International priests now make up 25% of those serving in Greensburg diocese |

International priests now make up 25% of those serving in Greensburg diocese

Stephen Huba
Tribune-Review File
Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg.

A quarter of the Catholic priests serving in the Diocese of Greensburg now come from outside the United States, mostly from the Philippines.

Five new international priests arrived over the summer, bringing the number to 20, according to the diocese. Four are Filipinos awaiting pastoral assignments after completing a time of orientation. The fifth is from Ghana and has been in the United States for eight years.

The Rev. Dominic Obour, of the Diocese of Sunyani in Ghana, has been assigned as the parochial vicar (assistant pastor) at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg.

The new Filipino priests are: the Revs. Alvin B. Aberion, Joel S. Boco, Dick Anthony F. Cortado and Rodolfo P. Mejia Jr.

Two Filipino priests who were part of the international program returned to the Philippines in June but are expected to return for a second term, said Jerry Zufelt, diocese spokesman.

Another Filipino priest, the Rev. Ronald Maquinana, has been incardinated and is now a priest of the diocese.

As of July 1, there are 43 diocesan priests and 14 Benedictine priests serving diocesan parishes. With the 20 international priests, the diocese has a total of 77.

The first two international priests arrived in the diocese in 2010 as church leaders looked to fill a shortage.

Eight priests have been ordained in the diocese since 2013: Three in 2013; three in 2015; one in 2016; and one in 2018.

Currently, seven men are in seminary formation.

The Diocese of Greensburg comprises Westmoreland, Indiana, Armstrong and Fayette counties and has 78 parishes.

There are more than 37,300 Catholic priests in the country, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A survey of those ordained nationwide in 2018 showed that 30% were born outside the United States, with the largest numbers coming from Mexico (6%), Vietnam (5%), Colombia (3%) and the Philippines (2%).

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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