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Mission Ad Gentes in Chicago



Future missionary brothers learn English

03/10/2007: United States

Missionary Brothers who go to the program in Davao must know English. Previously, many of our English speaking provinces welcomed those who needed to learn English, where they enrolled in language centers. One of the problems was that there was no way to assess the suitability of the level of English that the Brothers possessed.

And so Brother Luis García Sobrado and Michael Flanigan in Rome decided to look into other options. One thought was to run our own “English school” specifically for these Mission Ad Gentes Brothers. And so, the search went on for a place. Our Monastery community in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States has a very large house, but we weren’t sure that the community would be open to so many other brothers joining them. Bro Luis spoke with Bro John Klein, provincial of the U.S. who spoke with his council and with the Monastery community in Chicago, and it seemed like we had a place to live. The Brothers of the Monastery community was very open to receiving us and very helpful as we tried to set up.

Brother José Contreras of the province of Mexico Occidental was to have been one of the Brothers in this present session of Davao, but was asked if he would postpone his desire to go to the missions by helping prepare other Brothers for mission. He generously accepted, and so now we had a coordinator for everything. So, in order to prepare well, Bro José and Bro. Michael visited the community, met with them, as well as Bro. Kevin Moran, the superior of the community, and Bro. Rick Carey, the president of Marist High school. Ater much work and planning, our first group of English learners began in July.

There are 10 Brothers who are taking English classes: Agustín Cassú (L’Hermitage), Francisco García Ruiz (Mediterranea), Roberto Mendez (Mexico Central), Miguel Angel Santos (Mexico Occidental), Adriano Sauer (Rio Grande do Sul), Ramon Serra (L’Hermitage), José Maria Sierra (Compostela), Bernard Vial (L’Hermitage), Guillermo Vivas (Mexico Central), Diego Zawadzky (Norandina).

In addition to receiving 4 hours of instruction each weekday, after classes, the Brothers go over to Marist High School where they interact with teachers and students at the school, so as to reinforce what they are being taught in class. And weekends provide another way to learn and use their English – by visiting the many sights and cultural events that Chicago has to offer.

We are grateful to the Monastery community and the other communities of Brothers in Chicago as well as the Marist High school community for helping our future missionary brothers!

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