11 Priests standing in lobby of St Thomas More Church for photo

20th Annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests

June 7–24, 2021

Registration Opens April 12


The 20th Annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests will be a virtual program conducted via ZOOM.? St. John’s University directs this program to international priests who have been ministering in the US. We welcome these men who profit spiritually and ministerially as they study with their peers and reflect on ministry and culture in the US.

Program Goals

  1. Church Development in the United States: Gain an overview of the development of the Catholic Church in the pluralistic, religiously diverse United States and discuss models of Church and roles of priests within that context.
  2. Sociological Issues: Engage in discussions on culture, gender, race, family, multiculturalism, cultural bridges, and the acculturation process itself to discern differences between one’s native culture and US culture(s).
  3. Counseling and Self-Care: Reflect on the issues of stress, creativity, self-knowledge, and personal growth, which the acculturation process engenders.
  4. Priest as Leader, Team Member, and Collaborator: Grow in appreciation of the need in organizations for servant leadership and effective management skills.
  5. Church Structure and Collaboration: Study overall church structure in the United States and the roles of clergy and laity within the parish and diocesan organizations.
  6. Interpersonal Communications: Recognize the complexity and centrality of communication to ministry and engage in practice sessions that focus on cultural differences.?
  7. Pastoral Communications: Reflect on attitudes and skills that enhance pastoral communication, with special emphasis on reading and preaching.
  8. Time Management: Learn time management skills that contribute to a healthy and productive work ethic and lifestyle.
  9. Immigration and Legal Issues: Discuss legal issues, immigration, and pastoral concerns.
  10. Understanding Boundaries: Recognize healthy distance and content in relationships.


Program Coordinator:
Rev. Patrick J. Griffin, C.M.
Executive Director, Vincentian Center for Church and Society
St. John’s University
Contact: [email protected]

Faculty: Courses are led by St. John‘s University faculty (specializing in business, law, theology, psychology, speech, and anthropology), staff of the Vincentian Center, diocesan administrators,?foreign-born resident priests, as well as experienced pastors.

Larry W. Boone, Ph.D., a graduate of Lehigh University, earned both his graduate degrees (M.S.I.E. and Ph.D.) at the University of Pittsburgh.? After serving as a faculty member in the Management Department within the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, St. John’s University, from 1987-2015, Dr. Boone retired from full-time teaching.? Currently, he is active in consulting and training and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Developmental Disabilities Institute, Smithtown, Long Island.? He is an adjunct faculty member at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers and teaches in the Pastoral Formation Program of the Rockville Centre diocese.? He has been involved with Parish Management Programs for over 20 years and offers workshops on parish planning. ?Dr. Boone's primary research and teaching interests involve servant leadership, entrepreneurship, strategic planning, and creative thinking.? As former director of the Executive-in-Residence Program at St. John’s University, Dr. Boone supervised teams of students who worked for various profit and non-profit businesses and organizations. He has consulted for businesses, several universities, and a variety of non-profit groups, including the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre.? He is the author of five chapters in the book, A Concise Guide to Catholic Church Management (Ave Maria Press, 2010) as well as Servant Leadership (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019). Dr. Boone and his wife, Natalie, were welcomed as affiliate members of the Daughters of Charity in 2014.

Eileen Caufield, Ed.D., presently serves as the Associate Director of Training at St. John’s University.??? She has designed, developed and delivered training programs for the private, public, and educational sectors for the past 25 years.? Presently, Eileen has responsibility for delivering training to the staff and administrators of St. John’s on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, the following: Change Management, Coaching, Communication Skills, Conducting Effective Meetings, Customer Service, Performance Management, Social Styles, and Time Management.?Eileen holds a doctorate in adult education from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College.

Mary Ann Dantuono, J.D., earned her undergraduate degree in Communications at Fordham University and her J.D. degree at St. John’s University School of Law. Mary Ann served as Associate Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s from 1996-2014 and was an Adjunct Professor of Law in the Legal Studies Program.? She previously served the Diocese of Rockville Centre as the Director of Public Policy and Legal Affairs for Catholic Charities.? She is a past-president and member of the Board of the Ladies of Charity USA and is very active in the local St. John’s chapter.? She was also recently elected to the Executive Board of the International Association of Charities (AIC).? Mary Ann contributed chapters on “Human Resource Management” and “Legal Issues” to the book, A Concise Guide to Catholic Church Management (Ave Maria Press, 2010).

Christopher Denny, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University in New York, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in historical theology from the patristic to the modern era.? Denny is the author of?A Generous Symphony: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Literary Revelations?(Fortress, 2016); the coeditor, with Patrick Hayes and Nicholas Rademacher, of?A Realist's Church: Essays in Honor of Joseph A.?Komonchak?(Orbis, 2015); and the coeditor, with Jeremy Bonner and Mary Beth Fraser Connolly, of?Empowering the People of God: Catholic Action before and after Vatican II?(Fordham UP, 2014). Other recent publications include articles in the?Journal of Interreligious Studies,?Horizons,?the?Journal of Ecumenical Studies, the?Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, and?Christianity and Literature. Denny is the recipient of best-article awards from the Catholic Press Association, the College Theology Society, and the Conference on Christianity and Literature.

Fr. Edward Doran, Ph.D. has held a variety of priestly and educational positions including service as a college chaplain and pastorates at two parishes in the Brooklyn Diocese as well as guidance, teaching, and administrative positions at the secondary and higher education levels.? He earned his master's degree in counseling at Seton Hall University and his Doctorate in counselor education at St. John's University where he now serves as an adjunct professor. He has completed graduate studies at Fordham University in Eastern Christian Studies as well.? Father is Pastor Emeritus of St. Charles Borromeo in Brooklyn, Dean of the Brooklyn 3rd Deanery, and administrator of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Brooklyn Heights.

Robert?Eschenauer, Ph.D.?serves as Associate Professor in the Counseling Department at St. John’s in the School of Education. He was formerly the Department Chair.? He earned his doctorate in counseling at St. John’s. He worked in the NYC Department of Education for 35 years. He served at Lehman College in the graduate Counseling Program, at Iona College in both the Family Therapy and psychology departments and Brooklyn College in the graduate Education program. He holds advanced certificates in School Psychology and in Hypnosis. In addition to membership in various counseling and psychological associations, he served as a resource consultant to the NY City School Psychologists’ Internship program.?

Fr. Patrick J. Griffin, C.M., is the executive director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and ordained a priest of the Congregation of the Mission in 1979. After completing a doctorate in biblical studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, he taught at various Vincentian universities and seminaries from 1984 to 1993. He lived in Rome from 1993 to 1999, serving as the Econome General of his community. In 1999, he returned to the United States, where he taught Scripture at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception (Huntington, NY). Assigned to St. John’s University in August, 2008, Fr. Griffin was the executive vice President for mission and branch campuses. He then assumed the role of director general of the Daughters of Charity with a residence in Paris (2010–2014). He returned to St. John’s as the special assistant to the president, and in July 2015 he became the executive director of Vincentian Center.

The Most Reverend Richard G. Henning, S.T.D., Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, received a BA and MA in History from St. John’s University, Queens, New York and received his training for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington NY. He was ordained in 1992. In 1997, Bishop McGann assigned him to post-graduate studies in Sacred Scripture. He earned a Licentiate in Biblical Theology at The Catholic University of America and a Doctorate in the same from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. After his studies, Bishop Henning joined the faculty of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. The Ordinaries of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn and New York also charged him to establish and lead the Sacred Heart Institute for the ongoing formation of Catholic priests and deacons. Bishop Henning is also noted for his work with international priests serving in the U.S.

Flora Keshishian, Ph.D., a Senior Vincentian Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar (Armenia, 2008), who has published nationally and internationally, is an retired Associate professor in the Department of Rhetoric, Communication, and Theatre at St. John’s University. She holds a Ph.D. in Media Ecology/Media Criticism from New York University. Her research is in intercultural communication, including the ways in which one becomes a “product” of one’s culture, especially as it relates to economic systems. Dr. Keshishian has taught communication and media courses in institutions such as Queens College (City University of New York), Montclair State University, New York University, and Yerevan State Linguistic University in Armenia. She is fluent in Persian and Armenian, and has knowledge of both French and Arabic languages. She is also an artist.

Anne-marie Maher, MA, CCC-SLP, started her career as a Speech Language Pathologist at NYU Medical Center working with adults and children who suffered neurological injuries.? She worked with clients who had communication impairments due to stroke, traumatic brain injury and disease processes among many possible causes.? Anne-marie has adult and pediatric experience across a wide range of disorders in a variety of settings from the home to the hospital. Her passion is helping people make connections through all communication avenues and imparting her experience and knowledge to a new generation of clinicians. Currently, she is the Director of the St. John’s Speech and Hearing Center.

Carmen Maquilon is the Director of Immigrant and Refugee Services with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.? Since joining Catholic Charities in 1990, Carmen has been responsible for directing legal and social services to the immigrant community of Long Island, which includes more than 10,000 individuals and 100 countries in a given year. Carmen has led a team of attorneys and case managers to provide legal representation to people facing deportation, to refugees and asylees in need of protection and resettlement as well as to victims of crimes, including human trafficking and domestic violence. Moreover, Carmen has advocated for the legal rights and services for victims of human trafficking; directed the legal orientation program for custodians of unaccompanied minors; and trained and presented to many agencies. Carmen earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and Management from the State University of New York and a Certificate on Social Ministry from Fordham University.

Monseigneur Sean G. Ogle, V.F., is the Assistant Vicar for clergy of Brooklyn Diocese and a native New Yorker and the son of Irish immigrants. He was educated in our diocesan schools and seminaries, and ordained in 1977 for the Diocese of Brooklyn. He holds an M. Div. From the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception (Huntington NY) and an M.A. in English from NYU. He has served in parish work, teaching in the minor seminary and in diocesan administration. He has served as a member of the Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan College of Consultors, the Clergy Assignment Board and other diocesan commissions. He has taught in the diocesan Pastoral Institute on ecclesiology, the social encyclicals, the documents of Vatican II and the Catholic Novel. He has been a member of various community-based boards of directors.

Bishop Andrzej ?Zglejszewski was born and raised in Poland where he studied philosophy and theology in Bia?ystok, before coming to the United States in 1987. He completed his studies for the priesthood at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington and was ordained by Bishop John R. McGann, for the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1990. After his ordination, Bishop Zglejszewski served several parishes on Long Island. He was an Associate Pastor in the Parish of Saint Christopher, Baldwin (1990-1995), in Saint Thomas the Apostle, West Hempstead (1995-2003), and Saint Rose of Lima, Massapequa (2003-2007), before he was appointed Director of the Diocesan Office of Worship in 2007 and Co-Chancellor in 2013. In 2010, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness. His graduate studies include theology at Fordham University in New York and sacramental theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. For several years he also was Adjunct Professor in the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, teaching in the Diaconate Formation Program.


To be eligible for admission to the program, a priest must:

  • Be a US resident for at least six months and less than five years.
  • Demonstrate conversational proficiency in English.
  • Be recommended by officials of the diocese or the leadership of his religious community. A letter of recommendation must be forwarded directly to the Vincentian Center for Church and Society from the diocesan personnel office or major superior in the United States.

2021 Program Dates – Tuition - Registration

Program Dates: Mondays and Thursdays from June 7-24. All sessions will take place in the afternoon and evening. Click here to see the complete?schedule (PDF).

Registration Deadline: ?Complete online registration on or before May 21, 2021.

Tuition: $200 per person payable by credit card online. (Payment by check available upon request.)

Contact Us: ?
Email (preferred): [email protected]??????????????????
Phone: 718-990-1612

About St. John’s University: Established in Brooklyn by the Vincentian community in 1870, St. John’s has campuses in Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan in New York City, and in Rome, Italy; and three locations in Hauppauge, NY; Limerick, Ireland; and Paris, France. In addition to its undergraduate liberal arts college, the University has schools of law, pharmacy, business, professional studies, and education, as well as a wide range of continuing education programs. The student body numbers more than 20,000 and reflects the broad diversity of cultures that characterize metropolitan New York.

The Vincentian Center for Church and Society was established at St. John’s in 1994 as a means of relating this Catholic and Vincentian University to the greater civil and ecclesial communities. The center sponsors a range of programs for Church personnel and conducts Vincentian research on poverty and social justice. Find us at www.jaredshermanepps.com/VincentianCenter.