- Sending Out the Word on Your Wondrous Works
- Korean Priests in the U.S. Meet
- Strangers in Our Midst
- International Gypsy Apostolate Meetings Convene in Italy
- Apostleship of the Sea Notes
- Available Resources
- IV International Ecumenical Congress of Pastoral Ministries
with the Circus and Carnival
- Many Faces in God's House
- Annual Vietnamese Women Religious Leaders Meeting
- Upcoming Meetings and Events
My Dear Friends,
So far I am really enjoying my new role as Director of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees. What I enjoy most is meeting the people in the field, people like yourself who are engaged, day after day, in the courageous and difficult work of welcoming the stranger. There is a quality of being on the cutting edge in this apostolate; not quite sure how to build this multi-cultural Church, but willing to try. There is a quality of daring to stand by refugees at the border, to support the detained, to advocate for the undocumented. There is a quality of joy, frustration at the lack of resources, creativity, hope in hard times, faith in the presence of the Lord of the journey. All of these qualities make for lively ministry. In short, there are hundreds of stories of service in the spirit of Jesus which could be told about your work.
One of the projects which we at PCMR would like to embark upon is to tell these stories to the rest of the Catholic community and beyond. Our work is little known and oftentimes misunderstood. I would like to begin to tell the stories to Catholic papers and periodicals so that our people will know about our work and be able to support it in the face of the ever-growing spirit of nativism.
On page 2 is an article which I would like you to take to your diocesan paper to see if they are interested in printing this kind of article as a regular column or periodically. The title will be Strangers in our Midst. Let me know how it goes. Thanks. Fr. Anthony E. McGuire, Director, PCMR
Extern Korean priests and Korean-American priests recently held a two-day meeting which piloted a process of orientation for service in the Catholic Church in the United States and in American society. Participants valued the process-oriented meeting held at the Maritime Institute of Technology in Baltimore, Maryland, May 18-19, 1999.
The participants, through workshops facilitated by Sr. Marie Prefontaine and Peter Choe, surfaced perceived needs of Korean priests, Korean Sisters, Korean- American youth and young adults, and Korean-American Catholic lay leaders. The priests also held business meetings which addressed issues on the structure of their organization and their leadership.
Bishop Jisuk James Kim, the Chairman of the Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, participated in the meeting to provide the critical link between the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) and the National Catholic Conference of Bishops (NCCB) of the United States. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the Chairman of the USCC Committee on Migration, delivered a brief message to express the appreciation of the Church in the U.S. for the important work and contributions of the Korean priests, and to provide guidance on future relationships between CBCK and NCCB. He exhorted the priests to always link with their local dioceses.
On May 20, the Korean priest district representatives visited the NCCB/USCC office building. Msgr. Dennis Schnurr, NCCB/USCC General Secretary, welcomed them and underlined the valuable contributions the Korean priests and the Korean community have given to the Church in the United States. PCMR then gave a brief orientation especially on the proposed program for newly arrived ethnic ministers.
By Fr. Anthony McGuire, Director of PCMR
In the week between the feast of the Ascension of the Lord and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I spent some days of reflection with a group of Korean missionary priests. We were, like the apostolic community during the same period of time, gathered in prayer and reflection in an upper room. As the days came to completion, the experience of the presence of the Spirit was manifested in the renewed zeal and the stronger bonds of fraternity among the 42 priests who participated.
This group of Korean priests are missionaries in North America. They are a sign of the new reality of missions in the world today. There are no longer exclusively sending churches and receiving churches for missionaries. The United States receives as many missionaries as it sends. At the present time, the Korean bishops send 156 missionary priests to serve 126 parishes in the United States and Canada. They, along with religious, serve the Korean Catholic communities which have immmigrated to North America.
Their mission to the United States is no sinecure. Like most mission work, it is very difficult and, at times, very lonely. The large majority of the priests live alone in new surroundings where they struggle with the language and where they serve a community quite different from the Korean community at home. The new communities in North America are communities in transition to a new culture. The priests arrive as Korean-Korean to meet a congregation where the adults are becoming Korean-American and the young people are becoming American-Korean. The potential for misunderstanding is constantly present. Sometimes misunderstanding arises because of language difficulties. Sometimes priests are not comfortable with American egalitarianism. Sometimes parishioners take on negative aspects of American culture such as materialism and consumerism. They can allow these corrosive influences to overshadow the spiritual dimensions of Church life. At the present time, priests are assigned for about three years, which causes a great deal of frustration on both sides. It really takes three years to adjust to a new situation, for priest and community to hit their stride together. At the end of three years the priests, with some exceptions, return home.
I had to admire the priests at the gathering. They were genuinely searching for a deeper spirituality and they were renewed by the bonds of priestly fraternity which developed. The fact that they spent so much time and money to participate in the retreat was in itself a sign of their desire to find ways to minister more effectively in their place of mission.Unlike most North American clergy gatherings, there was a good age span in the group, reflecting the fact that in Korea, there is a clergy boom. The seminaries are full. There are many young priests. Also, some Korean-American priests came to the meeting, priests who come from Korean families, but who study in American seminaries. At the beginning of the meeting, many priests did not know each other because they had not studied in the same seminary, or because they came from different dioceses. It was beautiful to see the young priests enter into ready dialogue with middle-aged priests, feel their support and benefit from their wisdom and experience. It was also remarkable to see how they challenged the middle-aged priests about their relationship with young people and with American society.
One of the impressive quests was the search for a deeper spirituality, the ability to suffer with love in the spirit of Jesus who emptied Himself in the service of others. In the wish list at the end of the session, the priests chose a deeper spirituality as the most important goal, as well as further education and language training.
A missionary's role is meant to be temporary. The hope for the Korean-American community is the ordination of many more Korean-American seminarians who eventually will be their pastors. This will be the sign of the integration of their community into the life of the Church here. At the present time there are 43 Korean-American priests in North America, about one-third of the number needed to replace the missionaries. They are the hope of the future. Their success is intimately linked with the testimony of the missionaries who have come from Korea with so much faith and willingness to suffer for the building up of the Church in North America.
Episcopal Promoters and National Directors of the Pastoral Care of Gypsies representing eleven countries met on March 18, 1999 with the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People at their offices in Rome on the theme of the Jubilee year in relation to reconciliation and evangelization with the Gypsies. Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao welcomed the participants to this day of planning for an international pilgrimage of Gypsies to Rome for the Jubilee celebration with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on June 2, 2000 and for the Fifth International Congress on the Pastoral Care of Gypsies.
Following this meeting, the International Catholic Committee for Gypsies (CCIT) held their annual conference in Jesolo, Italy from March 19-21 with chaplains, religious and lay Catholic leaders ministering with the gypsies in Eastern and Western Europe and the United States. Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, Coordinator of Migrant Ministries, represented PCMR at both meetings. The meeting began with prayer and song around a bonfire on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. Notre Dame des Gitans/Our Lady of the Gypsies was a favorite hymn sung during this prayer service and in the morning liturgy on March 20.
Don Piero Gabella, National Director of the Gypsy Apostolate in Italy, welcomed the participants. Mr. Antal Hadhàzy gave a presentation on the situation of and his ministry with the gypsies in Nyiradony, a village in Eastern Hungary, and Fr. Emilio Calderón Alvarez, a delegate from the Gypsy Apostolate in the Diocese of Sevilla, traced the history of the gypsies in southern Spain from the beginning of the XV century to their present reality in society and in the Church. The situation of the Gypsies is different in each country. In some they live completely separated from the rest of society. In others they live on various levels, from those who live apart to those who are integrated into society and are economically well off. The Evangelical Pentecostals have attracted a notable number of Gypsies in recent years. In August 1998, 40,000 Gypsy Pentecostals met in France. In Italy and Spain this movement is growing as well. Of great pride to the Catholic Gypsies is Blessed Ceferino Jiménez Malla, a martyr during the Spanish Civil War, beatified on May 4, 1997.
- On June 6, 1999, at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, Most Rev. M. F. Ustrzycki, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton and AOS Promoter of Canada, will celebrate the gift of priesthood - forty years.
- On June 26, 1999, Rev. Jim Keating, Pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church and AOS Port Chaplain for Chicago will celebrate the gift of age - retirement.
- Two AOS chaplains were recently honored by their maritime communities:
- Rev. Sinclair Obre was honored as the Maritime Man of the Year for 1999 by the Propeller Club - Sabine Ports (Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur, Texas).
- Diane Bentley was honored as the Maritime Person of the Year for 1999 by the AFL-CIO of Seattle, Washington.
The Apostleship of the Sea worldwide network of chaplains applauds their achievements and thanks them for their dedicated service to the people of the sea!
With These Hands: The Hidden World of Migrant Farmworkers Today
Written by Daniel Rothenberg and Robert Coles, this fall 1998 publication documents for the general public the latest information about the lives and labor conditions of migrant farmworkers today from a variety of perspectives including farmworkers, growers, union organizers, labor contractors, children and teachers and utilizes the format of an oral history. The hardcover book may be purchased from Harcourt Brace at 1-800-543-1918 or online at www.amazon.com.
Fields of Courage: Remembering César Chávez & the People Whose Labor Feeds Us
A collection of poetry, commentary and memorable photographs are chronicled by Susan Samuals Drake from her perspective as a member of the early staff of the United Farm Workers. Available in paperback for $14.95 from Many Names Press, P.O.Box 1038, Capitola, CA 95010 or online at www.manynamespress.com.
Fr. Jerry Hogan, National Chaplain of the Circus Apostolate; Fr. John Vakulskas, National Chaplain of the Carnival Apostolate; Fr. Philip DeRea, MSC, National Chaplain of the Championship Auto Racing Team (CART) Ministry; and Sr. Charlotte Hobelman represented PCMR at the IV International Ecumenical Congress of Pastoral Ministers with the Circus and Amusement Park Workers in Padua, Italy from March 20-23. The theme of the Congress was the Church's growth within the minorities represented by circus and amusement park workers.
Presentations were given by pastoral leaders with the circus and amusement park ministry from the eleven countries represented and from the different faith groups. Participants had the opportunity to attend a performance of a family-owned circus, the Circus Romina Orfei, on the evening of March 20 in the Italian town of Montañana. They also met in language groups several times during the Congress to critique and make proposals for revision in the proposed by-laws of an international Forum of Christian Organizations for Pastoral Outreach with Circus and Carnival Workers.
Each of the faith groups represented, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, shared in leading and participating in ecumenical prayer services during the Congress. Daily Catholic liturgies were celebrated each morning in the Basilica of Saint Anthony. Special prayer services were also conducted at the Basilica of St. George in Venice and at the Church of St. Leopoldo Mandic in Padua.
At the conclusion of the Congress, the National Catholic Directors of the Circus and Amusement Park Ministry met with Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao, President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and his staff to prepare for the celebration of the Jubilee year and the Seventh International Congress on the Pastoral Care of Circus and Carnival Workers.
The chaplains from the United States appreciated meeting their counterparts from the nine European countries participating in the Congress because there are many international links between the U.S. circus, carnival and race car circuit workers.
A Catholic Vision for the Third Millennium:
Many Faces in God's House
"Many Faces in God's House" is the theme of Encuentro 2000, which is the only national gathering of the Church in the United States in the Jubilee Year 2000. "Encuentro" means a gathering. But it not only refers to a meeting with others; it refers to your encounter and my encounter with the living Jesus Christ—in and through one other. In this way, we may gain a respect and understanding for each other that reverences and encourages the manifestation of Christ, in the fullness of your cultural identity and mine. Encuentro 2000 is an opportunity to answer the call of Pope John Paul II to live out our oneness in Jesus Christ, in the midst of our cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. The Synod's theme, "Encounter With the Living Jesus Christ: The Way to Conversion, Communion, and Solidarity in America," calls you and me to an individual conversion, which leads us to a communal conversion. In this way, we may experience a true communion with our neighbors, and therefore a greater solidarity with each of us who is in need and is marginalized in one way or another.
The name "encuentro," and its process of dialogue and mutual understanding and collaboration, began and developed within the Hispanic community. In light of the fruit that was born from three prior gatherings, the Bishops of the United States recognized the importance of such a process for the entire Church. Led by the Bishops' Committee on Hispanic Affairs, the bishops of the United States have responded to the rising tide of not only Hispanics, but of all cultures and ethnicities to be heard and recognized for their invaluable contributions to the larger Church on local, regional, and national levels. The bishops recognize that the time has come to forge a path that is intercultural, and not just Hispanic. They understand that all cultural/ethnic groups have yet to be truly heard, respected, and to feel at home in the Church. "For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: Others will I gather to him besides those already gathered" (Is 56:5,7-8).
As such, the process of Encuentro 2000 is an invitation for all leaders of the Church, in the richness of her vast cultures and ethnicities, to share and dialogue at gatherings before, during, and after the national event in July 2000. Leaders are entrusted with bringing back the vision of Encuentro 2000 to their home dioceses and parishes. In learning from one another through these shared experiences and collaborative efforts, it is our hope that each of us can experience further conversion by planting these seeds of mutual respect and understanding within our respective communities, which will then be allowed to take root and grow.
Encuentro 2000 affirms that each of us is a gift from God to one another, and to the world. The spirit of Encuentro 2000 is also a gift to the Church in the United States. The structure of the gatherings has just begun to take place, so that the process of listening, sharing, understanding, and collaboration can be realized. We encourage your suggestions and participation in the formation of these processes and gatherings, locally and nationally.
The door is being opened for us to enter, in order that we may be acknowledged and affirmed, in order that we may speak the truth of our unique histories and cultural/ethnic traditions as Catholics in this country, and in order that we may seek forgiveness and reconciliation with one another and the larger Church. The only passport we need to cross this threshold is our baptism in Jesus Christ.
A parish guide for Encuentro 2000 has been specially developed and will begin distribution to all parishes in June 1999 to initiate the local processes. The national gathering and celebration will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center July 6-9, 2000. For information on how to get involved, please contact your diocese, or call the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs at the NCCB at (202) 541-3150 .
A native of the Philippines, Amalia Mamaed is the National Coordinator for Encuentro 2000 at the NCCB.
Washington, D.C. was the site of the Annual Vietnamese Women Religious Leaders Meeting April 4-10. Seven women religious congregations were represented in the meeting. The Sisters discussed practical matters, especially realities of religious life in the United States and movements since Vatican II. They invited Archbishop F. X. Nguyen Van Thuan, formerly the Bishop of Nhatrang and Coadjutor of Saigon in Vietnam, as their key resource person.
The Sisters paid a short visit to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and US Catholic Conference Offices (NCCB/USCC) on April 7, hosted by PCMR. Archbishop Thuan, who is currently the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, concelebrated mass with Fr. Anthony McGuire at the NCCB/USCC chapel. While at NCCB/USCC, they were given a brief orientation to NCCB and USCC, to MRS and PCMR. They also had very informative discussions with Sr. Mary Leahy, SP, Sr. Andre Fries, CPPS, and Bro. John Patzwal, FSC of the National Religious Retirement Office. They also met briefly with Nathalie Lummert of the MRS Policy Office regarding advocacy for R-1 visa retention.
The Filipino American Ministry in the United States will conduct a consultation with Bishop Ramon Arguelles at the Philippine Pastoral Center in New York City June 14-15, 1999. The Theme: Celebrating Filipino American Catholic Ministry in the United States.
The National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM) will convene the IV National Conference, June 23-26, 1999, in Tucson, Arizona. Theme: The Diocesan Director for the Third Millennium: Instrument of Communion.
The Hmong-American National Catholic Association (HANCA) will be holding its National Convention June 24-26, 1999, at St. Catherine College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to the convention there will be training of Hmong youth and catechists at Dunrovin, Christian Brothers' Retreat Center in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota, from June 20-24, 1999. For more information please contact Fr. Daniel Taillez, OMI, 651 Virginia Street, St. Paul, MN 55103; 651-488-6737; fax: 651-487-6790.
A National Catholic Gathering for Jubilee Justice will be held July 15-18, 1999, on the campus of UCLA. Prior to the gathering there will be an MRS Wrap-Around Meeting, July 14-15. During the Wrap-Around meeting, which replaces the bi-annual MRS-wide meeting, there will be time set aside for the PCMR network to hold individual, interactive discussions around key issues. If you haven't done so already, be sure to register for the Wrap-Around Meeting! For more information contact Mary Morton, MRS - 3211 4th Street, NE; Washington, DC 20017; 202-541-3296.
The National Conference of Vietnamese Clergy and Religious in the USA will take place August 2-5, 1999, at the Co-Redemptice Congregation in Carthage, Missouri. For more information contact Rev. Vincent Ninh at Our Lady of Grace, 19300 Stephens Road, Eastpoint, Michigan 48021; 810-447-0504; fax: 810-447-0508.