He was sent to Japan once before, for a break after his third year of theology studies. It wasn't clear at the time whether he'd be sent back after his schooling was complete.
"It was ambiguous. They don't want to preempt the decision of the general superior."
Berdos is a member of the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo, sometimes called the Scalabrinian Missionaries. The order was founded with the intention of providing aid and support to migrant Italians going out of Italy.
But since its foundation, the order has changed and morphed. It's also tweaked its target missions to better fit the needs of the modern world -- Italians leaving Italy no longer seem to require an entire order of clergy to oversee.
"What is relevant now is people going out for greener pastures and going abroad," said Berdos. "We're serving migrants, immigrants.
The Scalabrinians offer charitable assistance to migrants around the world. That can come in the form of medical help, as well as financial support.
"Even legal issues -- we offer [help]," said Berdos.
At first, Berdos was disappointed with his assignment to Japan, or at least scared.
He had been expecting that as a new priest his first assignment would be somewhere where the order already had a sizable presence.
"My first desire was to go to Taiwan. Our congregation has two parishes in Taiwan, our mission is already stable in Taiwan," Berdos said.
"But we are still young here," he said.
"Here in Japan, we have to start from scratch."
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Berdos estimates that in his experience, there are two Japanese priests to every foreign priest serving the Archdiocese of Tokyo. But that number varies considerably across the country.
"Every diocese has its own situation."
Despite the language gap and a steep learning curve, Berdos has managed to bond well with the other priests of St. Mary's.
"My Japanese is still struggling, but I can get along in day to day conversation."
Every month there is a meeting for the clergy of the parish. It is here that Berdos has opportunities to bond with priests he doesn't usually work with directly.
"We bond through what makes us common. Maybe in small things, maybe in big things too."