- Message from the Director
- Joint Pastoral Statement Workshop at SEPI Migrant Ministry Retreat
- Migrant Farmworker Ministry Programming Initiatives
- Maya Pastoral Project Update
- Msgr. Dominic Dinh Mai Luong named Auxiliary Bishop of Orange, CA
- Statistics and Information on the Unity in Diversity Initiative
- AOSUSA Annual National Gathering
- First Gathering of Asian and Pacific Catholics at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
- Irish Apostolate Meeting
- Korean Apostolate Meeting -May 19-23, 2003
- Consultation Meeting with Asian Pacific Task Force
- New England African Meeting
- Oblates International Priest Program
- Haitian National Convention
- Caribbean Working Groups
This year 2003 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (PCMR) as an integral part of Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is time for all of us connected with PCMR to look back with gratitude and to look forward in hope.
From the very beginning, the distinctive pastoral nature of the office was emphasized by the bishops' Committee on Migration headed by Bishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua, in the time of John McCarthy as MRS Director. The image of the Good Shepherd searching out for the neglected, finding a home for the stray, has been PCMR's guiding image. The Committee on Migration's roll as pastors has been reflected in PCMR's 20 year history. Our gratitude goes to the bishops who have chaired the committee, to the bishops who assisted them, and to the directors of MRS who have supported and helped expand the office in its 20 year history.
In the first four years under the direction of Fr. Silvano Tomasi, cs, people in the PCMR network were identified and conversed for the first time: the directors of diocesan offices, airport and seaport chaplains, circus and carnival ministries, migrant farmworker ministries. Little by little, the divisions of the office became clearer: ethnic ministries and people on the move. All who remember Fr. Tomasi's tenure are grateful for his pioneer vision and his capacity to befriend and to build community among pastoral workers previously working in isolation.
The next director, Fr. Peter Zendian of the Diocese of Brooklyn, built on the foundation laid by the first director. During his tenure, he personally visited the network and made the office visible to many ethnic groups both rooted communities and newcomers. He gave particular attention to Asian immigrant communities. This personalized attention laid the foundation for national networks which would result in a statement from the USCCB dealing with pastoral needs of Asians in the United States.
The third director, Sister Suzanne Hall of the Sisters of Notre Dame, brought the teaching charism to bear at PCMR. Over the years, Catholic Social Teaching on the rights of migrants had developed as well as many successful pastoral practices. Sr. Suzanne compiled these in several important booklets useful for teaching adults as well as children. The video and workbook "Who Are My Sisters and Brothers?" continue as a useful pastoral resource for the PCMR network.
Sr. Suzanne also expanded ministry to African immigrants, assisted the Vietnamese Sisters in the development of their national association, and provided pastoral care for Haitians and Cubans on Guantanamo Naval Base.
I am personally grateful to all my predecessors for the organization, direction of the office, and the remarkable staff which I inherited when I began with PCMR in 1998, and for the office directors with whom I have collaborated in these last 4 « years. We were able to continue Sr. Suzanne's teaching charism with three pastoral statements: Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith, Strangers No Longer - Together on the Journey of Hope. The hiring of an education coordinator led to seven regional workshops and to date twenty grants to dioceses which have resulted in eleven new ethnic offices.
While the Asian and African networks have expanded and solidified in the past years, so too has the People on the Move side diversified and intensified so much so that we are contemplating a name change for PCMR to reflect the fact that the office is directed to the pastoral care of all travelers and people on the move.
For me it has been a privilege to serve in the capacity of director for these years. I leave with a great admiration for the work of MRS and more so for the staff of PCMR, all the diocesan directors, advisors, and consultants who make up the PCMR network.
With such a 20 year history, there is great hope that the new director, Fr. Anthony Dao will be able to continue and expand PCMR so that it surpasses in breadth and depth the pastoral vision set by the bishops in 1983.
Joint Pastoral Statement Workshop at SEPI Migrant Ministry Retreat
The Southeast Pastoral Institute based in the Archdiocese of Miami hosted the XXIV Reuni˘n del Ministerio Campesino at Camp St. John in the Diocese of St. Augustine from March 1013, 2003. Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND, serves each year on the team that facilitates this retreat/workshop in Spanish for diocesan priests, men and women religious and lay pastoral ministers involved in pastoral outreach with migrant farmworkers in local (arch)dioceses, primarily in the Southeastern United States.
Fr. Hugo Canav n, O.CARM, serves as the retreat director. There were 25 participants from nine dioceses including the Archdiocese of Seattle. This year, Sr. Charlotte gave a 90-minute workshop covering the following topics:
- A summary of events of national importance for migrant farmworker ministry between March 2002 and March 2003.
- A brief history of the writing process of the joint pastoral letter on migration.
- A reading of the letter to migrants from Most Reverend Thomas Wenski and Most Reverend Renato Ascencio Le˘n.
- Use of an introductory study guide with Juntos en el Camino de la Esperanza: Ya No Somos Extranjeros.
- Sharing of the Spanish language 2003 National Migration Week reflection paper and prayer card.
USCCB/Migration and Refugees Services welcomes Reverend Anthony Dao, OP, as the new Director of the Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (PCMR). Fr. Dao will assume his duties as director at the beginning of August.
Migrant Farmworker Ministry Programming Initiatives
The Board of Directors of the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network (CMFN) expressed a desire at their March 27-31 meeting in the Diocese of Phoenix to collaborate with PCMR in the implementation of the joint pastoral statement, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope." Many CMFN member pastors, men and women religious and lay pastoral leaders involved in migrant farmworker pastoral outreach in local dioceses have direct experience accompanying migrant and seasonal farm and
agricultural workers in the United States, Mexico and Central America. Their next board meeting will be from October 18-20, 2003 in Danville Pennsylvania and will include a visit to a local parish in Gettysburg, PA involved in migrant ministry.
PCMR Migrant Ministries staff will represent the office at the Northern Regional Workshop of the Comisi˘n de la Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana in Hermosillo, Mexico from May 28-June 1, 2003. Sr. Charlotte will serve on a panel presentation on migration to the United States with Mr. Ronaldo Cruz, Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs. Staff is also collaborating with Sr. Mary Ellen Dougherty, SSND, from MRS Children's Services to plan and coordinate the National Migrant Farmworker Ministry Forum on Trafficking from August 27-29, 2003 at the Sheraton Gateway Suites in Chicago.
The planning committee for the II National Consultation on Migrant Farmworker Ministry will meet from July 4-6, 2003 at Centro Marˇa and the USCCB in Washington, D.C.
Maya Pastoral Project Update
The Diocese of Phoenix provided the necessary documentation needed to Rev. Jos‚ David L˘pez Silvestre to obtain an R-1 Visa in Guatemala in March. He traveled to Washington, D.C. on April 28 and spent two-days with the staff of PCMR becoming acquainted with Migration and Refugee Services and other USCCB departments relevant to his ministry in the United States. He flew to Phoenix on May 1 where he assumed the position of Coordinator of the Maya Pastoral Project. His first month of service has involved meetings with the Vicar for Clergy and the Director for Hispanic Ministry, exploring options for setting up a local project office and conducting planning meetings with the local Maya Catholic leadership. He plans to take a course in English as a Second Language in Phoenix this spring. PCMR staff will be meeting with him and Phoenix Diocesan staff who are collaborating with the Maya Pastoral Project on May 27 in Phoenix.
Msgr. Dominic Dinh Mai Luong named Auxiliary Bishop of Orange, CA
On June 11, 2003, in the city of Orange, Msgr. Dominic M. Luong, a long-time collaborator of PCMR, was ordained auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange, California. This was a day of great joy that a true leader has been made a bishop. Bishop Luong has worked so hard not only for his Vietnamese people, but for all people with whom he has come in contact. May God bless him in his new ministry
Statistics and Information on the Unity in Diversity Initiative
Total number of participants and dioceses to date, and the numbers expected at the last convening:
- 746 people from 116 dioceses participated in six regional trainings held to-date (including 32 bishops, 183 priests, 99 religious, and 432 lay people).
- 80 people are expected to attend the up-coming training program in Seattle in June.
- 32 bishops have participated.
- It is expected that at least 7 bishops will participate in Seattle in June
- Thus far, plans/ grant applications were due from the following 5 regions: New England, Far West Mountain States, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and South East.
- 52 plans have been submitted with grant applications
- 5 dioceses have submitted plans but have not requested any funding.
- 20 grants have been awarded in the first 4 regions (9 applications for the SE region are currently under review; 2 additional regions will submit applications in the next 12 months)
- $357,941 has been awarded to date to the first 4 regions (9 applications for the SE region are currently under review; 2 additional regions will submit applications in the next 12 months)
- There is a total of $575,000 available for the grants program (down from the original $700,000)
- $357,941 has been awarded to 20 dioceses to-date in the first 4 regions. There is $217,059 left for the remaining 3 regions. We expect to reward an additional 16 grants to these remaining 3 regions. Thus, we expect the total number of grants to eventually total 46.
- 11 dioceses have opened new offices for ethnic ministries, migrant ministries, multicultural ministries or welcoming ministries. 10 of these have been partially funded by a Tier 1 grant from our program. (The Diocese of Providence decided to open its own Ethnic Ministries
- The Welcoming Parish: Administration, Evangelization, Liturgy, Outreach, and Services
- Creating Solidarity with Newcomers: Refugee Resettlement, Advocacy and Services
- Ministering to People on the Move: Models and Best Practices
- Teaching and Practicing the Pastoral in our Schools, Religious Education and Youth Programs
AOSUSA Annual National Gathering
The AOSUSA annual meeting was held April 1-4, 2003 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. The meeting drew some three dozen Catholic chaplains and chaplaincy members involved in U.S. port ministries. At a Mass that concluded with conference, Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of Beaumont, Texas, bishop-promoter of the apostleship, told the chaplains that while the concern for security was valid they had a "primary obligation" to "bring the Lord" to seafarers. Father Sinclair Oubre, President, of AOSUSA, said that 60% of the Christians working on commercial ships were Catholic and that Catholics should be "taking a leadership role" in port ministries
First Gathering of Asian and Pacific Catholics at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
For the first time in the Washington DC area, the Asian and Pacific Catholic communities gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for an afternoon of rosaries on May 4, 2003. Cecile Motus, Coordinator for Ethnic Ministries at MRS/PCMR, convened a team of Asian leaders to plan the event.
Children, youth, and adult leaders from the Bangladeshi, Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Vietnamese communities lead the prayers in English and in different Asian languages. A procession of the images of Our Lady of China, Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage-Birhen Ng Antipolo (Filipino), Our Lady of Good Health - Vailankanni (Indian), our Lady of Japan, Our Lady of Lanka (Sri Lanka), Our Lady of La Vang (Vietnamese) opened the afternoon celebration.
Fr. Anthony McGuire, Director of PCMR, presided over the afternoon celebration and gave the homily about devotion to the Blessed Mother Mary.
Irish Apostolate Meeting
On May 16, 17 and 18 in San Diego, the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, to which the members of the Irish Apostolate belong, met in San Diego under the leadership of Fr. Colm Campbell. It was a milestone meeting in which the Coalition approved a constitution which clarified their goals and objectives as well as their membership and paved the way for future growth and development. Fr. Paul Byrne, OMI, the staff person for the Irish Bishops' Committee for the Overseas Irish was present for his last meeting. The group discussed the concern that the number of priest chaplains is down.
Congratulations to Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, cs, recently named to represent the Vatican at United Nations agencies in Geneva. A brilliant choice! May God's grace work through his many natural talents to achieve great things for God and for humanity.
Korean Apostolate Meeting -May 19-23, 2003
Korean priests gathered in St. Paul's Abbey in Newton, New Jersey, which is being revitalized by a Korean abbot and eight Korean Benedictine monks. Bishop Wenski and Bishop Kang from Korea attended. The bishops and priests worked out details of a plan for orientation of Korean priests serving in the United States before they leave Korea, at time of assignment and through-out their stay.
NOTE: The bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have declared September 21, 2003 as Korean American Catholic Day to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Korean Immigration to the United States.
Consultation Meeting with Asian Pacific Task Force
Cecile Motus, Coordinator for Ethnic Ministries at MRS/PCMR convened the Asian Pacific Task Force in San Francisco on May 23-26, 2003. Four Diocesan Directors for Ethnic/Asian Ministries (San Francisco, Oakland, Syracuse and Seattle), fourteen Asian Pacific National Consultants from the twelve ethnic communities, and eight pastoral ministers, academic experts, and community leaders participated in the consultation.
The Task Force developed four purposes to be pursued by a future advisory body to the Ethnic Ministry Coordinator for Asian Pacific ministry. The first two pursue recommendations contained in the USCCB pastoral statement, Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith; a) To explore, together with USCCB, an appropriate national structure for Asian and Pacific Catholics that would give recognition, active voice, and official liaison with USCCB in the third millennium; b) To promote coalitions among Asian and Pacific communities and their organizations to build a strong advocacy network and establish solidarity; c) To explore, experience, and share the richness of Asian Pacific spiritualities; and, d) To identify and evaluate the progress made toward the implementation of the Pastoral Responses identified in Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith.
Bishop John Wester, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco and the episcopal liaison to Asian and Pacific Communities on the USCCB Committee on Migration, visited the meeting briefly. "My experience with Asian and Pacific Islanders opened my eyes to the richness of the Asian Pacific cultures," he said. He expressed his desire to work closely with the group.
Archbishop William Levada was the main presider at the special Mass for the participants on Sunday, May 25th, held at the St. Veronica Parish. Among the concelebrants was Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius Wang, the first Asian American bishop born in China.
New England African Meeting
PCMR staff, Sr. MaryPaul Asoegwu attended the New England African Meeting organized by Sr. Marie Prefontaine and Fr. James Nadeau. Seventeen people who were present for the meeting were made up of diocesan directors at Ethnic/Multicultural ministries, Black Ministries, African priests, Religious, and Lay Leaders. They came from the following archdioceses: Portland, Maine; Springfield, Massachusetts; Worcester, Massachusetts; Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Hartford, Connecticut; and Bridgeport, Connecticut. The main focus of the meeting was to discuss "What they can do together better than separately as New England in African Ministry". They agreed to act as a region on the following 6 points:
- Compiling of Resource listing
- Making a video of African Ministry in New England as a tool of communication
- Getting African Agenda to the Episcopal Regional Meeting
- Organizing a Lay Ministry Formation Workshop for African Lay Leaders
- Utilizing personnel resources throughout New England
- Compiling a one page sheet of concrete ways to welcome New African immigrants
Oblates International Priest Program
The International Priest Internship (IPI) program creates a year-long educational environment in which the priest can respond to theological, cultural, and relational concerns in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Candidates for the program are ordained Roman Catholic priests motivated by a sense of mission, pastoral charity, and challenges who:
- originate from outside the United States,
- arrive from a developing nation,
- speak a primary language other than that of the host diocese,
- have resided in the United States for less than two years,
- receive diocesan sponsorship and support,
- have a functional knowledge and ability with the English language.
Haitian National Convention
The Haitian National Convention took place from June 13-16, 2003 in Easton, Massachusetts. During the Convention, Sr. MaryPaul Asoegwu (PCMR staff) gave them an update and report on the Catholic Migration office. She highlighted the statements and witnesses of Bishop Thomas Wenski about the government's discriminating migration policies against Haitians, especially on asylees' detention. The Convention focused on Haitian families in the United States.
Caribbean Working Groups
Sr. MaryPaul Asoegwu, DDL (PCMR) and Sr. Joan Angela Edwards, SSM (NC) have visited the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdioceses of Hartford, CT and Washington, DC. The purpose of her visit was to organize and attend to the pastoral care of the Caribbeans. Their mission is in conjunction with the U.S. Catholic Conference Bishops' letter: "Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity". During their visit, they were able to establish the beginnings of diocesan working groups. .
Some Caribbeans in the United States are yearning to celebrate the Folk Mass as it is done in their home lands. Is there a priest to help them in this? And is there a diocese or parish ready to provide them with space for this? The Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees will appreciate any help or suggestions from any bishop, priest, etc. on this matter.
Watch for highlights of the National Migration Conference 2003 in the September issue of The Networker!