- MRS Pilgrimage to Rome for the Jubilee Days
- North American Church Consultations: "The Human Cost of Globalization: Migration in México"
- Rev. Michael Blume named Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People
- Gathering of Colombian Priests Serving in the United States
- Associate General Secretary Appointed for Bishops' Conference
- Mark Franken, Director, MRS, Gives Testimony
- Marian Display in the Diocese of Worcester
- Apostleship of the Sea
- First National Gathering of African Priests and Sisters in the U.S.
- Encuentro 2000 - Highlights of Celebration of Mutli-Ethnic Church
- National Korean Pastoral Center Holds Priests Annual Meeting
- Filipino Apostolate of Philadelphia Drafts Strategic Pastoral Plan
- Fourth International Consultation Meeting on Filipino Ministry Overseas Held in Rome During Jubilee of Migrants and Itinerant People
- Archdiocese of Newark Holds First Conference on Filipino Ministry
- Available Resources
Our participation in the Jubilee began in the beautiful walled city of Assisi, overlooking the Umbrian hills and plains. The spirit of St. Francis' love and dedication to God and the poor continues to live and inspire pilgrims from throughout the world. Bishop DiMarzio reflected on the friendship of Jesus with God and the apostles, the friendship of Francis for Jesus as models for us in our family lives and our apostolates. This friendship to which Christ calls us is the friendship we want to bring to migrants and refugees, most in need of God's love revealed through us.
The Assisi retreat prepared us for the Roman celebration on June 1 and 2. The Day of Reconciliation on June 1 took place in eleven different churches for Latin American, Italian, Filipino and African migrants, as well as for refugees, foreign students, workers in tourism and pilgrimages, people of the sea, nomads, circus and carnival people, and people of civil aviation.
In each site, pilgrims asked pardon for failure to welcome the stranger in the spirit of Christ and asked for courage to promote that attitude of welcome not only personally but through laws and norms which would respect the human rights and dignity of all people on the move.
This theme was touched on by Pope John Paul II in his homily at the Mass in St. Peter's Square on June 2. He said, "Even more in the era of globalization, the Church has a precise message: to work so that this world of ours, which is often described as a ‘global village', may be truly more united, more fraternal, more welcoming. Here is the message which this Jubilee celebration is meant to spread everywhere: always put the human person and respect for human rights at the center of the phenomenon of mobility."
The Eucharistic celebration was a highlight of the pilgrimage. Pope John Paul II's strength of spirit and determination to preach the powerful word on behalf of the least of the brethren, even though his physical health was failing, was a powerful sign to pilgrims from all over the world of the importance he attaches to this area of the Church's apostolate. In one sentence, the Pope summed up the powerful teaching of the Risen Christ's identification with those who are strangers. "Ever since the Son of God "pitched his tent among us", every person has in a way become a "place" of encounter with Him. Welcoming Christ in our needy brothers and sisters is the condition for being able to meet Him "face to face" and perfectly at the end of our earthly journey."
"The Human Cost of Globalization: Migration in México"
Bishop Florencio Olvera Ochoa warmly welcomed the participants at a dinner on the evening of April 25 which featured entertainment by six Tabascan musicians playing instruments and wearing costumes indigenous to the area. Dr. Olivia Ruiz, a researcher at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, gave an opening conference overview on current migratory patterns in Mexico, particularly at the Southern border.
Wednesday, April 26, was spent visiting the Tenosique border region between Mexico and Guatemala. The next day's meetings were held at the Diocese of Tabasco Seminary where the North American church representatives exchanged views on what they had seen during the visit and had an opportunity to share in a round table presentation.
On the final day, the North American Church Consultations issued a joint statement presented by Bishop Florencio Olvera Ochoa, the Catholic Bishop of Tabasco, and Methodist Pastor Pedro Moreno at a concluding press conference. The conclusions of their deliberations focused on the conditions of migrants, particularly women and children, and especially unaccompanied minors; the need for more humane conditions in detentions centers and the importance of the attitude of authorities towards migrants. The group made six recommendations in their statement calling for steps to respect and protect migrants in the countries through which they journey, to sensitize local communities to the reasons behind their migration, and to ratify and implement the United Nations International Convention for the Protection of Migrant Workers and Their Families.
Council for Migrants & Itinerant People
Serving in the United States
The goals were to gather fraternally, to review the pastoral plans for Hispanics in the U.S., to hear updates on the social and political realities in Colombia, and to identify ways which will better support Colombian priests ministering in the United States. The meeting was very successful and those gathered decided to hold additional meetings in the future.
His duties at the Bishops' Conference will involve supervision of about one third of the departments, offices, and secretariats of the Conference. He will also act as liaison to several outside groups affiliated with the Conference, and he will join two other associate general secretaries in advising the General Secretary in matters of supervision and administration.
"The United States has been curtailing its response to refugees by reducing the number who may come to our country to begin a new life," said Mark Franken, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services of the U. S. Catholic Conference.
Also testifying was Francis Carlin on behalf of Catholic Relief Services, the bishops' overseas relief and development agency.
In asking the United States to do more for refugees, Franken specifically asked the subcommittee to appropriate at least $700 million to the Migration and Refugee Assistance account, $42 million more than the Clinton administration had requested in its budget proposals for the next fiscal year.
He also asked the subcommittee to approve the $20 million budget request for Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance fund that provides immediate assistance to refugees in emergency situations worldwide.
"In a world which spawns refugee crises on a regular basis, " he said, the emergency fund "is necessary to ensure that fleeing refugees receive important life-sustaining assistance."
Franken pointed out that refugee admissions to the United States fell from 132,000 in 1993 to 78,000 in 1998. In 1999, the U.S. government increased that number to 85,000 in response to the Kosovo refugee crisis, but in the broader picture, refugee admission has fallen from 207,000 in 1980 to a proposed 76,000 for 2001.
"This reflects a disturbing trend," he said, "especially considering the presence of more than 13.5 million refugees in the world today."
In pointing out a concern of the U.S. bishops, Franken said that if the United States fails to provide a generous program for refugees, it cannot provide "global moral leadership" in this area, and could lead other governments to likewise reduce their assistance to the world's refugees.
He said the decline in U.S. refugee admissions, despite the enormous amount of refugees today, was not because of a poor U.S. economy or on the inability of refugee resettlement agencies to do their jobs, but "rather to a lack of political will to meet fully our humanitarian responsibilities."
Franken said that preserving families should remain a key objective of U.S. refugee policy and that discussions about de-emphasizing the resettlement of families in order to make more room for "rescue" cases was a "false choice."
He criticized the amount of U.S. funding proposed for refugees overseas, saying it was not an increase from last year and would result in cutbacks in most regions, including Africa.
He also urged that U.S. refugee policy consider providing funding to those who are refugees in their own countries because they are persecuted by their own governments and to consider resettling refugee children whose parents are dead or missing.
Franken asked if the United States still has the capacity to absorb more refugees or if it has developed compassion fatigue. But in response to his own question, he said the work of his agency, which helped to resettle 21,500 refugees in the United States last year, receives widespread assistance including donations last year of up to $12 million.
He said the American response to the recent Kosovo crisis demonstrates the commitment of people in this country to refugee resettlement. "When Americans see persons in desperate need, they are quick to help," he said, adding that if Americans were similarly aware of the "sufferings of the Sudanese in Kenya or the Burmese in Thailand" they would react in the same generous way.
Back in the United States, nine new members of the Apostleship of the sea underwent chaplain training at Port Canaveral, Florida. Among the new ministers there is one priest, six deacons, and two lay people.
Priests and Sisters in the U.S.
The conference will be held in the Maritime Institute of Technology Conference Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The total meeting cost, which includes three buffet meals per day, is $330 per person double occupancy or $440 per person single occupancy. For more information or to register, please contact Tricia Zackrisson at (202) 541-3223 or email@example.com. The last date to register is Friday, July 28, 2000, so please register soon while there are still spaces. Please spread the word to those who may be interested!!!
of Multi-Ethnic Church
Encuentro 2000 will open with Latin music, including a performance by Los Camperos de Nati Cano, a renowned mariachi group that will perform a special tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe. In addition, dances and music from countries and regions in Latin America and the Caribbean will be interspersed throughout the four-day gathering.
A number of shrines and prayer spaces representative of our multicultural Church will surround the plenary session hall. In addition, a global ethnic village created for Encuentro will include sets from countries of Latin and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Keynote speakers include Archbishop Francois X. Nguyen Van Thuan, President, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican City, Sr. Marie Chin, RSM, President, Institute of Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston, Sr. Carolee Chanona, RSM, Coordinator of Basic Ecclesial Communities, Diocese of Belize, Dr. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World, Bishop Wilton Gregory, Vice President, NCCB, Bishop of Belleville, Kathy and Therera McGinnis, Cofounder and daughter, Institute for Peace and Justice, and Rev. Mario Vizcaino, Executive Director, Southeast Pastoral Institute, Miami, FL.
A film festival at Encuentro 2000: Many Faces in God's House will highlight social and religious experiences of African Americans, Native Americans, Vietnamese and Cubans in contemporary society. The film festival is sponsored by the U.S. bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign in association with the City of the Angels Film Festival. Films include Enduring Faith, Buena Vista Social Club, Smoke Signals and Three Seasons.
For further information on registration contact Conference Registration at 1-800-805-3976 or go to www.encuentro2000.org/register.
Holds Priests Annual Meeting
Fr. Paul Lee, the Acting President of the National Korean Pastoral Center, invited PCMR, represented by Cecile Motus, to lead a discussion on the topic, "The History of the U.S. Immigrant Catholics and Salient Lessons for the Church Today, Especially for the Priests Ministering to Koreans". Ensuing discussion focused partly on the value of the national parish model in light of the fast changing "faces in God's house" and the building of "one church, many cultures" in this country.
Strategic Pastoral Plan
Over the weekend, the core team drafted a vision statement, the goals and strategies which the Filipino Apostolate in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will pursue in the next three years. The draft will be shared with various parish-based Filipino communities and prayer groups and will be finalized based on comments and commitments from these communities. Fr. Tom Betz, Director of the Archdiocesan PCMR Office, opened the planning process with inspiring insights about active Filipino immigrant laity in the local Church in Philadelphia. He also posed challenges to the Apostolate regarding outreach to youth and young adults, to the unchurched and inactive Filipino-American Catholics.
on Filipino Ministry Overseas Held
in Rome During Jubilee of Migrants
and Itinerant People
Among the participants from the United States were Filipino Apostolate Directors and pastors of the Arch/dioceses of New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Metuchen, Oakland and Orange. Fr. Jose Arong, Jr. and Cecile Motus of PCMR reported on the status of ministry to Filipino-Americans and assisted in facilitating the meeting.
First Conference on Filipino Ministry
The two main topics discussed were "Filipino Spirituality and Ministry" addressed by His Eminence Jose Cardinal Sanchez, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican; and, "Filipinos in the Local Church" presented by Cecile Motus of PCMR. Archbishop Theodore McCarrick welcomed the more than 300 participants, expressed his gratitude for their active leadership in their parishes around the archdiocese, and challenged them to encourage vocations from the Filipino-American community.
- MRS/PCMR has recently published a culture paper on the Cape Verdeans. Please refer to our website: www.nccbuscc.org/mrs/pcmr/ for this latest informational culture bulletin.
- Walking in Their Footsteps, published by Rev. Daniel Taillez, OMI and the Hmong-American National Catholic Association, is available from Queenship Distribution, 4th & C Street, Building #10 - Strother Field, Winfield, KS 67156; phone: 316-229-8977; Order #3731.
- Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) announces a new handbook, Citizenship for Refugee elders: Issues and Options in Test Preparation. The 186-page handbook, geared for both teachers and administrators, focuses on program design and classroom instruction for the older learner. The handbook contains profiles of innovative programs, recommendations from the field on learning activities and cultural considerations, strategies to address common health issues, citizenship requirements, refugee populations, and instructional materials. To order the handbook, send a check for $19 to CLINIC, McCormick Pavilion, 415 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20017.
- El Clamor de los Indocumentados and El Via Crucis de Jesús Migrante ($1.50/copy) are available from Centro de Pastoral Migratoria Scalabrini. To order, contact Bro. Campese at P. O. Box 430387, San Diego, Ca 92143-0387; phone: 011-52 (66) 82-68-82; fax: 011-52 (66) 82-63-58; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.