The United States Catholic Church has a long history of providing pastoral care for newcomers, encouraging the establishment of national churches, language specific parishes and the celebration of liturgy in ethnic languages. With the publication of Pastoralis Migration Cura by the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People in 1973 and with the presence of so many people from various cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, and languages in different parts of United States, the Church now feels challenged to intensify its effort in integrating new comers into the local church and society. This initiative by the church gave rise to the establishment of ethnic ministries in different archdioceses/dioceses and creation of the Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers (PCMRT) of the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.
In collaborating with the work of the other various subcommittees within the SCDC and the Committee on Migration, The Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers (PCMRT) assists and supports dioceses, national organizations, and movements in the pastoral care of migrants, refugees, and travelers in need of special pastoral attention and participation in the life of the Church. The Sub-Committee on PCMRT is commissioned to increase pastoral awareness, cultural sensitivity, and the dynamics of outreach, welcome, and support throughout its network, especially the Ethnic Communities of Africans, Caribbean and the Europeans and linking them to the local church.
Today, the archdioceses/dioceses have developed structures which encourage and support the local Church’s response to the pastoral needs of migrants and newcomers thereby manifesting the universality of the Catholic Church in rich and positive ways. Many Parishes have committed themselves to be welcoming by encouraging evangelization, catechesis and liturgies in the native languages of the newcomers, while others organize diverse inter-cultural activities.
- African And Caribbean Catholics in the United States
- 17 African Communities: Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cape Verde, Eritrean and Ethiopian (Ge’ez rite), Ghanaian, Ivory Coast, Kenyan, Liberia, Nigerian, Rwandan, Sudanese, Tanzanian, Ugandan, Zairean, Zambian.
- 9 Caribbean Communities: Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenadian, Guyana, Haitian, Jamaican, Santa Lucian, Trinidad and Tobago.
- 12 European Communities: Croatian, Czech, French, Irish, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Hungarian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian.