Greg Semeniuk CM writes… On February 29, 2016, I will begin a new ministry as Vicar for Multicultural Ministries of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Vicar for Multicultural Ministries represents Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., to the various ethnic and language groups found in the Archdiocese. The Vicar also heads the offices of the Hispanic Catholic, Black Catholic, and Catholic Migrants and Refugees. He reports to Bp. John McIntyre, the head of the Secretariat for Evangelization. In addition, the Vicar also assists pastors in providing priestly ministry for the various groups. Presently, there are 34 sites for Hispanic ministry, 14 for black Catholics, and 27 other multicultural ministries.
I will continue to reside at the Vincentian Theologate (founded August 2015) in Manayunk and serve as formator. On September 2015, Fr. Michael Carroll, the Provincial Superior, assigned me to serve as Superior. I will continue to assist in the work of formation, but on a limited basis. Fr. Emmet Nolan, C.M., the Vincentian formator, will assume the role of the Vincentian contact to St. Charles Seminary.
In retrospect, I see God’s hand leading me to this new ministry. For instance, I grew up in a bilingual immigrant household. Our Polish parish served as a refuge that allowed my family to shape its faith and Catholic identity, especially, through Sunday Eucharist, devotions, culture, and Catholic schools. As a Vincentian seminarian, I was exposed to ministry to black Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, and other immigrant groups. Prior to entering the major seminary, the Vincentian Community sent me on an extended pastoral experience in the Republic of Panama.
Early in my priesthood and for ten years, I served in the Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In this ministry, I grew to appreciate the depth of Gospel values, such as, the attention to the person, Marian devotion, the care of the suffering, and the joy of celebrating life. As a graduate theology student at Boston College, I studied with priests, religious, and laity from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Finally, my experience at St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, CA, helped me see the vibrancy of the Church among the Korean, Vietnamese, Hispanic, and Ugandan communities. The faculty and seminarians from those communities represented the beauty of the multicultural face of our Catholic Church.
Finally, I am grateful to Michael Carroll, our Provincial, for offering me this opportunity to serve as Vicar for the Multicultural Ministries. I also appreciate the confidence placed in me by Archbishop Chaput and Bishop McIntyre. I close by asking you, my Vincentian confreres, for prayers as I begin this new ministry.
Gregory J. Semeniuk, C.M.
If you wish, you may email your congratulations to Greg.