Easter greetings from the Pontifical Council on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
International Organization of Migration Intervention by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, CS.
WASHINGTON—May 22nd is National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea. This day was established by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in November 2005 to encourage Catholics in the country to support, pray and remember those who work in the maritime world.
From the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America, in this year dedicated to St Paul, Apostle and seafarer, the professional association of Catholic Mariners and the official Catholic organization of Catholic Maritime Ministers, which held its annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana May 5-8th 2009– send words of encouragement and blessing on your maritime vocation which we share.
SARASOTA, Florida – (January 8 -11, 2009) Pastoral workers to the Circus and Traveling Shows in the United States held its annual gathering at St. Martha Parish, Sarasota, Florida. St. Martha Parish is also known as the National Circus Parish. The event was hosted by the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity’s Subcommittee on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers (PCMRT) in collaboration with Fr. George “Jerry” Hogan, President of the Circus and Traveling Show Ministry and National Circus Chaplain.
Bishop J. Kevin
Savannah Bishop Appointed Head of The Apostleship of the Sea
WASHINGTON— Bishop J. Kevin Boland of the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, has been appointed National Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) by Cardinal Francis George, president of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As Bishop Promoter, Bishop Boland is responsible for fostering the work of the maritime apostolate among the U.S. bishops and overseeing the work of the AOS national director.
Polish Bishops Meet with USCCB’s Cultural Diversity Secretariat:
A delegation of the Polish Conference of Bishops met October 24 in Washington with representatives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity.
Photo by Paul Haring (CNS)
Eritrean Catholic bishop prays for peace between Eritrea, Ethiopia
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Eritrean Bishop Menghisteab Tesfamariam of Asmara urged Eritreans in North America to unite in faith and prayed that the international community would work for peace between his country and Ethiopia.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
In continuity with its quarter century of ministry to and with refugees and forcibly displaced individuals, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA (JRS/USA) affirms its mission to accompany, serve and defend the rights of these vulnerable and often forgotten people. It witnesses to the reality that God is present in human history, even in the most tragic experiences of persons driven from their homes by conflict, natural disaster, economic injustice, or violation of other human rights. JRS/USA is one of nine geographic regions of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), an international Catholic organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus. Its new website feature, entitled PRAYING WITH REFUGEES, reinforces the underlying spirituality and life of prayer that is at the root of the experience and work of the Jesuit Refugee Service.
Four Pastoral Care Leaders Honored For Exemplary Service
The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church recognized exemplary and distinguished service of four pastoral leaders who have dedicated their lives to care for immigrants, refugees and people on the move. The awards were given during the Awards Banquet of the National Migration Conference 2008 held at the Hilton Washington Hotel on July 28-31, 2008. The four chosen awardees are admirable role models of selfless commitment to the mission to outreach to Catholic groups which because of special needs (language, occupation, or distance) are not able to participate in regular parish services.
African /Caribbean Youths Outreach
African /Caribbean Youths Outreach – is aimed at bringing together the youth and young adults of African /Caribbean Immigrants to share ideas on how to achieve their hopes and visions as youths in the United Sates. As well as face the challenges of their identity, discipline, and the implementation of cultural balance and the diversity that they face living in a foreign culture; the need for vocations to religious life and priesthood and the issues of community building.
IGBO CATHOLIC COMMUNITY USA (ICCUSA)
The Igbo Catholics provides an environment for all Igbo's in the United States to worship in their native language, Igbo, and to cultivate a lasting fraternal community among the people whereby moral and Christian values are cherished. The organization provides spiritual guidance to Igbo children and facilitates the assimilation of newly arrived Igbo's into local parishes.
The 2008 Annual Igbo Catholic Community USA National Convention and the 12th Year Anniversary celebration of the Baltimore, Maryland Chapter which took place April 25th to 27th, 2008 was very successful and attended by about 1000 people. The Sunday Mass was celebrated by His Grace, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, Archbishop of Onitsha, Nigeria.
Mass are celebrated monthly in the Igbo language at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Sacramento as efforts are made to minister to the spiritual needs of Igbo Catholics living in the greater Sacramento area. An inaugural Mass celebrated by Bishop William K. Weigand at Our Lady of Lourdes Church became the first milestone marking the official beginning of the Nigeria Igbo Catholic Community of Sacramento. Other activities included: Nigerian dance performances, displays of native dress, music and a presentation of a variety of cultural foods.
Caribbean Catholics of North America
Since Caribbean Catholics of North America formed in 2003 and incorporated in October 2006, the group has been working to form local chapters across the country, their mission statement is aimed at helping Caribbean people and the wider church through spiritual development, advocacy and cultural preservation.
National Center of the Haitian Apostolate, Web Site: SNAA.ORG
Close to 700 people attended the 26th Annual Convention of The National Center at Merrimack College in North Andover, near Boston, June 20 – 22, 2008. With the Theme: Journey Together to Build the Body of Christ. Bishop Guy Sansaricq, the Auxiliary Bishop of Brookland, New York and the National Consultant of the Haitian Apostolate encouraged the participants with his moving words of welcome and thanks to all who attended the 26th Annual Convention. Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston showed his great love and support by presiding at the final Mass with his inspiring Homily in Creole and French.
Photo by Manny Lopez
National Day of Prayer and Remembrance
The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea was observed on May 21, 2008 with a concelebrated Eucharistic Liturgy presided by His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington. The Mass at St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. was attended by Maritime Administration (MARAD) staff headed by Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton and Ms. Julie Nelson-Deputy Maritime Administrator; Embassy of the Philippines’ Consul General Domingo Nolasco and Minister Carlos Orita; and John Cullather of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The North American Maritime Ministries Association was represented by Rev. James Von Dreele and representing the AOSUSA was Jon Fukurawa Also in attendance were friends and families of seafarers. Susan Clark of MARAD was the soloist during the Mass and the Mariners Chorus sung songs relating to the sea. The Apostleship of the Sea National Office organized the event.
Photo by Manny Lopez
The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea is designated on May 22nd by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2005, to encourage Catholics in the United States to support and participate in prayer services and remembrance of those who work in the maritime world. May 22nd coincides with the national Maritime Day celebrated by the US government.
Maritime Administration Photo
National Maritime Day
The National Maritime Day observance sponsored by the Maritime Administration was held on May 22, 2008 at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, South Basin Drive, Washington, DC. Speakers were Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters; Senator Leonidas Raptakis of Rhode Island State Senate; and Sean Connaughton, Maritime Administrator. The Apostleship of the Sea National Director, Sr. Myrna Tordillo gave the Invocation.
Apostleship of the Sea Annual Conference
On April 1-4, 2008, the Apostleship of the Sea USA (AOSUSA) Annual Conference was held at the Maritime Institute of Technology in Linthicum, MD. Rev. Sinclair Oubre, JCL is president of AOSUSA and diocesan director of AOS, Beaumont, TX. The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People was represented by Rev. Msgr. Novatus Rugambwa, Undersecretary. Rev. Allan Deck, SJ, Executive Director of the Secretariat on Cultural Diversity gave a reflection and other speakers included Sean Connaughton, Maritime Administrator, Deacon Albert Dacanay, AOS Regional Coordinator for North America, and Sr. Ellen Dougherty, MRS who gave a session on human trafficking.
On April 5, the Apostleship of the Sea National office hosted a reception at the USCCB for the AOS participants who came from the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and Ireland.
The National Conference of Catholic Airport Chaplains’ Annual Conference was held on April 14-19, 2008 in Albuquerque, NM. The conference included educational sessions about human trafficking, Growing your Airport Chaplaincy (organizing and fund raising for an airport chaplaincy), and a conversation with the author of the book "Reclaiming the Sky". Fr. Michael G. Zaniolo, STL, CAC, chaplain of Chicago O'Hare and Midway International Airports was re-elected president of the National Conference of Catholic Airport Chaplains.
‘There are currently about 50 Catholic airport chaplains working in over 30 airports around the nation. "Our plans include recruitment of new members, helping bishops to establish or expand their airport chaplaincies, and fund raising for the purpose of training and certifying priests, deacons and lay airport chaplains," Fr. Zaniolo said in his inaugural address.’ (http://www.nccac.us/am_abq.html)
The Catholic Migrant Farmwlorkers’ Network (CMFN), led by Sr. Karen Bernhardt, president held its board meeting on March 28-30, 2008 in Huntsville, AL. CMFN. Local hosts were Felipe Patino, CMFN Bopard member and Sr. Rosa Marie Hernandez and of the Diocese of Birmingham Hispanic Ministry Director.
Horse Track Ministry
Pastoral visit on June 15, 2008 by Sr. Myrna Tordillo with horse track workers and their families at the Arlington Race Track, IL. Deacon Luis Trevino, of Holy Spirit Parish in Schaumburg, IL is chaplain to the horse track workers. Deacon Trevino often invites a priest to celebrate Mass on Sundays at the old cafeteria for the workers and their families. Bible classes for adults, catechesis for children, preparation for baptism and confirmation are among the spiritual activities extended to the workers and families who are mostly latinos.
Circus and Traveling Show Ministries
The XVI National Gathering of the Circus and Traveling Show Ministries was held in Sarasota, Florida on January 9-13, 2008. Chaplains and pastoral workers to the circus, carnival, race track, horse track, and bull riding workers and their families gather annually to discuss best practices and challenges, give reports about their ministries, network and plan to enhance and develop pastoral outreach. Also attending the gathering were members of the CATS, a non profit group composed of retired showfolks and circus personnel. A mini retreat given by Bro. Michael McGrath,OSF preceded the gathering. Fr. Allan Deck, SJ, gave a reflection on cultural diversity and Rev. Msgr. Novatus Rugambwa, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People gave a keynote address on “Welcoming Circus and Traveling Show People, protagonists of a meeting between faith and culture, a specific pastoral response”. The gathering concluded with an annual Circus concelebrated Mass at St. Martha Parish on Jan. 13, presided by Most. Rev. Frank Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice. St. Martha Parish is the home parish of the circus and traveling showfolks.
First African Eucharistic Congress
It was a bright and beautiful Sunday morning on September 3, 2006. Many African Catholic faithful gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington D.C., to witness the celebration of the First African Eucharistic Congress. Over 5,000 African Catholics and their friends from different dioceses in the United States came to pray together and to celebrate the Eucharist. They brought into the celebration of the Eucharist, their culture and the African deep sense of God, from which their vibrant spirituality spring forth. Among the participants were six bishops, 300 religious and 150 priests. Over 30 Countries were represented. The events included Mass, Eucharistic adoration and Rosary Procession. It was an experience of the diverse Liturgical life of the Church. The level of commitment exhibited by the African Catholic faithful, and their enthusiasm to contribute to the American Church reveals to me that the Church is truly one, weather in Africa or in America, in the Spirit we are one body of Christ.