Enculturation Program for International Priests in Western Canada

Mission Statement

Fidelity to Christ compels us “to proclaim the gospel to all nations” (Matt. 28:19). In a multicultural country like Canada, proclaiming the gospel requires intercultural awareness and dialogue which are vital aspects of everyday life. The Enculturation Program for International Priests provides international priests and their parishioners with the tools to serve in a culturally sensitive manner.

The Enculturation Program for International Priests in Western Canada is designed to strengthen the ministry of priests whose native culture is not Canadian. The program consists of three interconnected modules which will provide a broad base of support for the international priest and the parish he is serving. The optimal conditions for an international priest successful ministry are strengthened by the support of a mentor, their participation in the training module and intercultural awareness learning opportunities for parishioners.

Three Modules

International Priests Training Module

The International Priest Training Module is a four-week learning opportunity designed to encourage and strengthen the ministry of international priests. The module’s goal is to provide priests with the opportunity to learn more about the church, culture, systems and institutions that are part of life in Canada. While the priests are learning about Canadian society they are also affirming who they are and their own cultural heritage.

Mentorship Module

The personal learning of each international priest who participates in the International Priests Training Module will be more effective as a result of on-going personal support by a mentor. The mentor will provide a bridge of mutual understanding between the International Priest and the Canadian Parish.

Parish Intercultural Awareness Module

The integration of the international priest into a Canadian parish is a complex process, which requires adaptation on the part of parishioners as well as international priests. The Parish Intercultural Awareness Module will provide an opportunity for parishioners to participate in the process of intercultural dialogue intended to create a welcoming environment. Each parish works towards the mutual growth of both parishioners and priests in reaching out towards the goals of the Gospel and the Parish Mission and Vision Statement.

A Partnership Program

Newman Theological College

Newman Theological College was founded under the leadership of Archbishop Anthony Jordan in 1969. Since then, the academic program of the college has continued to expand to include education and training of Catholics, and other Christians, in a wide variety of ministries.


St. Joseph Seminary

St. Joseph Seminary was opened in 1927 by Archbishop H.J. O’Leary, Edmonton with one purpose – that of the priestly formation. It has been an important part of the ministry of the archdiocese for these many years. The present facilities of the seminary and the college were blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Richard Smith in May 2011.

Catholic Social Services

Catholic Social Services is a multi-function social service agency that serves people of all faiths and cultures throughout central and northeast Alberta. Founded in 1961 by Monsignor Bill Irwin, the Agency’s mandate is to improve quality of life through the development of responsive and innovative programs that serve the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual needs of clients. CSS offers more than 100 programs including settlement support services for immigrants and refugees which welcomes and assists immigrants and refugees to settle and integrate into Canadian Society. Staff from this service developed the afternoon segment of the Enculturation Program for International Priests in Western Canada.


Contact Information

10012-84 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T6A 0B2
Phone: 780.392.2450, ext. 2211
Fax: 780.462.4013