The August seminar session is a “get-acquainted” space for the participants. Not only do they meet each other; they also start exploring more in depth the US way of life. Community life together with regular prayer, shared meals, recreation and several group outings are
provided to acquaint the participants with local history, life style and culture. Good
friendships are developed that usually continue after these sessions. Seminars are presented
by members of the faculty at Oblate School of Theology and by experienced persons from
other institutions. Key areas of this module which are rogressively covered:
- Initiating a Dialogue: The IPI Staff along with a Bishop from Texas engage the participants in a wide-ranging conversation on their personal stories, experiences,
expectations and challenges.
- Exploring the Context: Presenters
review the cultural, historical and
ecclesial context of the United States. Resources are made
- Adapting Language Skills: A
speech pathologist evaluates each
participant and accompanies a
series of training sessions on U. S.
pronunciation and accent
reduction. Special resources are prepared for each person.
- Preaching to a U.S. community: The international priest participants review the basics of
preaching, and identify the challenges they must address for effective preaching in the
United States. They are guided through a series of reflections on the Gospel readings for
the current liturgical cycle.
- Identifying Pastoral Challenges: Special ministry areas growing out of the U.S. reality are
presented and explored. These include marriage, youth, social justice and boundary
- Reviewing U. S. Parish Leadership: Experienced resource persons are brought in to
review and discuss U.S. parish organization and responsible financial management.
Special attention is given to the parish council and finance committee, to collaboration with the laity, especially with women.
- Learning Computer and Internet Technology:
- Each participant receives a computer and an Oblates School of Theology IT specialist
offers training in computer technology and teaches how to access resources on the
- Understanding Immigration Issues: An immigration lawyer is brought in to help the
international priest with his personal immigration questions. The present day
immigration issues in the United States are identified and discussed as to how they
impact on ministry.