Rorate Caeli

St. Junipero Serra Institute: Spanish immersion course for seminarians and clergy, in a traditional environment

Rorate is pleased to share the following information.

The St. Junipero Serra Institute offers a unique curriculum that has been developed for the specific purpose of equipping those in pastoral leadership with both a secular and a Catholic vocabulary in Spanish, 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 most effective way to learn a new language, of course, is by 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 St. Junipero Serra Institute provides a language and cultural immersion within a thoroughly priestly environment that includes daily Mass in the Extraordinary Formcommunal singing of the Divine Office, participation in the life and work of the parish, four hours of class time per day, with lessons designed to be useful for priestly ministry, private tutoring, and lectures in culture and history.

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.

As one participant recounted, “The Guadalajara apostolate surpassed my expectations. There is nothing in the US that could compare to the vivacity and fullness of Mexican culture, which, I will admit, took me some time to acclimate myself to. In just six weeks, I witnessed (and experienced) more suffering, cheer, and emotion than I had in six months back at home.”

To learn more about the St. Junipero Serra Institute for priests and seminarians, visit the website or email Read the testimonies of seminarians who participated in the last summer program here.

The program is open to priests and seminarians from dioceses and religious communities. Please email for more information.