By sharing priests with the people of Venezuela, the archdiocese has been gifted as well

| Deacon Mickey Friesen | October 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

When we first sent priests to the Venezuelan mission in 1970, we were responding to Pope John XXIII’s call to share our personnel with the Latin American Church. It was an act of solidarity and mission cooperation.

What we did not know at that time was that there would be a change in our own demographics with the flood of Spanish-speaking immigrants making their home here.

As our priests began to come home from mission in Venezuela, they were the ones who were able to provide the early leadership in ministering to these newcomers — and in their own language.

Many of these priests have said that they received their formation in Venezuela to be able to minister to Latinos here.

Today, we have 22 parishes with bilingual ministry. Many of them are served by priests, a few religious and some lay people who have served at our Venezuelan mission.

Mission is the mutual exchange and sharing of gifts in faith for the sake of the Gospel. In giving, we receive. In sharing with our brothers and sisters in Venezuela, we have received gifts back home that have enriched our local Church.

Deacon Friesen is director of the Center for Mission that serves the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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Category: Local News