REDLANDS—Redlands’ El Carmelo Retreat House hosted on November 12-16 the annual course for priests who recently arrived from other countries to work in dioceses in several western U.S. states.
The Regional Organization of Directors of Ongoing Formation for Priests convened the meeting of 43 priests from 20 different counties, including Germany, Kenya, India, Ghana, Korea, Costa Rica, Peru, Myanmar and others.
The purpose of the gathering was to offer priests relevant information that helps them adapt to the cultural and ecclesial reality of the United States. Time passed by quickly because the information they received was abundant. Topics covered were as simple as opening a bank account, scheduling a medical appointment, and obtaining a driver’s license. The priests also studied liturgy and, in a special way, the liturgical practices of the U.S. that are uncommon in other countries.
The men also studied civil laws that are relative to the protection of children and to labor. They studied the structure of the Church in the U.S. as well as the importance of Catholic schools. They were encouraged to take care of their health and to develop an integral spiritual life, among other themes.
These 43 recently arrived priests will work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and in the dioceses of Sacramento, San Jose, Salt Lake City, Reno and San Bernardino. Ten of them are already in ministry in the Diocese of San Bernardino.
At the end of the course they expressed their interest in receiving more information and that it had been of great value to share with immigrant priests who have experienced working here as well as with other recently arrived priests. We wish them great success in their ministry and invite all people of good will to pray for them so that God accompanies them and helps them to meet the challenges of migrating to serve in another culture and in another language.