Office of Social Action/Department of Catholic Charities
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown locates the operations and responsibility of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) to the Office of Social Action/Department of Catholic Charities. An early initiative of the Office of Social Action was to develop a Diocesan Migrant Ministry Team.
The MRS Migrant Ministry Team is under the direct supervision of the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Services/Coordinator of Catholic Health Affairs, who is also the Diocesan Director of Social Action and Director of Migration and Refugee Services.
The Office of Social Action of Catholic Charities developed a 2002-2005 Action Plan in January 2002, prior to the MRS Regional Training in September 2002. The Diocese of Youngstown MRS Planning Team in attendance at that training, along with a larger diocesan team, amended the Strategic Initiative TWO of the Social Action PLAN to incorporate more fully the ideas and processes initiated at the September 2002 MRS training.
The Office of Social Action/Catholic Charities Strategic Action Plan involves Three Strategic Initiatives:
- Strategic Initiative One: Educate Catholics about Catholic social doctrine in order to empower them to become advocates for justice and peace.
- Strategic Initiative Two: Build an inclusive and just community.
- Strategic Initiative Three: Reclaim the vitality of the family by advocating for appropriate public policy.
Several Strategic Initiative II Outcomes/Objectives are specific to the MRS program, while others are more generally related.
The overall objectives of this Initiative are:
- To convene Catholics of diverse racial/ethnic heritages to share common concerns and experiences.
- To familiarize parish communities with the changing cultural makeup of our neighborhoods.
- To engage diocesan institutions (e.g. parishes, educational institutions, health care institutions, social services/housing agencies, chancery departments) in welcoming migrants and newcomers.
- To provide quality ministry in detention facilities by providing volunteer and material resources.
- To provide Catholic religious services and educational opportunities which reflect Catholic social teachings for those persons incarcerated within the Diocese of Youngstown.
The purpose of this grant is to help fund, as a Tier One Grant, OBJECTIVE C:
|To engage diocesan institutions (e.g. parishes, educational institutions, health care institutions, social services/housing agencies, chancery departments) in welcoming migrants and newcomers.|
The Outcomes and Action Steps for Objective C are as follows:
- First Outcome - Establish and expand an Office for the Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees that will serve the Diocese of Youngstown and serve as a leader/manager for the Tri-Diocesan Mobile Migrant Ministry Program.
- Hire a Director/Coordinator for the Office of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees in the Office of Social Action/Department of Catholic Charities.
- Utilize MRS grant monies, with match from the Catholic Conference of Ohio Tri-Diocesan Migrant Mobile Ministry Fund to hire person.
- Tri-Diocesan Ministry Team Representatives (Dioceses of Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown) will serve as search committee for this position.
- Position will be directly responsible to the Diocesan Director of MRS/Social Action of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.
- Director/Coordinator for the Office of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees will be responsible for the following areas:
- Provide leadership to the Diocese of Youngstown MRS Migrant Ministry Team.
- Provide leadership to the Tri-Diocesan Migrant Mobile Ministry Team.
- Ensure that the Action Plan, Strategic Initiative II, Objective C, and its Outcomes and Action Steps are completed.
- Second Outcome — Double the number of parishes that actively welcome new immigrants from Central and South America.
- Plan related activities around the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Diocese of Youngstown in 2003. This would be partially developed by the following:
- Commission an artifact that continues the recognition of the contributions to the diocesan church (as in the St. Columba Cathedral mosaic) by adding the growing number of ethnic and racial newcomers to the diocese.
- this artwork will travel throughout the diocese from parish to parish until its installation at the cathedral.
- Create “cultural maps” of each county in the diocese that show the variety of cultures that comprise the Catholic population.
- Offer parish training using the Bishops’ statement: “Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity”
- A Fall 2003 symposium hosted at Walsh University will target parish leaders and newcomer leadership in an “Encuentro” style training on this pastoral letter.
- Work with the Institute for Justice and Peace of Walsh University and the IM/migrant Worker Project (A National CCHD funded group) to develop parish based materials on Catholic Social Teaching; diocesan activities and demographics; and public policies regarding immigration/migration in order to educate the general Catholic population.
- Develop and coordinate a variety of Spanish language and Hispanic culture courses for pastoral leaders.
- Promote educational resources to parishes for “National Migration Week,” January 1st-13th.
- Support the efforts of the parishes already engaged in outreach to migrants and newcomers, through resources, convening and assistance as requested.
- Third Outcome — Provide direct health, social, legal, and pastoral services to immigrants/migrants and newcomers.
- Establish/expand the Diocese of Youngstown-Catholic Relief Services Health Partnership.
- Work with the CRS Latin America and Caribbean Health, Water, and Sanitation Project and Diocesan health systems coordinating services for migrants and newcomers.
- Hire student nurse intern through Catholic Campaign for Human Development grant to survey young adult newcomers on their health needs.
- build the capacity of both the Diocese of Youngstown (Catholic health services, Catholic Charities, Catholic institutions) and CRS’ health strategy in Central America/Caribbean to study and respond to communicable diseases, especially tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV+/AIDS.
- focus this partnership primarily in the Dominican Republic with an educational component in Guatemala. (Mercy Medical Center already has an annual mission to the Dominican Republic and has seen a substantial increase in Guatemalans working and living in their service area.) The Dominican Republic focus will be on programming in the areas of STDs, Tb and Migration. The Guatemala focus will be on educational/training opportunities for health care staff, resident physicians, migration and cultural education.
- Support and expand the Catholic Charities Centro de San José el Trabajador
- Support and expand the Catholic Charities CLINIC Legal Immigration Project.
- Provide support to the Tri-diocesan (Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown Dioceses) Mobile Migrant Ministry Team.