Friday, September 11, 2009


Not even a month into school, the unexpected happened! My Spanish teacher whom I have had since the previous year, was let go along with 2 other teachers. This teacher was very nice, easy to learn from, and I had just started getting you to her style of teaching when this happened!

Now I am faced with a problem. Since my teacher was let go, I have had to move to a different Spanish class. Even though it is still the same level that I was at, I am having trouble adjusting to my new teacher's way of teaching. In my old class I had been accustomed to hearing Spanish, and then hearing the translation in English! My new teacher likes to teach the whole entire class in Spanish! This is extremely hard for me, because I hardly know any Spanish, even though this is my fourth year of taking it.

Everyday I become more and more confused. I come home from school, and plead with my mom to let this be my last year of Spanish. However I realize that to be a priest, I have to serve others! By learning Spanish, I will be able to better serve those who naturally speak it! I hear stories from friends of mine at the seminary, about how they were called by the Archbishop to go down to the Dominican Republic and live there with a Spanish speaking family for 3 months, and they didn't know any Spanish!
So I realize that I must keep going on with this difficult language in order to be able to serve Christ, by serving others! However, I still am struggling with it, and I still get confused a lot.

I think what I need to do is pray and continue to work hard! Please pray with me, and for me, and I in turn will pray for you in whatever you struggle in! Thank you!:)

God of all languages,
I ask you to hear my prayer.
Please help me to better understand this language that I struggle in.
Help me to better understand what the teacher is saying, and what I say also.
Help me to remember that I need to learn this language in order to serve others as a priest.
Please be near me.
Give me the courage and strength to continue on through learning this language.
Let me never give up.
Help me to be able to learn, in order to serve.



  1. John,
    I am sorry you are having a tough time with Spanish. Your story makes me think of I believe it was St. John Vianney that while studying for the priesthood struggled with Latin- so much so that he almost didn't make it and look how God worked in him! He'll do the same in you. But in the mean time I will keep you in my prayers.
    In the meantime: Via Con Dios! :)

  2. Tranquilo. (Be calmed.) At the beginning of every semester it is normal to feel overwhelmed. No te preocupes tanto. (Don't worry so much.) You just need to give yourself time to readjust. In this country there are so many Hispanics who are not able to go to the Sacraments simply because no one can hear their Confession that it is pitiful. See if you can get some CDs from Living Language. They're excellent. Also, you may want to watch the films of St Teresa of Avila and St Teresa of the Andes. They're in Spanish with English subtitles. And online you can watch EWTN in Spanish free. That should help you train your ear to different accents and proper pronunciation. Just consider, if you stay in the class and try to improve your skills, you'll be able to help and communicate with the single largest "minority" group in this country.
    Adelante! Todo estarĂ¡ bien. (Keep going! Everything will be fine.)

  3. You can do it! I offered my mass for your family today and I will keep you in my prayers.
    Languages never came easy for me either, except I can pray in Latin though I thought it was Italian; this was the Lord's doing though. I found out that I was praying in Latin when I recognized the words on somebody's blog and asked them about it. If I can pray in Latin
    accidentally, you can learn Spanish on purpose:) I did learn a few Spanish words on Dora the Explorer :) Adios amigo![I hope I didn't just swear in Spanish]

  4. You can do it!!! I'll be praying for you. Just be patient with yourself and try the best you can. :c) You will do great!

  5. Thank you everyone for your kind and inspiring comments!:)

    God Bless You!:)

  6. I remember those days trying to learn Spanish. God got me through it, God will get you through it too.

  7. Hello John-

    Yes - you can do it.

    Here is a nice story - I am blessed to have a wonderful priest in my parish, Father P. Before being called by God to be a priest, he was a protestant scientist with GE in Cleveland. Through a friend he was introduced to the Catholic Church. After entering Mother Church, he answered the call of God to be a priest. We wanted to go to seminary in Rome. He filled out the application, sent it to Rome. Afer a few months he heard back - he was accepted. Now - he did not know one word of Italian. When he arrived at his first class - the professor/priest began to teach - in fluent Italian. Father was shocked! After class he went up to his professor and told him, I did not understand one word you said. The professor said - you better learn quickly. So Father P. went to St. Peter's Basilica, got on his knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament and asked for Our Lord's help. It was not long after that - Father found a language course that was intense, but able to bring understanding rather quickly. Now Father P. is fluent, not only in Italian, but Latin too.

    And as he told me, it was not that he had a great intellect, it was Our Lord answering his prayer. The Lord ALWAYS answers our prayers.

    God bless you and best of luck in school!

  8. Hey John, don't know how Spanish is going for you at the moment, but you might want to do some Googling for additional (free) resources. In my own studies of the language, I've found's website to be very helpful.