priests joining> AcceptancE & Preparation
Once you have been officially accepted as a member of the St. James Society, we strongly suggest that before you leave the parish where you have served in your home diocese that a “Missioning Ceremony and Celebration" be arranged with your Bishop and the Director. This ceremony should be in the local parish in the presence of parishioners, fellow diocesan priests and, if possible, the bishop as well. This is an ideal way of awakening them to the missionary dimension of the Church at diocesan and parochial levels. It will also help the parish to feel its own role and presence in the mission you will be fulfilling. Their enthusiasm in supporting your work there can be kindled through videos, photos, various blogs and social media as well as emails that you send back to them. This continuing connection has often provided the initiative for incorporating a missionary component into catechetical programs in your former parish. It can also generate financial support for projects you may want to undertake in your missionary assignment.
One of the many responsibilities of being a missionary priest is catering to orphaned children. Pictured here, children in a Peruvian orphanage in Villa El Salvador, Peru which is run by Italian nuns and lay missionaries.
Upon your acceptance into the Society, arrangements will be made for you to begin language studies in Lima, Peru. This will be an intensive five day a week course over a three to five month period. Besides learning Spanish, an orientation program will be woven into your time of study, offering many topics of cultural, social, historical and pastoral content, which are an essential element to your language study. Attendance at these orientation courses is a necessary part of your preparation.
A mural outside of the orphanage; part of Nuestra Senora de la Paz Chapel.
As agreed, you will be assigned to Peru by the Director in consultation with the Regional Coordinator. The Regional Coordinator then enters into a consultation with you concerning your particular parish of assignment. The Regional Coordinator will also assist you through the entire process of personal documentation, registration, and identification according to the government regulations for obtaining your permanent residential visa. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call or e-mail the Society.
Pictured: Fr. Cecilio Moraga celebrating mass in Villa El Salvador, Peru.