- Message from the Director
- MRS/PCMR Advisory Group Meets
- Mexico - U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter
- Archbishop Silvano Tomasi Awards
- Gathering of African/Caribbean Think Tank Group
- Asian and Pacific Task Force Gathering
- Immigration Law Manuals
- X National Gathering of the Circus and Traveling Show Ministries
- Circus Convention: Showfolks of Sarasota
- U.S. Religious Leaders Delegation to Mexico City
- Catholic Church Provides Extensive Service to People of the Sea
- Unity in Diversity Regional Training Held in Phoenix, AZ
- Parishioners of Kidane-Mehret Ge'ez Catholic Parish Celebrate Festival
- Acculturation Seminars
- Rochester Migrant Ministry Visit
- Save the Dates!
- International Independent Showman's Foundation Trade Show
- New Episcopal Promoter to the Apostleship of the Sea in the USA
- Migrant Farmworker Ministry Resources
- House Allows Illegal Immigrants Leeway
- Unity in Diversity Note Cards Available
- Migrant Farmworker Visit to Redlands Christian Migrant Association
- Position Opening: Executive Director for the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network (CMFN)
I will be celebrating the Triduum this year in the deep South, in the Diocese of Savannah, in small towns named Perry and Adel (on the map) and Twin Lakes (not on the map) . Most of the people coming to the liturgical events will be Mexican peach workers. In the last ten years, the Hispanic population in Georgia has multiplied. The number of Spanish Masses in the Archdiocese of Atlanta went from 2 to 42 in the last ten years.
I am looking forward to the experience. It will be very different from the office bureaucracy here at the Bishops' Conference. If I did not go there, the workers would not have Eucharist for these most important days of the Church year. To my mind this would be very sad. All Catholics, but especially people whose lives are often on the survival level need the framework of the Paschal Mystery to give meaning and sustenance to their lives. The Eucharist is the most powerful way to celebrate the Paschal Mystery, connecting our daily lives with the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus. Though the peach workers are away from home, laboring under difficult conditions, they are looking forward to this celebration as a way to renew their faith and hope in the loving God who came among us and endured suffering and death with total love for God and for all of us.
This Eucharist also ties them in to all the Eucharists taking place throughout the world. It is a way for them to be united to their families who will be celebrating the same Paschal Mystery
in their village church in Mexico on the same day. They will be united to the bishop of their new local church as he celebrates the Mass of the Lord's Supper in the newly-restored Cathedral of Savannah. They will be united to the Universal Pastor as Pope John Paul II celebrates in St. Peter's in Rome.
One of my favorite Liturgies for the Triduum is the Liturgy of Holy Thursday, especially the washing of the feet. That humble gesture, in imitation of Jesus, reflects what the Church on every level is called to be: a servant to the world. As I reenact that washing of the feet in San Jose Mission in Twin Lake, I will be praying for all those who have given themselves to the service of migrants and refugees. The washing of the feet of the Mexican peach workers symbolizes that great effort of the Church to continue the work of Christ in giving suitable welcome to those who come to our lands. I pray that the Triduum will be for all of you a renewal in that spirit of service.
MRS/PCMR Advisory Group Meets
The annual meeting of the MRS/PCMR Advisory Group took place March 5-7, 2002 at the Maritime Institute of Technology Conference Center new Baltimore-Washington Airport. The board is comprised of diocesan directors and representatives from the national consultants groupings and from the people on the move ministries. Present at this year's meeting were: Ms. Celine Caufield, Msgr. Joseph Chiang, Deacon James Condill, Rev. Phil DeRea, Dr. Ruth Doyle, Rev. F. Joseph Harte, Rev. Jerry Hogan, Msgr. Ronald Marino, Ms. Teresita Nuval, Deacon James O'Malley, Rev. Sinclair Oubre, Sr. Marie Prefontaine, Sr. Felicia Sarati, Rev. John Vakulskas, Mr. Rodrigo Valdivia, Sr. Nancy Wellmeier, Rev. Michael Yakaitis and the entire MRS/PCMR staff. This is the first time that representatives from People on the Move ministries were present.
Topics of discussion included: MRS strategic planning, implementation of the Unity in Diversity pastoral statement, the new pastoral statements: Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith and A Call to Solidarity with Africa, the role of the advisory group, policy issues, and the MRS National Conference in 2003. In addition, the group spent individual time discussing issues that pertained specifically to ethnic ministries and people on the move.
On Wednesday, March 6, this group was present at the Archbishop Silvano Tomasi Award banquet and welcomed the other award winners and their guests. Msgr. Joseph Chiang and Sr. Felicia Sarati were recognized this year as Tomasi Award winners for extraordinary service in Ethnic Ministry.
The next meeting of the Advisory Group will be in July 2003 as part of the MRS National Conference.
Mexico - U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter
As part of the ongoing process for development of a joint pastoral letter on border issues from the Mexican and United States Catholic Conferences of Bishops, a listening session was held in Mexicali, January 29 and 30, 2002. One morning was spent reviewing border crossing sites.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi Awards
Wednesday, March 6, 2002 was the date of this year's banquet given in honor of those chosen by MRS/PCMR staff to receive the Archbishop Silvano Tomasi awards for 2002. The banquet at the Maritime Institute was attended by the awardees, their guests, the PCMR Advisory Group and staff members of Migration and Refugee Services.
Since 2000 this award has been given to persons in the MRS/PCMR network who have provided outstanding service in the field of pastoral care for migrants, immigrants, refugees, and people on the move during the past year. The award is named after Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the first Director of PCMR. Please join us in congratulating this year's award winners.
Rev. Monsignor Joseph Chiang - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi Award for Extraordinary Service in Ethnic Ministry
Reverend James P. Keating - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi Award for Extraordinary Service in Ministry to the Human Mobility Apostolates in the Apostleship of the Sea
Reverend Richard Notter - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi Award for Extraordinary Service in Migrant and Traveling Show Ministries
Sister Felicia Sarati, CSJO - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi Award for Extraordinary Service in Ethnic Ministry
Gathering of African/Caribbean Think Tank Group
Sr. MaryPaul Asoegwu, DDL, PCMR Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries, gathered 19 representatives on March 3-4 at the Maritime Institute to discuss some of the pastoral concerns regarding African ethnic communities and to plan a future course of action. She shared with them the recent Asian/Pacific Islander pastoral and the pastoral statement, A Call to Solidarity with Africa. The participants felt there was a need to create a database to find out whom among the African newcomers is Catholic and to find ways to link these Africans to the dioceses. The group would also like to find ways to have a greater connection with the bishops. They will continue this fruitful dialogue through future conference calls and meetings. In early August the Joint Conference of the AWRC/ACCA (African Women Religious Conference and African Catholic Clergy Association) will meet at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center in North Palm Beach, Florida.
Asian and Pacific Task Force Gathering
As part of the implementation of the pastoral statement, Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith, this task force was called to meet from March 3-5, 2002 by Cecile Motus, PCMR Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries. The group divided into three groups for future action: Advocacy, Education, and Community Action and Development.
Part of their on-going efforts will be to translate the pastoral statement into Vietnamese and Chinese and develop an educational brochure which will be translated into several other Asian and Pacific Islander languages in 2002. The task force will be working on partnering this statement with Unity in Diversity to the mainstream Church. Partnerships for the conduct of Asian/Pacific Pastoral Institutes are also being explored. A pilgrimage of thanksgiving to the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is being considered for late 2002 and regional convocations among Asian/Pacific leaders and pastoral agents are being explored for 2003 and a national gathering in 2004.
With the support of MRS/PCMR, an effort to develop financial resources to fund linguistically appropriate materials, ethnic lay leadership formation and the pilot courses for the Asian/Pacific Pastoral Institute is underway.
Immigration Law Manuals
Sr. Marie Prefontaine, SND - Ethnic Ministries Office of the Diocese of
Worcester, MA has 5 Immigration Law Manuals for Pastoral Agents available
for sale: $25.00 plus shipping. Please contact her at 508-791-7171 ext. 328
X National Gathering of the Circus and Traveling Show Ministries
From January 3-7, 2002, 18 chaplains and pastoral ministers with the Circus and Traveling Show Ministries met for their annual meeting at St. Martha Parish in Sarasota, Florida. The theme of the gathering was "Developing New Tools of Affirmation." Since show people are often maligned in the press and in society's attitudes toward the circus and carnival industries, this year's presentations were given by experts in the field of public relations.
Mr. Rodney Huey, Vice President for Public Relations with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, spoke on the topic, "How to Support and Affirm Show People Proactively." Mr. Joe A Nichols, Esq. and Mrs. Barbara Brodnax, spoke on "Immigration Law and How it Affects Show People." Fr. John Vakulskas addressed the topic, "How to Educate the Public to the Positive Qualities of the Carnival Industry." For the first time, an evening social gathering was held with show people to share the Circus and Traveling Show Ministries mission statement, report on the progress of the Retirement Project Search Committee, share information about Fr. Fausto Stampiglia's efforts to raise funds to construct St. Martha's Circus School, and solicit input on the dates and theme of next year's meeting. It was decided to hold the next meeting from January 8-12, 2003.
The annual meeting concluded with the annual Circus Mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Martha Church followed by a social in the Friendship Room. This event is attended by show people of many faith backgrounds.
Circus Convention: Show folks of Sarasota
Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND attended a meeting of the Circus Retirement Project Selection Committee during the Circus Convention at Show folks of Sarasota on February 6, 2002. They plan to send a mailing to key representatives in the circus and carnival industry inviting them to select representatives to serve on the project planning committee. In preparation for their research work, the group has incorporated in the State of Florida under the name, Circus and Traveling Shows Retirement Project, Inc. Sr. Charlotte also attended the 2002 performance of Circus Sarasota.
U.S. Religious Leaders Delegation to Mexico City
Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND participated in the U.S. Religious Leaders Delegation to Mexico with Ms. Maureen Master from the MRS Immigration and Refugee Policy Office. The trip was organized by the Heartland Alliance with funding from the Ford Foundation. Delegates attending included representatives from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, American Friends Service Committee, Church World Service, United Methodist Church-General Board of Church and Society, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Disciples of Christ, the Mennonite Central Committee, the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters and the United Church of Christ
The participants were informed of human rights and migration issues in Mexico and the religious communities responses to them. They had an opportunity to meet previous migrants to the United States at their home in Coyula outside Puebla and to visit a health clinic and a local pizzeria established with remittances sent from the U.S. The final session focused on what follow-up was recommended by the delegates. Among these were education of the churches in the U.S. on migration issues, exploration of a joint immigration policy/advocacy initiative, and development of a directory of migrant services in the United States. The Heartland Alliance will work with the churches to convene a follow up meeting and develop the agenda.
Catholic Church Provides Extensive Service to People of the Sea
The Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), formerly the National Catholic Conference of Seafarers, is the worldwide ministry of the Roman Catholic Church to men and women who make their living on the ocean and inland waterways. This ministry was organized in the 1920s and is presently a division of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. The Apostleship of the Sea in the United States (AOSUSA), ministry is coordinated through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Migration and Refugee Services, Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. Internationally, 600 chaplains of various faith traditions collaboratively attend to more than 1.5 million civil seafarers each year. They are stationed in port cities on virtually every coast worldwide. In the United States alone, 130 Catholic chaplains serve travelers in sixty-nine port cities.
AOS chaplains offer spiritual sustenance and kinship to seafarers until they reach their next port of call. Seafaring can be lonely, treacherous work. As tall ships have given way to larger cargo tankers that are capable of staying at sea for longer stretches of time, seafarers now spend precious little time in port or with their families.
AOSUSA will host its first conference under its new name and revised constitution in San Diego, California, April 9-12, 2002. Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of the Diocese of Beaumont and Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea will serve as one of the keynote speakers.
Unity in Diversity Regional Training held in Phoenix, AZ
145 delegates, including nine bishops, from 19 dioceses attended the Far West Mountain States Training which was held in Phoenix, Arizona from February 27 thru March 1, 2002 at the Phoenix Airport Hilton. Presentations were given on "understanding and implementing the themes of the pastoral statement," "diocesan and parish structures which promote unity in diversity" and "best practices in welcoming the stranger," and workshops were offered on a variety of relevant themes.
Participants received a wealth of materials during the training, including a copy of the pastoral statement, a complete parish kit, demographic information pertaining to their region and a wide variety resource material on subjects related to the training. Participants end the program by working with the other delegates from their diocese to begin the process of developing a "Diocesan Action Plan" to implement the pastoral statement at the local level. Dioceses have four months to develop their plan in consultation with their bishop, training delegates and other key diocesan leaders.
MRS is offering support to the diocese in the execution of their diocesan action plans by offering a three-tiered grant program. The first tier of funding will be available to dioceses seeking to enhance their structural capacity to respond and welcome newcomers. Grants will also be given to those dioceses who present well-developed plans for engaging the parishes in the implementation of the pastoral. A third tier of funding will be made available to discrete projects in a diocese that promote the vision of "unity in diversity."
The Mid-Atlantic regional training is scheduled May 1-3 at the Maritime Institute, near the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Invitations have been sent to all diocesan bishops in this region.
55,562 copies of Called to Welcome the Stranger Among Us brochure have been sold since 2000!
Parishioners of Kidane-Mehret Ge'ez Catholic Parish Celebrate Festival
About 600 parishioners gathered on Sunday 24, 2002 at the Kidane-Mehret Ge'ez Catholic Church in Washington, DC. Because this parish is the only Church of this rite in the metropolitan area, the parishioners come from the District, Maryland and Virginia. They began by chanting the liturgical office of praises of Mary, who was being honored as patroness of the parish under the title of Kidane-Mehret, Mother of Mercy and our Perpetual Help. The sacred instruments of the Ge'ez rite, the drum and sistrum, accompanied the women and children carrying candles, banners, and icons as they processed into the church.
The Ge'ez Rite is considered to have one of the oldest traditions in the Church; it traces its roots tot he ancient Alexandrian Church established by St. Mark. It came to Ethiopia in the fourth century when Sr. Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, names St. Frementius as the region's first bishop. Ge'ez is the sacred liturgical language in which the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. It is not the modern language of Ethiopia or Eritrea. It is one of six Eastern Rite Catholic Churches represented in the Archdiocese of Washington. The Ge'ez Rite has seventeen anaphoras (Eucharistic rites), two of which are in honor of the Blessed Virgin.
Abba Tesfaye Fesuh, pastor of the parish, was the celebrant and homilist at the Divine Liturgy. Sr. MaryPaul Asoegwu, DDL, PCMR Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries, gave a short talk at the end of the liturgy encouraging parents to instill a love for this unique and ancient liturgy in their children and told them they had the support of the U.S. bishops. After the liturgy, all the parishioners (adults, youth and teens) gathered for a bountiful luncheon and social time.
Acculturation Seminars for International Priests are being offered by the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John's University, Queens Campus, Jamaica, NY from June 3-7, 2002. For more information, please contact Rev. Stephen Denig at phone: 718-990-1612, fax: 718-990-1901; or e-mail: VCCS@stjohns.edu.
Acculturation Seminars for newly arrived foreign-born religious and priests residing in the USA are being offered by Maryknoll March 17-22, August 25-30 and November 10-15. For more information, please contact the Maryknoll Cross Cultural Services at 914-941-7590 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rochester Migrant Ministry Visit
Ms. Gabriela Jaramillo, Director of the Spanish Apostolate Office, hosted a meeting of migrant farmworker ministry leaders in the Diocese of Rochester with Sr. Charlotte Hobelman on February 19. The purpose of their meeting was to discuss and give input on the migrant ministry recommendations that Bishop Yanta had shared during his Episcopal Liaison visit in September 2000 and to discuss the revision of the 1995 Pastoral Plan for Migrant Ministry. They suggested that greater emphasis be placed on the fact that this ministry is not done at the local parish but in rural camps at a distance from the local church.
These leaders also discussed the implementation of the McGowan migrant ministry pastoral planning grant. Two major emphases of this project are housing and advocacy. In the evening, Sr. Judy Justinger invited migrant ministry volunteers in the Western Monroe-Orleans County area to meet at her office in Brockport for Sr. Charlotte's presentation on initiating a migrant ministry volunteer program.
SAVE THE DATES!
2003 National Migration Conference
Migration and Refugee Services
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
(USCCB/MRS) and the
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC
Details concerning conference theme/program, registration,
hotel reservations, and discount air travel to follow soon.
Sr. Charlotte Hobelman attended the International Independent Showman's Foundation (IISF) in Gibsonton, Florida from February 8-10, 2002. She met with Fr. John Vakulskas, National Carnival Chaplain, who had already arrived on February 5 to make his annual visit to the large and small carnival show owners during this annual trade show. They also had the opportunity to participate in the annual meeting of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association on February 9, 2002 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tampa. This organization is promoting the adoption of industry-wide professional standards in the conduct and operation of carnivals. The main areas of work for members of the carnival industry are the operation of rides and games and the selling of concessions. On Sunday, February 10, Fr. John Vakulskas celebrated Mass at the hotel for show people, participated in an ecumenical memorial service for deceased show folks at the Greater Tampa Showmen's Association and another at the IISF in Gibsonton, followed by a Mass with the Catholic show people on the final day of the trade show.
New Episcopal Promoter to the Apostleship of the Sea in the USA
Bishop Curtis J. Guillory, SVD, of Beaumont, TX has been named Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea in the United States of America (AOSUSA), an international Catholic organization which supports seafarers and those in the maritime industry.
In his capacity as Bishop Promoter, Bishop Guillory will give guidance to the 150 AOSUSA chaplains and chaplaincy teams who provide for the spiritual needs of the people of the sea in their ports throughout the United States. In addition, he will serve as the liaison with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People at the Vatican.
Migrant Farmworker Ministry Resources
Diario Biblico 2002 is a daily prayer, reflection guide and journal in Spanish based on the daily Mass readings. A map of the Holy Land for the Old Testament and New Testament precedes and concludes the text, respectively. A brief morning prayer and evening prayer format for each day of the week introduces the daily reading guide. Special liturgical seasons have their own reflection pages at the beginning of each major section of the liturgical cycle. Measuring 61/4" x 81/4", Diario Biblico 2002 has a vinyl cover and ribbon marker for convenience in marking pages. It sells for $8.50 a copy or $7.50 per copy for a box of 20. It is also available in English and originates from the International Claretian Confederation of Latin America.
Evangelio y Vida 2002 is shorter reflection guide on the daily Mass readings in Spanish. It measures 4 1//4" x 5 3/8", a very convenient size to carry in a purse. Evangelio y Vida 2002 sells for $4.50 each or $3.50 each for a box of sixty. It is also available in English and Tagalog and originates from Claretian Publications in the Philippines.
Both resources are available through JCV Enterprises, Inc. in connection with Pastoral Bible Foundation Distributors. For more information, contact them at the following address: JCV Enterprises, Inc., 2500 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 105, Los Angeles, CA 90057,
phone: 213-251-8161; Toll-free: 888-989-4528; Fax: 213-387-7860;
House Allows Illegal Immigrants Leeway
Excerpts from The Washington Post, March 13, 2002
By Juliet Eilperin
Overcoming resistance from within their ranks, House GOP leaders shepherded through legislation that would allow some illegal immigrants to remain in the United States while applying for permanent residency.
The 275 to 137 vote marked a victory for President Bush, who had campaigned on the issue and pressed lawmakers to pass the bill before his meeting with Mexican President Vicente Fox. But debate on the measure -- which was coupled with new visa-screening requirements to spot suspected terrorists -- showed how last year's terrorist attacks have hardened some Republicans' opposition to more lenient immigration rules.
The House bill would revive the Section 245(i) program, which expired last April. The program allows undocumented immigrants to seek a visa that would grant them permanent residency if they pay a $1,000 fee and have a close relative or employer to sponsor them. Without the program, these immigrants would have to apply for visas from their home countries, where U.S. officials could delay them for up to 10 years because of their earlier, illegal U.S. stays.
Under the bill, an immigrant's visa application would not trigger a government deportation effort. But the government still could deport such immigrants if they were apprehended for other reasons. Because of that, some immigration advocates have called the legislation flawed.
The Senate has passed a similar measure, but some senators may try to block it when supporters seek to reconcile the two versions. If it becomes law, it will represent the most significant pro-immigrant bill of this Congress, supporters say. Many of those seeking visas under the 245(i) program have been Latinos, but the number of potential new applicants is unknown.
Bush appealed to congressional leaders to extend the 245(i) policy, identifying it during a recent closed-door meeting as a top 10 priority.
Unity in Diversity Note Cards Available!
These cards are ideal for staff's use as thank-you notes or as gifts to volunteers, donors and other individuals. The note cards are available form USCCB/MRS at costs. Sets include 8 cards with envelopes at $2.00 each. To order, please go to: www.usccb.org/mrs/pubs.htm to complete the order form.
Migrant Farmworker Visit to Redlands Christian Migrant Association
Sr. Charlotte visited Sr. Maureen Smith, OSF, in Ruskin, Florida on February 7, 2002 at the Redlands Christian Migrant Association. Sr. Maureen serves on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network and coordinates the local volunteer program for RCMA. They visited the day care and Head Start program and the main offices where eight volunteers from the University of South Florida were participating in an orientation program.
Position Opening: Executive Director for the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network (CMFN)
The Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network is looking for an Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for the overall direction and administration of the Network. Working in collaboration with a national board, the Executive Director promotes and coordinates regional workshops, oversees the development of new pastoral materials, edits the quarterly newsletter, and directs the fund-raising efforts of the Network. The site of the office and starting date for this position are negotiable.
The necessary requirements for this position are: a background in theology, pastoral ministry, or multicultural studies.
Those interested in applying for this position should send a cover letter and resume by April 30, 2002 to:
Rev. Toribio Guerrero, President
CMFN Board of Directors
P.O. Box 8, Asherton, TX 78827