WASHINGTON, DC (June 13, 2005) -- Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, Mexico's foreign minister, and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) will headline the Catholic Church's first bi-national conference on migration to be held June 23 to June 26 in El Paso, Texas.
"Strangers No Longer: Together of the Journey of Hope," is the title of the conference, and builds on a pastoral letter on migration issued jointly the bishops' conferences of Mexico and the United States in 2003. The two organizations are sponsoring the event.
"In Ecclesia in America, Pope John Paul II called for a 'globalization of solidarity among the peoples of the Americas," said Bishop Renato Ascencio De Leon of Ciudad Juaréz, Mexico, and Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, California. "The purpose of our conference is to build fellowship and solidarity among the bishops, diocesan staff, and supporters of the church in both Mexico and the United States."
Bishop Ascencio De Leon is the chairman of La Comisión Episcopal para la Pastoral de Movilidad Humana de la Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano. Bishop Barnes is the chairman of the Migration Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Cardinal McCarrick's keynote address on June 23 will explore the themes of Ecclesia in America and Strangers No Longer as a framework for collaboration between the Church in the United States and Mexico.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Derbez will address a plenary session on Friday, June 24, on Mexican migration policy, Mexico's relationship with the United States on migration issues, and possible goals of collaboration between the U.S. and Mexican governments.
Sen. Cornyn will speak on Saturday about immigration policy reform in the United States and on human trafficking.
Workshops throughout the conference will cover such topics as pastoral outreach to agricultural workers, migration policy developments on both sides of the border, the rights of the undocumented, and serving victims of human trafficking.
Ten bishops and approximately 150 diocesan staff from the two countries are expected to attend.
Spontaneous translation will be available for participants.
Last month, the bishops of the United States launched a three-year campaign to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. For more information on the campaign, go to www.justiceforimmigrants.org.