it is sadly no longer the case. Nearly 40% of American Catholics are of Hispanic origin,[ii] but also nearly 1 in 4 Hispanic Americans are former Catholics. The majority of these said they gradually drifted away or found another religious group that reached out to them better.[iii] It is urgent that the Church reach out to these wandering sheep. Most diocese and religious communities are recognizing the importance of effective Hispanic Ministry.

Language

The ability to communicate and minister in Spanish is becoming increasingly more important for Catholic priests in the United States. As one priest commented, “Often several times a week I realize how important it would be for me to learn Spanish. It is frustrating and even embarrassing when you can’t hear a confession or console someone in a hospital because of an inability to communicate.”

Culture

Knowledge of the mechanics of a language is not enough. To be effective, the priest must also understand the culture, the devotions, and the traditions of the people to whom he is ministering. To spend time immersed in another culture and to get to people from a vastly different backgrounds, profoundly opens one’s eyes to the Catholicity of the Church.

Spirituality

“What is the single greatest need in the priesthood today?” Asks Fr. John Hardon, SJ, “It is holiness.”[iv] While knowledge and practical experience are important, the formation of the priest in holiness is the most important to the fruitfulness of his ministry.

Program

The St. Junipero Serra provides a language and cultural immersion within a priestly environment. In addition to 4 hours of class time and additional opportunities for private tutoring, participants will participate in daily Mass and the life and work of the apostolate, pray the Divine Office in common, attend lectures in history and culture, and have opportunities perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

The will also be ample opportunity to interact with the faithful and experience the living Catholic culture.

Since the program is design for priests and seminarians, language instruction will emphasis vocabulary and conversational skills useful for priestly ministry.

The will also be opportunities for liturgical practica in the extraordinary form for those who are interested.

Dates for 2016 are as follows:

June 13th – July 22nd for the  6 week program
June 13th – Aug 5th for the 8 week program
Aug 6th – Aug 12th Catechetical mission

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Location

Guadalajara, Jalisco is the second largest city in Mexico. It boasts a rich historical tradition. It is known as “the soul of Mexico.” The state of Jalisco was one of the most important regions during the Cristero revolt in the early 20th century. As Tertulian said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the faith.” Thus, Guadalajara has one of the largest seminaries in the world. The Catholic faith and it many beautiful traditions are very much still alive in Guadalajara.

Casa Cristo Rey

The newly acquired Casa Cristo Rey is the center of pastoral activities for the FSSP in Guadalajara. It also serves as a house of discernment for candidates from the Spanish speaking world who are interested in a vocation with the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. The hope is that Casa Cristo Rey will eventually become the Spanish language house of Formation for the FSSP.

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a society of apostolic life founded in 1988 by St. John Paul II. The FSSP is a society of priests living in community who celebrates the Mass and sacraments in the extraordinary form. Their charism is to live and propagate the infinite treasure which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the source of all holiness.

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States; http://nbclatino.com/2013/08/07/us-is-5th-largest-spanish-speaking-country-new-census-interactive-map/

[ii] http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-142.cfm

[iii] http://www.pewforum.org/2014/05/07/chapter-2-religious-switching/

[iv] http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Priesthood/Priesthood_015.htm