- Message from the Director
- New PCMR Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries Named
- Unity in Diversity—Theme of Summer Institute of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
- Update on Asian-Pacific Islander Pastoral Statement
- Joint Pastoral Statement on Mexico-U.S. Migration
- From Crab Workers to Race Tracks
- Initiation of CMFN Mobile Team Pastoral Formation Courses
- II Seminario Latinoamericano de Pastoral Migratoria
- Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network 15th Anniversary
- Minnesota Visit: Circus Camp and Migrant Ministry
- Polokalama: Life is a Call From God – Theme of Tongan Catholic Lay Ministers Conference
- Airport Chaplaincy
- Update on Implementation Plan for Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity
- A Season of Farewells
- Historic First for the Indonesian Catholics in the USA and Canada
- Centro Cultural Missionario Program 2002
- Bishops Opened 2001 Convention of Hmong American National Catholic Association (HANCA)
- Troubadour Publication
- Milestones for Bishop Promoter and Episcopal Liaison
- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
- Carnival Ministry Visit
- Mark Franken, Director, MRS, visits African refugee camps
- Migrant Ministry Resources
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As I write this article, I am at a desk in the Scalabrini House of Theology, having just completed a workshop for Scalabrini seminarians on the pastoral statement Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity. I used as a resource the parish kit which had been sent to the 19,500 parishes in the USA. The response of the seminarians was very enthusiastic. They engaged with the material, developed mini-workshops around it and testified that they would put the suggestions to practice in their pastoral work sites in the coming year. Their response encouraged me greatly.
We are poised for action this fall here at MRS/PCMR. Thanks to the indefatigable labors of Amy Newlon, our Education Coordinator, and her helpers, the parish kits, filled with multiple treasures, have arrived at the desk of every pastor in the country. We have had an initial planning meeting with the representatives of the dioceses of the Northeast. So far we have had such enthusiastic response from the leadership of those dioceses that we had to book another hotel for the first regional training, which will take place in Providence, Rhode Island on November 27-28, 2001.
In October we will be planning in Los Angeles with representatives of the dioceses of the Far West Mountain States, and the process will continue throughout 2002 until June 2003: planning meetings and regional trainings in six areas of the country. Here at PCMR we are on a roll!
As I write, we are celebrating the feast of the birthday of Mary, a joyful family feast. I pray to Mary our Mother to watch over this whole process so that it may truly bear fruit for the immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move, who are so close to her heart. I ask her also to watch over Amy Newlon as she prepares for the imminent birth of her daughter that they both be healthy and sound. The third petition is for Fr. Aniedi Okure as he deliberates in Nigeria with his brother Dominicans in Chapter. Through Mary's intercession may the Lord bless him with the same wisdom and joy. We pray for his successor Sr. MaryPaul Aseogwu, DDL, who will join us on October 1, 2001.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Reverend Anthony E. McGuire
New PCMR Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries Named
Sister MaryPaul Aseogwu, DDL has been hired to replace Reverend Aniedi Okure, OP as one of MRS/PCMR Coordinators of Ethnic Ministries. Sr. MaryPaul will assume her duties in PCMR on October 1, 2001. She will coordinate pastoral outreach to new African communities, work with African clergy and religious, and assume the responsibilities associated with working with the PCMR diocesan pastoral network. Sr. MaryPaul joins us from Chicago where she has served her Daughters of Divine Love Congregation as Regional Superior, Vicar General, and Director of Development. As Regional Superior, she established ten communities in four dioceses across the United States. Sr. MaryPaul has had vast experience with immigration issues and has assisted clergy, religious, and lay people with the various legal, social, and pastoral issues related to migrating to the United States. We look forward to having her on board!
Unity in Diversity—Theme of Summer Institute of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
The fourth summer institute, "Building Inclusive Communities," offered by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in collaboration with Mount St. Mary's College opened on August 6, 2001 with a keynote presentation by Fr. Anthony McGuire, Director of the Office for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. Fr. McGuire highlighted the theology behind the call for a ministry of hospitality among members of the Catholic Church and noted the important aspects of the call to conversion, communion and solidarity described in the pastoral statement, Unity in Diversity.
Other keynote presentations focused on "Called to Solidarity: From being welcoming to being supportive," "Called to Conversion: Revitalizing the Ecumenical/Interfaith Spirit," Called to Inculturation: The Challenge of Popular Religiosity." The final topic, "Called to Communion: Ministry in a Multicultural Church" was presented by Cecile Motus, Coordinator for Ethnic Ministries at PCMR. She traced the various approaches in ministering with a culturally diverse community and emphasized some of the best practices successfully used by many pastors and bishops.
"Building Inclusive Communities" is a five-day institute for diocesan, parish and community leaders designed to develop understanding and skills in ministering to the growing needs of the diversity in the Church today. This year's program was attended by more than 70 educators and administrators of parochial schools, D.R.E.s and Liturgy Coordinators, Youth and Young Adult leaders and pastors not only from Los Angeles but also from the dioceses of San Bernardino and Orange.
Update on Asian-Pacific Islander Pastoral Statement
On June 12, 2001 the Committee on Migration held a symposium to hear presentations from Asian and Pacific Islanders which would assist them in the development of the pastoral statement, Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith. Keynote presentations were given by Dr. Anselm Min, Professor of Theology and Philosophy of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, and Dr. Franklin Odo, Director, Smithsonian Program for Asian Pacific American Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa. In addition to Committee members, several bishops that have large Asian/Pacific Islander populations in their diocese were in attendance. Asian and Pacific Islander panelists from the pastoral care network also shared their personal experiences and addressed the challenges and practical implications to ministry.
At the June Committee meeting, the bishops offered suggestions and comments to MRS/PCMR staff on the working draft of the statement. Since then MRS/PCMR staff, under the leadership of Cecile Motus, have worked with the two contributing authors, Dr. Ruth N. Doyle and Rev. Jose Arong, OMI in updating the document. The pastoral statement will be presented to the USCCB Administrative Committee at its September meeting with the expectation that the document will be recommended to the body of bishops for their approval at the bishops' general meeting in November.
Once the statement is approved, the document will be disseminated to all bishops and national secretariats. The document will then be translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Malayam, Samoan, Tongan, Lao, Hmong, Khmhu, and Behasa Indonesia. All translated versions will be available through the website later in 2002 and printed versions are being considered for Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Malayalam and Samoan.
Joint Pastoral Statement on Mexico-U.S. Migration
Consultations/Listening Sessions will be jointly convened by the Episcopal Commission on Human Mobility of the Mexico Bishops' Conference and the Committee on Migration of the U.S. Bishops' Conference. The purpose of these sessions will be for the bishops on these two migration-related commissions to obtain necessary input to inform their development of the joint pastoral statement on the Mexico-U.S. migration phenomenon.
These consultations/listening sessions will be designed to allow focused input from three general perspectives: (1) from the migrants themselves, (2) from recognized experts/advocates/ practitioners in the field of migration, and (3) from pastoral agents and diocesan leadership, including from the bishops whose dioceses are faced with the migration phenomenon. Those invited to provide input will be asked to respond to specific questions designed to allow the bishops on the two commissions a better understanding of the issues and to receive input as to what messages/recommendations the pastoral should include.
Two joint consultations/listening sessions will be convened: San Diego, California - October 17-18, 2001 and Mexicali, Mexico - February 27-28, 2002. Bishops Thomas Wenski and John R. Manz, representing the Committee on Migration, and Bishop Robert Brom of San Diego will be the commission members present during the consultation/listening session in San Diego.
The two commissions have agreed upon the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) to assist the bishops in drafting the statement. Negotiations are underway to engage a team of two writers who will observe in both consultation/listening sessions.
From Crab Workers to Race Tracks
Sr. Elaine McCarron, Director of Religious Education at Sacred Heart Parish in Chestertown and Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Centreville, Maryland invited Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND to visit with pastoral leaders in the Diocese of Wilmington involved in diverse areas of migrant ministry. Sr. Dorothy Prettyman, SSJ, for example, does pastoral outreach with the many women migrants who work in the crab processing plants located along three islands on the Chesapeake Bay. Volunteers assist Sr. Dorothy to drive the woman inland to attend weekend services at St. Mary, Star of the Sea Parish in Golden Hill.
Sr. Charlotte and Sr. Elaine attended the Sunday evening Spanish Mass at Immaculate Conception Parish in Marydel where the liturgical music had a distinctive Maya flavor. Many of the parishes members are immigrants from Guatemala who work in poultry processing plants.
Sr. Charlotte stopped at St. Paul Parish in Wilmington to meet Fr. Christopher Posch, Director of Hispanic and Migrant Ministry. He shared the efforts the diocese is making to reach out to the thousands of migrants, including 800 who work at the Delaware Race Track. During the racing season, Fr. Chris offers a bi-weekly Spanish Mass on Wednesday evenings for them and lay leaders from St. Paul Parish conduct a Liturgy of the Word on alternate weeks.
Initiation of CMFN Mobile Team Pastoral Formation Courses
The Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network began offering its very successful migrant farmworker pastoral formation course in a mobile team format with a course in the Diocese of Toledo from August 30-September 4, 2001. A second mobile team course will be offered in the Diocese of Fresno from November 15-20, 2001. Graduates of the course are serving as members of the local planning team where the courses are being offered. CMFN will continue to offer its course at the Mexican American Cultural Center from February 14-19, 2002.
II Seminario Latinoamericano de Pastoral Migratoria
The Secretariado para la Pastoral de la Movilidad Humana (SEPMOV) of the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM) held its II Seminario Latinoamericano de Pastoral Migratoria from June 12-15, 2001, in the offices of the Colombian Bishops Conference in Bogotá, Colombia.
Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND, represented the MRS Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. The national offices of the episcopal conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the International Catholic Migration Committee (ICMC) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) also attended. Presentations covered topics of great concern across the hemisphere including migrant human rights, transmigration and globalization, trafficking of people, deportation and human rights, and the new evangelization and inculturation of the Gospel.
A draft of an orientation manual for new pastoral agents in migrant pastoral care was critiqued, and an opportunity provided to visit Corabastos, a large commercial center in Bogotá for selling agricultural products from all of Colombia. It is jointly run by a private company and government agencies and has become an area where those displaced by the civil war come to obtain food. The Human Mobility Pastoral Care Commission of the Archdiocese of Bogotá works in cooperation with the company that runs Corobastos to provide assistance to the displaced people who come there for food.
A tribute was paid to Sr. Erta Lemos, mscs, as she concluded her service as Executive Secretary of SEPMOV/CELAM, and a welcome given to Sr. Janete Ferreira, mscs, her successor. One of the participants, Sr. Dilva Stipp, mscs, was tragically killed in an automobile accident in Honduras a few weeks after the seminar. She had served as the national director of the Comité Pro-Refugiados in Ecuador, and had just replaced Sr. Janete in Honduras. May the Lord grant her the fullness of Eternal Life and comfort the members of her Scalabrinian community.
Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network 15th Anniversary
The Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network (CMFN) will be celebrating its 15th anniversary with a Quinceañera celebration on Sunday, October 7, 2001, with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Joseph Church in Wautoma, Wisconsin in the Diocese of Green Bay.
Ms. Celine Caufield, Executive Director of the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network for the past five years, has announced her intention to resign from this position, effective January 1, 2002.. She is willing to assist CMFN with projects, but not in the capacity of Executive Director. A Board Search Committee has been established to identify a successor.
Minnesota Visit: Circus Camp and Migrant Ministry
Benedictine Brother Paul Vincent Niebauer used to work as a ring master in a traveling circus. Now, he teaches in the Theater Arts Department at St. John Preparatory School in Collegeville, Minnesota and conducts a one-week Circus Camp for 12-16 year-olds. He is one of the newest members of the PCMR's Circus and Traveling Show Ministries. Assisted by Benedictine Brother David Paul Lange, the two welcomed 22 teenagers from local areas and out-of-state to this year's camp from June 17-22. In only six days, the youth learn the basic skills of the circus performing arts and how to stage a one-hour show. Several busloads of residents from area group homes as well as members of the students' families and friends packed the Weber Center for the performance on Friday morning, June 22.
Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND, and Sr. Adela Gross, OSF, attended the dress rehearsal and full performance. Brother Paul Vincent tells the students that everything learned that week, they will use later in life. The Circus Camp has become so popular that some participants re-enroll for the following year.
From June 22-25, Sr. Charlotte and Sr. Adela traveled with migrant ministry leaders in the New Ulm, St. Cloud and Crookston Diocese, visiting eleven parishes. One of the highlights of their trip was the International Friendship Festival in Pelican Rapids near St. Leonard Parish. Ms. Johanna Christiason coordinates the popular festival which features the artisans, music, dance and food of the many cultures represented in the area.
Congratulations to Bishop Jacob Angadiath on his episcopal consecration to the Eparchy of St. Thomas of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago on July 1, 2001. Bishop Angadiath has worked with MRS/PCMR for several years as the national consultant for the Syro-Malabar Apostolate. On behalf of the staff of Migration and Refugee Services and its networks, we offer our sincere congratulations on his appointment.
Polokalama: Life is a Call From God Theme of Tongan Catholic Lay Ministers Conference
Almost 400 Tongan American lay ministers for music, youth, social action and catechesis as well as other lay leaders gathered for the national conference in Salt Lake City last July 20-22, 2001. Led by the Chaplain to the Tongans and PCMR national consultant, Rev. Saimone Moala, the conference was the final input to the lay ministers formation program of the Tongan Apostolate.
This year's conference attracted the biggest attendance since the national formation program started four years ago. When asked why they religiously participate annually, the participants said they have gained much from the past study sessions. They look at the national gatherings as a source for learning more about their Catholic faith and for ideas on how to better serve as lay ministers. The conference is also a means to pray together "like it was in Tonga - in our language and our songs." And everyone said it is also a gathering of relatives and friends to celebrate and feast on Tongan food, on cultural dances and social customs, and on exchanging gifts of love and gratitude.
The Tongan American community estimated to be about 10,000 families is spread all over the United States in some 30 small communities. The bigger groups are in San Mateo-San Bruno-Sacramento area, in Seattle, in Los Angeles-San Bernardino, in Phoenix and in Salt Lake City. About 4,000 families are Catholic. There are two priests, five deacons, religious sisters and brothers, and numerous catechists who are active in the Tongan American Catholic Apostolate.
Tonga is a small kingdom in the South Pacific with a population of about 96,000. It is estimated that 14.5% of this population are Roman Catholic.
The National Catholic Conference of Airport Chaplains (NCCAC) is a certifying agency under the authority of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Commission on Certification and Accreditation. These seven airport chaplains (picture) are now eligible to be certified airport chaplains.
Update on Implementation Plan for Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity
The staff of MRS/PCMR, under the leadership of Amy Newlon, has been proceeding with the many facets involved with the implementation of the bishops' pastoral statement, Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity. The following information is being provided to our pastoral care network as an update of our progress on these initiatives.
I. Dissemination of the Pastoral Statement Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity
- As of the end of June, 2001, over 11,000 copies of the pastoral statement in English and 2,000 in Spanish have been sold.
- 23,000 additional copies of the statement will be distributed to every parish, Catholic school and diocese in the country as part of the Parish Resource Kit (see below).
- As of the end of June, 2001, over 18,000 copies of the Called to Welcome the Stranger Among Us brochure in English and 5,000 in Spanish have been sold.
- The brochure is currently being translated and published in five additional foreign languages— Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. We expect these publications will be available by the end of October.
- The Parish Resource Kit to accompany the pastoral statement was sent free-of-charge to every parish, Catholic highschool, Catholic college/ university and every diocese in the country the second week of August. Additional copies of the kit are available for purchase from the USCCB Publishing Office.
- From Fall of 2001 to Summer of 2003, PCMR will be hosting trainings in 7 regions across the country for bishops and diocesan leaders on implementing the message of the pastoral statement.
- Because one of the main goals of this training is to help dioceses understand that the message of "unity in diversity" applies to the whole Church, in all of her ministries, the bishop from each diocese in the region will be invited to attend, or to send his delegate, plus delegates from diverse diocesan ministries (such as the directors of refugee resettlement, ethnic ministries the Priests' Council, Catholic schools, evangelization, liturgy, youth ministry, etc.).
- A brochure summarizing the goals and objectives of the training, its proposed curriculum, the registration process and the dates and regional sites for the training program were sent to all bishops on July 27, 2001.
- Recently, staff of the Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees has been invited to give various workshops and presentations on the message of the pastoral statement. These include:
- The National Convening of the Scalabrini Fathers
- Parish and Community Resources for Refugee Programs Conference
- National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry Conference
- National Federation of Priests' Councils Meeting
- Lay Leadership Training - Diocese of Davenport, IA
- Building Inclusive Communities Training Program - Archdiocese of Los Angeles, CA
- The National Convening of the Scalabrini Fathers
A Season of Farewells
After six outstanding years of service as Coordinator for Ethnic Ministry for African Communities, Fr. Aniedi Okure, OP has left MRS/PCMR, effective August 31, 2001. Fr. Okure is temporarily returning to Nigeria for a general meeting of his Dominican Province. Later this Fall he plans to return to the United States to continue his pursuit of his doctorate in Sociology of Religion. Though we will all miss his joyful presence and his dedication, we are grateful for his six years of service at USCCB and his personal assistance to many immigrants, refugees, migrants and people on the move.
Rev. Timothy O'Sullivan, priest delegate from the Irish Episcopal Commission and national consultant to MRS/PCMR for the Irish Apostolate, has returned to his native country and Diocese of Cork, where he will be a parish priest. While residing in the United States, Fr. O'Sullivan lived at St. Jude's Parish in the Archdiocese of Washington.
MRS/PCMR has just been informed that Rev. Daniel Taillez, OMI, one of the national consultants to MRS/PCMR for the Hmong Apostolate, has been reassigned. For over two decades Fr. Taillez has worked with the Hmong in the United States and helped them to form the Hmong-American National Catholic Association (HANCA) based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 1986 HANCA has been involved in evangelization, lay leadership formation, and the development of catechetical materials and videos. Fr. Taillez will be working with Radio Veritas-Asia in Quezon City, Philippines on Hmong materials to be broadcasted to Laos by Radio Veritas. Some of the materials will be also shared and used here in USA among the Hmong.
On April 30, Rev. Jim Samter, retired from his position as coordinator of Hmong and Lao Ministries in the Diocese of Green Bay after fifteen years of dedicated service. During his years as a Catholic priest, Fr. Samter has encouraged parish-based outreach to refugees and believes that the future of Hmong and Lao ministry depends on parish involvement and lay leadership formation within the ethnic communities.
MRS/PCMR EXTENDS ITS GRATITUDE AND BEST WISHES TO OUR FRIENDS AND FORMER COLLEAGUES!
Historic First for the Indonesian Catholics in the USA and Canada
"Some of our members have not been to Mass for many years until we formed KKI (Komunitas Katolik Indonesia) in Atlanta," said Pancha Anugerah, the coordinator of the first historic national jamboree among Indonesian students, immigrants, and Indonesian American Catholics now living in the U.S.
"We approached our diocesan director, Fr. Tom Betz, to request for an Indonesian-speaking priest. We started with Sunday Masses in English with an Indonesian interpreter for the whole Mass. Then Fr. Betz helped our community contact priests studying at universities. The priests drove to Philadelphia to celebrate the Eucharist. St. Thomas Aquinas parish was designated as the parish for the Indonesian Apostolate. With the blessings and support of our diocese, in August 2001 a chaplain to the Indonesian Catholic community arrived from the homeland. We are so happy we coordinated with our diocese. Fr. Tom Betz is our guardian angel!" said Agustinus Danu Rahardjo, one of KKI-Philadelphia leaders.
More than 150 KKI organizers from San Diego, San Bernardino, Chicago, Washington, DC and Maryland, Newark, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Columbus, Dallas, Houston and Montreal and New Haven in Canada held a jamboree at the beautiful Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Georgia on August 31-September 2, 2001 to form a mutual assistance network of KKIs in the U.S. and Canada. Ten priests and one religious sister were also at the jamboree. The event was graced by the participation of the Acting Ambassador Thomas Aquino Samodra Srividjaja and his wife, Julita , from the Embassy of Indonesia in Washington, DC. Both are Catholic. PCMR was represented by Cecile Motus, Ethnic Coordinator.
Discussions revolved around three topics: The Indonesian Catholics in the Local Church in the U.S. and Canada, a scholarship program to benefit poor students in Indonesia, and the second KKI-USA/Canada gathering.
"Indonesian lay leaders and ministers are important in the work of continuing evangelization among Indonesian families," according to Fr. Mariano da Silva, SVD, a priest taking anthropology at The Catholic University of America. "Indonesian priests may not always be available. Indonesians should come forward as lay ministers, catechists, leaders in parish councils."
Indonesia is the most populous Muslim state in the world today. Out of a total population of 203 million 87% are followers of Islam while 3% are Catholics. No statistical data is available at this time regarding the Indonesian population in the United States.
Centro Cultural Missionario Program 2002
Course offered in Brazilian Portuguese for those interested in learning more on the Brazilian Church and culture. For more information, phone: (61) 274-3009; fax: (61) 340-1232; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.ccm.org.br
Bishops Opened 2001 Convention of Hmong American National Catholic Association (HANCA)
Most Reverend Frederick F. Campbell, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis opened the HANCA Convention on June 21, 2001 with a thought-provoking keynote message addressing the theme, "What Does It Mean to Be A Hmong Catholic in the New Millennium." "Personal holiness (to speak of, live and act like Jesus Christ); and, mission (to preach the message of Jesus) are two important responsibilities of every baptized member of the Catholic Church," Bishop Campbell emphasized. He reminded the 200 Hmong American adult and youth participants that Catholics are known for "sharing a common witness to the power and love of Jesus and for deep communion with each other."
Bishop-elect Tito Banchong Tho Pan Hong, Administrator of the Apostolic Vicariate of Luang PraBang, Laos was in attendance throughout the convention. In his opening address, he related about his journey to the priesthood in Italy, his elevation to bishop in Laos and his current status of the Catholic Church in Laos. He is the very first Hmong priest to become a bishop. Bishop-elect Tito is assigned to an apostolic vicariate but has no home church. His message of love and forgiveness in spite of having spent almost seven years in reeducation camps in Laos was an emotional moment for the participants. "I bear no hate or resentment. God was just testing my loyalty," Bishop-elect Tito said. "I have forgiven and you can forgive too. God is behind everything. Trust in his love as you nurture your families and grow in your new country."
The HANCA 2001 Conference was held on June 21-23, 2001 at the beautiful campus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. It offered workshops for adults and youth on topics such as: "The Sacrament of Matrimony," "Church and Higher Education," "Family Relationships" and "Vocations." Cecile Motus of PCMR was part of the panel discussion on "Faith and Mission."
HANCA is the national organization of Hmong American Catholics with a nationwide membership from the states of California, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Washington and Wisconsin. It has been instrumental in gathering and organizing the scattered communities of Hmongs since 1986. According to Fr. Daniel Taillez, OMI, the PCMR National Consultant for Hmong Apostolate, there are some 150,000 Hmongs in the United States. About 8,000 are Catholics. Actively involved in pastoral ministry to the Hmongs in this country are two priests (who speak Hmong), six Hmong American permanent deacons (with five more candidates in the diaconate program), and twelve Hmong American catechists.
The Circus and Traveling Show Ministry has initiated the publication of a newsletter entitled Troubadour to serve as a vehicle of communication for the priests, men and women religious, ecumenical and lay pastoral leaders involved in pastoral outreach with people working in the circus, carnival and race car circuit industries. The first issue will be available in early September 2001.
Milestones for Bishop Promoter and Episcopal Liaison
Bishop Joseph L. Howze is now the retired Bishop of Biloxi, Mississippi. Bishop Howze has been the bishop promoter for the Apostleship of the Sea for the last 15 years. He has been outstanding in promoting this ministry throughout the United States and has a very complete and active Apostleship of the Sea ministry in all of the ports in his diocese, which would be the Ports of Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula and Port Bienville. He has worked tirelessly to see the Apostleship of the Sea grow in seaports throughout our nation. The Apostleship of the Sea is very thankful that Bishop Joseph Howze has been its promoter for so many years. We wish him well in retirement and look forward to his prayers and encouragement in the years to come.
The Episcopal Liaison to the airport ministry is Bishop James C. Timlin of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Bishop Timlin has been the Episcopal Liaison for the National Catholic Conference of Airport Chaplains for 10 years. He is celebrating his 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on July 16, 2001 and his 25th anniversary of ordination as a Bishop on September 21, 2001. We are thankful for the many contributions, support and encouragement that Bishop Timlin has made to the civil aviation ministry. We know that he will be retiring as a Bishop in 2002. We thank him for all that he has done and will continue to do in promoting ministry to the people in our airports throughout the United States.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is an immense operation. They control, manage and operate the airports of New York and New Jersey and all of the seaports and tunnels that connect the two states. There are thousands of workers and millions of dollars that are involved with this great Port Authority that also plays host to some of the finest ministries to people on the move in the United States. Towards the end of June 2001, the National Director for the Apostleship of the Sea and Coordinator for Mobility Apostolates from the MRS/PCMR Washington, DC office had an opportunity to visit these ministries to people on the move in New York and New Jersey.
The new airport chapel at Newark International Airport is just outstanding. Fr. David Baratellii, the chaplain is very proud of the cooperation that the chapel and chaplaincy has with the Port Authority and that it continues to provide service for the millions of travelers and tens of thousands of workers at Newark Airport. Fr. Mario Balbi, the Apostleship of the Sea chaplain at the Port of Newark blesses the port every year on June 29th, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. It was outstanding to see religious leaders from many denominations present for the blessing of the Port of Newark. Everyone rode around in a large tugboat going from dock to dock blessing all ships in port that day. The Apostleship of the Sea is alive and well in the Port of Newark!
The newest airport chapel in the world is at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; it is an outstanding facility providing four separate chapels for each major faith group who would use Kennedy Airport. The Kennedy Airport chapel has been in existence for over 50 years but this new facility is outstanding. Fr. Jim Devine, the chaplain of Kennedy for over 10 years is very proud of the services that the Diocese of Brooklyn make available for the millions of Catholic travelers who pass through John F. Kennedy International Airport each year.
Lastly, at Red Hook Terminal in Brooklyn, the Apostleship of the Sea operates the Stella Maris Center for seafarers from around the world. Fr. Alfred Guthrie is available every day at any time when a ship comes to that terminal so that he can be there for the seafarers. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are meeting the needs of many, many people. The Church is alive and well and looking after the millions who use the port authority facilities each year.
Carnival Ministry Visit
Fr. John Vakulskas, National Carnival Chaplain, and Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND, made a pastoral visit with Murphy Brothers Expositions from August 1-4, 2001 as they set up and opened the carnival rides, games and concessions during the Wisconsin State Fair. Fr. Vakulskas gave the invocation at the official opening ceremony and blessed the rides and workers. The visit concluded with a midnight Mass for the workers under the tent near the business office. After a long day of work, it was impressive to see the number of workers and their families who attended the late night service. Because of the daily demands of their work schedule during the fair, it is the only time that workers have available to participate in a religious service. Mr. Gerald Murphy, owner of the show, invites Fr. Vakulskas to visit his workers every year at one of the shows along their yearly route.
Mark Franken, Director, MRS, visits African refugee camps
Excerpts from article by Patricia Zapor
Catholic News Service
U.S.-based refugee assistance groups intend to step up pressure for better support of refugees in Africa whose situations seem to have stagnated.
In Guinea, just one of the 40 African countries that hosts refugees, as many as 25,000 people are thought to be ready to pack up at a moment's notice for resettlement to third countries, according to Mark Franken, director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Yet, despite the fact that many of those people have lived as long as a decade in refugee camps and have virtually no chance of being able to return to their home countries anytime soon, there currently is no system for resettling them in more stable situations, Franken said.
He and executives of five other U.S. migration agencies visited several refugee camps in West Africa in late July and early August. The U.S. Committee for Refugees estimates that Africa had about 3.3 million refugees at the end of 2000. Guinea alone hosted 300,000 refugees from Sudan and another 90,000 from Liberia. The USCCB is a sponsor of the Committee for Refugees.
In an interview with Catholic News Service, Franken said the delegation was surprised to learn that not only were there no plans to resettle the refugees in the Guinea camp they visited, but the directors of the program had no idea how to go about arranging for resettlement.
This particular camp in Guinea had recently been moved to the interior of the country from a previous location close to the Liberian border. Franken explained that the camp and adjacent villages were attacked recently by Liberian forces who crossed the border.
While the new site was safer from such incursions, it was deep in the jungle, miles from any settlements where the 17,000 resident refugees might be able to try to earn a living or hope to integrate into the community. "They have been forgotten by the international community,"' Franken said.
"We didn't see any food there,'' he added. ``And people complained of there not being enough food available."
When his party arrived, they were greeted by camp leaders as well as the International Refugee Committee staff who run the camp. They were welcomed with a sample of the meal given to newly arrived refugees—a small bowl of a spiced bean and grain mixture.
"That is the last meal they're given at the camp," Franken explained. "After that, they're on their own. I don't know where they get the resources to feed themselves."
African countries have long been generous about hosting refugees from neighboring nations. In many cases, the complexities of local conflicts mean refugees who flee wars at home find safe havens in nearby lands, while the host countries, in turn, have their own civil wars, leading to the flight of their citizens.
So far this year, the UNHCR has cut staff and reduced its fund-raising goal in light of shrinking contributions. The agency is supported entirely by voluntary contributions, more than a quarter of which come from the United States.
In the immediate future, prospects for many more African refugees coming to the United States are slim. The total number of refugees the United States has agreed to admit each year has steadily declined from 207,000 in 1980 to 80,000 in 2001.
Program Planning and Proposal Writing - Introductory Version, reprint available from The Grantsmanship Center, Dept. DD, P. O. Box 17220, Los Angeles, CA 90017. A free copy of the Grantsmanship Magazine is also available.
Tourism: A Tool for Peace and Dialogue among Civilizations was the theme chosen by the Vatican for this year's annual celebration of the Day of Tourism. This year the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples published a booklet in four languages that contains A Message of John Paul II plus commentaries by Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao, Council President, and Archbishop Francesco Gioia, Council Secretary. MRS/PCMR disseminated this booklet to all diocesan bishops in the United States. This booklet is available for $1.00 from the Pontifical Council. Orders can be placed through their e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Migrant Ministry Resources
Abre Tu Biblia, is the first complete Bible study series in Spanish based on the Instructions of the New Catholic Catechism. This video series by Fr. Virgilio Elizondo is the best tool available for the introduction of the New Evangelization proclaimed by Pope John Paul II. It teaches, inspires and, most of all, invites the viewer into a very personal love relationship with God. It is perfect for adult religious education classes, migrant ministry settings, small group ministry or personal reflection. The set includes 13 videos with two lessons on each tape that run approximately 30 minutes. The cost per set is $199.00. plus shipping and handling. It can be ordered from the Mexican American Cultural Center Bookstore at email@example.com or
Hablemos en Confianza is a Spanish health education program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on drug, tobacco and alcohol use. Program materials include a poster, informative booklets and the story of la Familia López, "Tres Historias . . . de la Misma Historia." For ordering information contact SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at 1-8077-POR-VIDA (767-8432) or visit their website: www.health.org.