Catholic Accent The Thursday, March 12, 2015 Volume 54, No. 21 On the Journey of a Lifetime with the people of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pa. Welcome Assistance Mary Seamans/The Catholic Accent From left: Father Arnel A. Estrella, Father Efren Cabunot Ambre and Father Patricio Donnie Aborde Jr. gather at the Pastoral Center, Greensburg, March 4 to begin their orientation. Trio of Filipino priests arrive in diocese via different avenues By Colleen Pollock CONTRIBUTING WRITER GREENSBURG — The diocese re-cently welcomed three priests from the Philippines who will join eight of their brother priests from the island nation to assist with pastoral duties here. Fathers Arnel A. Estrella, Patricio Don-nie Aborde Jr. and Efren Cabunot Ambre arrived in the diocese March 1. The Filipino priests are on loan from their respective dioceses for five-year periods in order to help the Diocese of Greensburg through its clergy shortage. Two of those priests who arrived in 2010 — Father Joseph D. Armamento and Father Jaime S. Ozoa — will return to their native country in late spring. “With regard to the future ministry of the church, their presence is greatly ap-preciated and important to us through the pastoral service they are able to pro-vide,” said Father Jonathan J. Wisneski, diocesan director of international priests. Acclimating the Filipino priests into American culture, however, is not without challenges, he said. “There are challenges with language and culture. There are barriers that we have to work through, but the people here are very appreciative of their presence.” Father Wisneski said the new arrivals will go through a two-month orientation process that will allow them to get accus-tomed to life and ministry in the diocese. “We afford them opportunities to meet with the priests and the people in order for them to obtain a better understanding of the diocese while helping them to work through their concerns,” he said. The diocese also helps these new priests with basic logistics such as open-ing bank accounts and obtaining credit cards, driver’s licenses and Social Secu-rity numbers, he said. Father William J. Lechnar, diocesan director of planning, has ministered with two Filipino priests already serving in the diocese. He said their presence has been an eye-opening experience. “It allows us to experience a global view of the church from a clergy perspective and offers new insights into the way church is done internationally,” Father Lechnar said. Assistance by the Filipino priests pro-vides the diocese with the time to address the problem of the declining numbers of active priests until a long-term solution is found, he said. Their presence helps administratively, sacramentally and pastorally. “It is a blessing to have that resource,” Father Lechnar said. Father Arnel A. Estrella Father Estrella was ordained a priest June 15, 1993, in the Archdiocese of Cace-res in the central part of the Philippines. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philoso-phy and a master’s degree in theology, both at Holy Rosary Major Seminary, Continued on page 4 FOR UPDATES ON LOCAL, STATE, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL NEWS, VISIT WWW.DIOCESEOFGREENSBURG.ORG ADDRESS LABEL INSIDE THIS ISSUE In the Year of Consecrated Life, sister reflects on journey from India. Student from Mary Queen of Apostles School wins national honor. Page 4 Page 7 Pages 8-9 For the season of Lent, the Faith Alive series takes a look at faith and suffering.