Newman Theological College
Enculturation Program - International Priests Training Module

Program Dates

October 5th to October 30th 2015


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 who’s 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 training module and intercultural awareness learning opportunities for parishioners.


The Western Conference of Catholic Bishops wanted a program for international priests that come to Canada to serve in our Roman Catholic communities.  The EPIPWC is a joint effort between Newman Theological College and Catholic Social Services.

For more information

Contact Doreen Bloos at 780.392.2450 ext. 5225 or email


Church-Related Sessions Include:

  • The Priest at the Heart of Collaborative Ministry, Boundaries
  • Canadian Leadership Values: Transparency, Accountability, Confidentiality
  • Canadian Church History
  • First Nations Peoples of Canada
  • The Parish Office in the Canadian Context
  • Religious Diversity in the Canadian Context
  • Pastoral Care in Canadian Hospitals and Care Homes
  • Finances and Administration in the Canadian Parish
  • Youth Ministry in the Canadian Context
  • Media Influences on Canadian Youth
  • Catholic Schools

Culture-Related Sessions Include:

  • Basis of Cultural Differences
  • Culture Shock
  • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Racism & Discrimination
  • Social Issues in Canada
  • Family Life & Gender Roles in Canada
  • Hierarchy, and Gender Equality
  • Immigration Issues
  • Multiculturalism
  • Canadian Health Care System
  • Economy, Politics, & Legal System
  • Family Violence & Elder Abuse
  • Canadian Life, Holidays, and Recreation
  • Geography, Climate, & Weather,
  • Winter Dress, Winter Driving, & Vehicles

Through a process of providing information, having discussions, answering questions and taking field trips, different topics are addressed such as: Aboriginal culture, Canadian families and gender roles, political system, economy & social issues, racism & discrimination, youth and youth culture, to name a few.

General Information


Basilian House of Studies
12909-113 Ave. Edmonton, AB T5M 2W8
Ph. 780-451-5879
Your Host is Rev. Daniel Wach OSBM

Rooms are single occupancy. Each room contains a single bed, desk, chair, sink and a closet. There are shared washrooms with showers and toilets. You will be provided with bed linens and towels.


Three meals will be provided each day. Meal schedules will be provided upon your arrival. No food is to be consumed in your bedrooms.


Mass will be celebrated at 7:45 a.m. in the main chapel. It will be led by the participants. You are required to bring your own alb and stoles.

Evaluations & Recommendations

At the end of the program, participants will be asked to evaluate the different aspects of their experience and make recommendations for future development of the program.


  • Over 200 international priests have participated in the seven Enculturation Programs held each year from 2005 - 2014.
  • The participants originated from 17 different countries (India, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Ghana, Guatemala, Congo, Korea, Brazil, Sierra Leone, Columbia, Sri Lanka, African Republic, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Taiwan, & Pakistan).
  • The priests came to serve in 18 dioceses (or offices) from MB (Winnipeg, St. Boniface, Keewatin Le Pas & a Manitoba-wide office), SK (Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert), AB (Edmonton, St. Paul, Calgary, Grouard McLennan), BC (Victoria, Prince George, Vancouver, Nelson), YK (Whitehorse), NWT (Mackenzie-Fort Smith) and ON (Toronto).


  • “It helps broaden and expands my horizon in understanding my vocation and mission. It helps me to be effective in my ministry. It helps me to understand and be flexible to other people in different cultures.”
  • "Knowledge about Canada history, culture, and all the support I needed to be integrated to Canadian culture before passing on God’s message. As pastor in Canada I have to be patient, tolerant, listener, friend maker, good shepherd like Christ. I learned how to approach First Nations people and how to build up a relationship with them.”
  • “I have learned deeper realities about Canada that will help me enculturate smoothly.”
  • “Cultural background & language will help me more. It has created confidence in me to commit myself to the service of this land. “
  • “Language style is a process to be continued; with limited classes we can’t limit our efforts.”
  • “Many parishioners have age related hearing problems, then add in a new priest with a fast, difficult accent, and many had a tough time understanding at first. (Comment from a parish).”
  • “The topic of the need for language support is reinforced by a statement made by Fr. Louwagie, omi, who directs the enculturation program in San Antonio, TX. He states: “Failure to systematically dedicate space, time and effort ($$) to [improving their English language skills] from their very moment of arrival, leads to bad linguistic habits which cripple future apostolic work and create uncertainty and insecurity in the international priest”.