International Families Ministry

international-families-logoThe International Families Ministry welcomes and integrates international families through a common faith, with the hope that everyone will feel comfortable in belonging to the parish community.

Our Services, Offerings and Resources include:

  • Welcome and integrate international families into our vibrant parish community
  • Provide orientation on all aspects of liturgy and parish life
  • Help international families new to our area to get situated in their new environment
  • Provide a parish sponsor family to personalize the orientation process
  • Organize and communicate special events of interest to international families
  • Liaise with other Catholic and non-Catholic organizations devoted to similar goals

All people with a language skill that may be interested and possibly willing to volunteer their time and talent should contact us and share their ideas on the needs they see and how the ministry could serve them in the most effective way. The International Families Ministry provides members with an opportunity to meet other parishioners who share in similar backgrounds and interests. We aspire to grow in our faith by helping others.

international-familiesMeetings are the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from September to May from 7:00 to 8:00 PM at the parish.

Contact: internationalfamilies@stsjohnandpaul.org or Ricardo Iriart at iriart@roadrunner.com or 412-528-4775

INITIATIVES

  • As one step, we have created a welcoming message by Fr. McCaffrey in Spanish, Italian, German, Korean, and Portuguese. Please click on your preferred language to watch this message.
  • Partnership with Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Program
  • Spanish Mass

MINISTRY PATRON

Our ministry patron, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, became a U.S. Citizen in 1909 and was the first American to be canonized. Her deep trust in the loving care of God gave her the strength to be a valiant woman doing the work of Christ on earth.

Since her elderly childhood in Italy, Frances had wanted to be a missionary in China, but at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, she went West instead of East. She traveled with six sisters to New York City to minister to the thousands of Italian immigrants living there at the time.

In 35 years, Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated, and the sick. Seeing great need among Italian immigrants who were losing their faith, she organized schools and education classes for them.

At her canonization on July 7, 1946, Pius XII said, “Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such a singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond the strength of a woman.”

MINISTRY PRAYER

Consecration of the Church and the World to the Blessed Virgin Mary

You, who were with the Church
in the beginning of her mission,
intercede for her in order that,
going all over the world,
she may continually teach all the nations
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
You, who have known in the fullest way
the power of the Holy Spirit,
when it was granted to you
to conceive in your virginal womb
and to give birth to the Eternal Word,
obtain for the Church
that she may continue to give new birth
through the water and the Holy Spirit
to the sons and daughters
of the whole human family,
without any distinction of language, race, or culture,
giving them in this way
the “power to become children of God.” (Jn 1:12)
Thus we repeat today:
“Come,” trusting in your motherly intercession,
O Clement, O Loving, O sweet Virgin Mary

Pope John Paul II prayed this before the icon of Our Lady, in Salus Populi Romani on December 8, 1990.

FAQ

How many countries are represented in the International Families Ministry?
There are currently 10 countries represented in our ministry: Argentina, Ecuador, Germany, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda, Slovakia, and Venezuela.

Are there members of the ministry who are fully bilingual?
Yes, many of our members are native speakers of other languages.

Which languages other than English are spoken by members of the ministry or the parish’s network of international families?
French, German, Italian, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Slovak, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Tagalog (Filipino). If you are interested in contacting parish families who speak another language, please contact us and we will be happy to search for them.

Are any masses at the parish offered in another language?
At Pentecost, the readings are available in alternative languages. We also offer a Spanish Mass several times a year. Otherwise, we will be happy to find you Masses offered in other languages within the Pittsburgh area.

What are some of the things this ministry can help me with?
The International Families Ministry can help you answer some of your immediate questions regarding the parish or help you connect with the appropriate person at the parish if it cannot be resolved immediately by a ministry member.

Can the ministry help me to settle down in the area?
Many members of our ministry have gone through your same experience relocating to our area or are local families who have lived abroad and will be happy to share useful advice in this regard.

Is the Mass and liturgy the same?
Yes, however there might be subtle differences that have to do more with local customs and traditions that might seem slightly different to you.

What types of activities do the International Families Ministry offer?
Our primary goal is to help welcome and integrate new families of international background as active members of our vibrant parish life. We are also interested in sponsoring and participating in events which have an affinity to our mission and our international background.

Download an International Families Ministry brochure with a member contact list.