Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, jumped right in after joining the pastoral staff this fall at St. Viator Parish in Chicago. FullSizeRender

The native of Belize, who formerly served as pastor at the Viatorian parish of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal Town, Belize, found a growing need for more Spanish-speaking programs at St. Viator and he immediately responded.

Working in consultation with the parish’s pastoral migratoria members — an immigrant-to-immigrant ministry that promotes leadership formation and service — he worked to further the parish’s Spanish ministry.

“At the request of the parishioners, we added a weekday Mass in Spanish,” Fr. Mesh says. “We started with 10 people, and this past Wednesday we had 65, and more and more are coming. I guess the news has spread.”

Fr. Mesh also directs the parish’s RCIA program with Viatorian Associate Linda Nishi. He specifically helps Spanish speaking adults wishing to learn more about the Catholic faith.Teaching ESL Class

But that’s not all. He has added two more ESL classes. The parish already offered a Saturday morning class, and at the suggestion of the pastoral migratoria, he added new sessions on Monday and Friday evenings.

Already, Fr. Mesh says, the classes have nearly doubled in size.

Part of the role of the pastoral migratoria is to welcome and empower immigrants in their formation and integration as full members of the church, something Fr. Moses says he fully endorses.

“We are planning to offer even more services,” Fr. Mesh says. “People seem to be happy and thankful that we are offering more Masses and classes.”