Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

World Priest


The World Priest Program assists international priests in managing a successful transition into effective ministry in the United States.

Presentations address the cultural orientation needs of international mission priests as outlined in Guidelines for Receiving Pastoral Ministers in the United States, 3rd edition (USCCB, 2014) and Bridging the Gap: International Priests Ministering in the United States (Our Sunday Visitor, 2014).

2016 Dates:

October 17-28, 2016

Cost: $2,000
Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns
Each morning Mr. Jeff Jenkins works with participants to detect derivations between one's current speech patterns and those of target speakers, providing techniques for practice on the sound, word and sentence levels, then on the stress, rhythm and intonation levels, and finally focusing on phrasing, volume and speed. Targeted speech patterns are then applied to the important speech tasks for priests: proclamation, homiletics and conversational speech.
Jeff Jenkins
Cultural Dimensions, Differences and Similarities
With Mr. Jeff Jenkins, we investigate the dimensions that give context to every culture's value system and gain a greater understanding and appreciation of our own cultural norms and those of others. We look at how different cultures organize, communicate and relate to ecclesiastical authority.
Jeff Jenkins
Building Competence for Ministry Across Culture
Building on the morning's session, this presentation and discussion with Mr. Jeff Jenkins help the mission priest get a better understanding of his cultural biases and how those affect the way he interprets and evaluates American cultural practices and norms. Strategies for cross-cultural communication and understanding are discussed .
Jeff Jenkins
Cultural Norms: Interpersonal and Organizational Communication
This session with Mr. Jeff Jenkins looks at the preferred styles and content of interpersonal interactions as well as common communication tasks in administering an American parish. Nonverbal cues and cross-cultural conflict will be explored, along with American cultural norms' effect upon organizational behavior. 
Jeff Jenkins
U.S. Catholic Church History and Identity
With Fr. Julian Peters, OSB, we retrace the people, places and events that comprise the unique makeup of American Church history, and discuss the unique aspects of Catholic cultural identity and their implications for those who serve U.S. parishioners.
Fr. Julian Peters, OSB
Civil Law and the Catholic Church: What Priests Need to Know
Most parish administrators have a fair working knowledge of canon law, but may find themselves lacking when confronting issues of civil law. In this presentation, Sr. Angela Shaughnessy, SCN, covers the basics of civil law as it impacts clergy and religious institutions.
Gender, Boundary and Sexuality Issues and Dynamics
The dynamics of America's culture in regard to sex and sexuality can be rather confusing to priests from other countries, cultures and backgrounds. This presentation with President-Rector Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, is designed to help international priests better comprehend U.S. cultural dynamics in regard to these issues.
Fr Denis Robinson
Leading the Pastoral Team: Priests, Permanent Deacons and Lay Ecclesial Ministers
Parish ministry teams in the United States are often comprised of lay ecclesial ministers and permanent deacons. These co-workers are more prevalent in U.S. parishes and ministerial settings than in many other countries. Typical duties and working relationships are covered in this session with Fr. Tom Boland, along with the benefit and impact these co-workers bring to the Lord's vineyard.
Fr. Tom Boland
Introduction to Parish Administration and Finances
This session with Institute Program Director Joe Cook provides an introduction to leadership, human resources, financial management, and internal and external communication in typical U.S. parishes.
Joe Cook
Presiding and Preaching in the U.S.
The priest's roles as presider and preacher are essentially the same from culture to culture. The customs, experiences and expectations of both the priest and the faith community, however, can be quite different. This presentation with Dr. Nathaniel Marx addresses many typical customs and norms of Eucharistic and other sacramental celebrations in the U.S.
Ministry with Hispanic/Latino Faith Communities in the U.S.
The fastest-growing segment of U.S. Catholics is that of Hispanic culture and heritage. Topics of history, immigration, pastoral principles, cultural heritage and religious identity, along with the new evangelization as it pertains to Hispanic faith communities in the United States, are presented by Fr. Stan Puryear.
Fr. Stan Puryear - small
Pastoral Ministry in the U.S.: Marriage Preparation, Married Couples and Families, Divorced Catholics 
This presentation with canon lawyer and pastor Fr. Chris House addresses the experiences and expectations of American Catholics in regard to marriage, divorce and families and how they may differ, culturally, from those of the mission priest serving in their parishes. An overview of Catholic marriage preparation and the dissolution and annulment procedures in the U.S. is also addressed. 
Fr. Chris House
Pastoral Ministry in the U.S.: Youth and Young Adult Catholics
Fr. Christian Raab, OSB, covers the principles for ministry found in the USCCB's documents, Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry; Empowered by the Spirit: Campus Ministry Faces the Future; and Sons and Daughters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults.
Fr Christian Raab
Pastoral Ministry in the U.S.: Social Concerns
Drawing from the rich tradition of papal, conciliar and episcopal documents, Dr. Kevin Schemenauer and Fr. Peter Marshall, MDiv, MSW, address the seven themes of Catholic social teaching and best practices for implementing those teachings in U.S. parishes.  
Marshall Peter.jpg
Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 
Vespers, Social and Dinner
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016
•Sharing Our Stories
•Tour of Saint Meinrad Archabbey Church and Seminary
•Catholic History and Identity in the United States
•Social with International Seminarians at Coffee Shop
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016
•Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns
•Cultural Dimensions, Differences and Similarities
Hispanic Ministry in the U.S.
Daily recap and integration of program sessions
Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 
•Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns (continued)
•U.S. Civil Law and the Church
Daily recap and integration of program sessions
Friday, Oct. 21, 2016
Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns (continued)
Cultural Norms: Interpersonal and Organizational Communication
Presiding and Preaching in the U.S.
Daily recap and integration of program sessions
Socializing at UnStable (optional)
Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016
Opportunity for Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
Local Area Tour 
Socializing at UnStable (optional)
Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016
Mass with Monastic Community - Archabbey Church
Free Day
Monday, Oct. 24, 2016
Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns (continued)
The Pastoral Team: Priests, Permanent Deacons and Lay Ecclesial Ministers
Boundary, Gender and Sexuality Issues and Dynamics
Daily recap and integration of program sessions
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016
Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns (continued)
Introduction to Parish Administration
Introduction to Parish Finances
Daily recap and integration of program sessions
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016
Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns (continued)
Pastoral Ministry in the U.S.: Marriage Preparation, Married Couples and Families, Divorced Catholics
Pastoral Ministry in the U.S.: Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry
Daily recap and integration of program sessions
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016
Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns (continued)
Building Intercultural Competence for Ministry
Pastoral Ministry in the U.S.: Social Concerns
Daily recap and integration of program sessions
Socializing at  UnStable (optional)
Friday, Oct. 28, 2016
Introduction to U.S. Speech Patterns (concluded)
Evaluations and Program Close

2016 Dates - October 17-28

Registration Deadlines:

October workshop - Friday, October 7, 2016

After registration deadline, please call to check for availability - (800) 357-8477

Registration is limited to 14 participants. 


World Priest Program is $2,000, which includes:

  • Accommodations in St. Bede Hall from Monday evening of the first week until Friday morning of the second week

  • All meals from Monday supper on arrival day through Friday lunch on departure day

  • All program fees and material costs

Additional overnight accommodations and meals beyond those listed above are subject to room availability. Call by registration deadline for pricing.

Round-trip shuttle between Saint Meinrad and the Louisville, KY, airport is $50. Shuttle service is provided only to the Louisville, KY, airport.

To register:

Fr. Sengole Thomas Gnanaraj

Fr. Sengole Thomas Gnanaraj serves in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and is currently assigned as the pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Cannelton and St. Pius V Parish in Troy. Ordained for the Diocese of Palayamkottai in India in 2007, Fr. Sengole arrived in the United States in 2010 and attended the Institute's first World Priest Program in 2011.

As facilitator of World Priest Program, Fr. Sengole meets daily with program participants to review materials and information presented within the sessions and discuss ways participants can implement their new knowledge into their particular ministry settings.