What is SJS Institute?

“It is frustrating and even embarrassing when you can’t hear a confession or console someone someone in a hospital because of an inability to communicate.”

Missions in America was a spiritual challenge, combining words and gestures, action, images and symbols. All these elements enriched the capacity of this culture facilitating the joyful acceptance of the Saving Message.

The St. Junipero Serra Institute offers aunique curriculum that has been developed for the specific purpose of equipping those in pastoral leadership with both a secular and a Catholic vocabulary, so often needed today in the daily pastoral, sacramental, and evangelical aspects of the priestly vocation.

Participants in the program live, study, and pray in community but go out on day trips, visit and interact with local people, and have many other opportunities to practice the language.

The Challenge

Nearly 17% of Americans are of Hispanic origin making the U.S. the 5th largest Spanish speaking country. A generation ago the vast majority of Hispanic–Americans were Catholic. Today it is sadly no longer the case. While nearly 40% of American Catholics are Hispanic, 1 in 4 Hispanic-Americans are former Catholics. The need for effective Hispanic ministry is urgent.

The Lenguage

The ability for priests to communicate and minister in Spanish is becoming increasingly more important. As one priest commented,confession or console someone in a hospital because of an inability The most effective way to learn a new language is immersion. Students will practice Spanish not only during classroom hours, but also during meals, recreation, and apostolic activities. There will be time dedicated to socializing and conversing with the people to reinforce what is learned in class.

The Program

The St. Junipero Serra Instituteprovides a language and cultural immersion within a thoroughly priestly environment. Daily Mass in the Extraordinary FormParticipation in the life and work of the parishCommunal singing of the Divine Office4 hours of class time per day, with lessons designed to be useful for priestly ministryPrivate tutoring Lectures in culture and history.

Culture

Knowledge of the mechanics of a language is not enough. To be effective, the priest must also understand the culture, devotions, and traditions of the people to whom he is ministering. Spending time in another culture open’s one’s eyes to the catholicity of the Church.