- New Coordinator for Ethnic Ministries Appointed
- PCMR brings the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration
Responsibility Act of 1996 into the Spotlight
- COME: Catholic Organization for Migrant Equity
- Jubilee for Migrants and Itinerants Moved
- Upcoming Meetings & Events
- 1st National Encuentro of Maya Catholics
- 2nd Annual Migrant Farmworker Pastoral Formation Course
- PCMR Convenes Regional Meetings
- Resources Available
- Upcoming Workshops
- Asian Consultation at Notre Dame
MRS/PCMR is pleased to announce that Cecile L. Motus has been hired as the new Coordinator for Ethnic Ministries. She is replacing Sr. Marie Prefontaine who is now serving as the Diocesan Director for the Office of Ethnic Ministries in the Diocese of Worcester. Cecile joined PCMR the first week of March.
Cecile was born in Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. She was an American Field Service Scholar to Detroit, Michigan and finished her senior year at Redford High School. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education (cum laude) from an SVD-run school, the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. She was a grantee of the East-West Center in Honolulu and graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Hawaii - Manoa. She returned to the East-West Center as a fellow and developed a Manual for Cross-Cultural Orientation of Indochinese Refugees in the First Asylum Camp in the Philippines.
Cecile has worked in cross-cultural, ethnic studies and Catholic Church pastoral/ social programs for many years. Before joining MRS/PCMR, she was based in Manila as the Regional Liaison Officer for Southeast Asia of the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) for seven years. Previous to her ICMC assignment, she was the Executive Director and Resettlement Director of the Catholic Immigration Center- Catholic Charities in Honolulu, Hawaii for five years. While she was with CIC, she developed an Amerasian Hosting Guidelines which laid out the procedures for the Amerasian resettlement program in the state. At the same time, Cecile taught two courses on Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaii which covered all Asian, Pacific Islander and European immigrant groups who settled in Hawaii. Cecile worked for three years at the Palawan First Asylum Camp for Vietnamese asylum-seekers in the Philippines. She was the Project Director of the Adult English Language and Cross-Cultural Skills Program contracted out to the Philippine Cultural Communications Service by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She was the Training Officer of the United States Peace Corps in the Philippines for twelve years and was also assigned to strengthen language and culture programs of the Corps in Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.
When asked about her new job, Cecile said that she is excited to once again serve the Catholic Church in the United States. She looks forward to interacting and collaborating with the various Asian and Pacific Island Catholic communities nationwide, and with the MRS/PCMR diocesan network to promote culturally and linguistically appropriate pastoral responses to the needs of newly arrived immigrants and refugees as well as new pastoral ministers from other countries.
In the recurring accounts of the Passion during Holy Week, each evangelist details how Jesus was detained and abused unjustly by soldiers. This figure of Jesus imprisoned, crowned and clothed in a purple garment, the victim of unjust oppression, is very popular in Hispanic and Filipino religious devotion: El Nazareno. The figure of Jesus detained and abused by guards is a figure that speaks to the poor of the world, so often victims of the same abuse. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus identified himself with all those detained in jails. "I was in prison and you came to see me" (Mt. 25:36).
This Gospel passage and so many others underline the dignity of every human person, even the prisoner. Though Jesus Himself was in jail, He never ceased to be the Son of God. Each prisoner, innocent or guilty, continues to be a child of God.
This identification of Jesus with prisoners stands in contrast to the demonization of prisoners and the undocumented which is taking place in the U.S. In the formulation and execution of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996, the characteristic compassion of the American people to respond to people fleeing their country for fear of their lives or for their families' survival has been replaced with a mean-spirited, inflexible system of laws which accosts the dignity of desperate human beings.
For administrative purposes, not as punishment for a crime, asylum seekers are detained in prison upon arrival in the U.S. Because of fear of persecution in one country, persons seeking asylum in the U.S. encounter immigration officials who imprison them, compounding their fear.
Five to six thousand asylum seekers are detained annually. Along with asylum seekers, people called criminal aliens are being detained. The name applies to many people who are here legally who have been convicted of an aggravated felony but who have completed their sentence. So because they are here legally and because they have completed their sentence, they are neither criminals nor aliens but they are also being detained. Others languish in jails who have been ordered deported back to their home countries but the INS cannot secure travel documents for them because of lack of diplomatic relations or the countries do not want them back.
As a result of IIRIRA, immigration detention has increased three-fold in the U.S. in six years. In 1992, INS daily detention capacity was at 6259 beds. As of September 1998 about 16,000 people were in detention. In 1998 the INS spent $629 million on detention and deportation alone.
To add to the indignities, detainees are often housed in local jails, sometimes with convicted criminals, or are often warehoused in jails far away from family and friends. Immigrant families are often separated in detention, husbands from wives, mothers from children.
In recent regional meetings, the Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees team invited speakers to bring to the attention of diocesan directors the desperate situation of the detainees, to promote pastoral care for them, and to begin to bring to the attention of the American people the devastating consequences of IIRIRA. The policy of detention as deterrent, the effort to manage migration through detention is being carried out to the detriment of human dignity and human rights.
As a Catholic community, we need to recapture and apply to this context the evangelic concept of the dignity of every human person, a concept which serves as the basis of Catholic Social Teaching.
At the present time, USCC/MRS is developing a detention alternative program for long-term detainees. The policy division of MRS is collaborating with other agencies to mitigate the harsh effects of the IIRIRA legislation. PCMR is alerting its networks to the gravity of the problem and its omnipresence throughout the country.
For ongoing information, contact Detention Watch Network, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, 390 Park Avenue, South New York, NY 10016-8803. Be sure to contact your representative or senator to change these laws.
"The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up; take the Child and His mother with you and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. . . . so Joseph got up and taking the Child and His mother with him left that night for Egypt" (Mt. 2:13-14).
Throughout the centuries, the anxious struggle for survival has been the story of the migrant as manifested in the infancy narrative of Jesus presented by Matthew. For so many in today's world, the United States of America is the Egypt of the biblical escape. Translocation, as it were, geographically, culturally, sociologically, spiritually, and even morally are often the plights of the migrant. In 1998 a non-profit organization, COME, was established and registered in Maryland in response to the challenge of the words of Jesus: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me."
COME has for its thrust the spiritual and temporal service to migrants which will be carried out under the guidance of the Church. Our fundamental response is one of compassion and welcoming the stranger in our midst. COME is comprised of a group of multi-cultural persons working together to demonstrate Christian charity in the social, legal, and pastoral needs of the migrant. COME seeks to channel the migrant's spiritual needs through the parish as the first line of service, and then through the diocese. COME also advocates for the human dignity of each migrant by outreach in education and support systems in crises. Lastly, COME works in conjunction with other organizations which serve in commitment to human dignity.
The group is headed by Sister Myrna Tordillo, a Scalabrinian sister, and meets every second Sunday at 3pm.
COME will host a "Migrants' Forum" on Sunday, 25 April 1999, at St. Ann's parish, 4400 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. For more information call: 301-459-4700 or 301-434-1952 or 410-990-0120.
The Central Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 has announced that the Jubilee for Migrants and Itinerants has been moved from April 10 to June 2, 2000. On June1 there will be catechesis on reconciliation, which will be held separately for each individual section (Migrants, Apostolatus Maris, Civil Aviation, etc.). Each section will be subdivided according to language. The Jubilee Mass will be celebrated on June2, preceded by a preparatory meeting and followed by entertainment. The whole celebration will take place in St. Peter's Square.
Each group attending the Jubilee will have to make their own arrangements for meals and lodging. The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People has asked that each group planning to attend should communicate to them the approximate number of pilgrims planning to participate in the Jubilee. They may be contacted at:
Pontificio Consejo para la Pastoral de los Emigrantes e Itinerantes
Palazzo San Calisto
00120 Città del Vaticano
Tel: (06) 6988-7193/7275
Fax: (06) 6988-7111
|Vietnamese Sisters Mtg.
Chinese Priests Mtg.
World Mission Convention
Korean Priests Mtg.
2nd Annual National
| April 6-11
Basilica of the Nat'l Shrine
St. Paul, MN
1st National Encuentro of Maya Catholics Sr. Nancy Wellmeier, SNDdeN, Coordinator of the Maya Pastoral Project for the MRS Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (PCMR), worked with local Maya Catholic leaders in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, to plan and coordinate a historic 1st National Encuentro of Maya Catholics from March 5-7, 1999, at St. Raphael Parish. The Maya Pastoral Project was formally begun in 1994 by PCMR upon the request of Maya Catholics from parishes in the Diocese of Huehuetenango in Guatemala. Mr. Gustavo Monzón, the parish's Hispanic pastoral minister, acted as the on-site coordinator for the three-day meeting and as one of the workshop presenters.
Maya Catholic leaders from local communities in Greenville, South Carolina; Canton, Georgia; Lake Worth, Florida; Mesa, Arizona; and San Diego and Los Angeles, California met to pray, participate in workshops, meet in small groups to identify the cultural values they wish to preserve in the United States, make plans for the future on the local level and select leaders to implement goals on the national level.
Each day's sessions began with prayer. Morning presentations on March 6 were given by Fr. Loren Riebe on the topic, Spirituality of the Exile, and by Sr. Nancy Wellmeier on The Multicultural Church. Sr. Charlotte Hobelman, SND, PCMR Migrant Ministry Coordinator, thanked them for their efforts to continue their pastoral formation and recognized the importance of the letter they sent in 1995 to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops requesting their support for their pastoral outreach to the Maya Catholics in the United States. The afternoon schedule included four workshops given in Spanish. Their English titles were: The Importance of Language, presented by Mr. Fernando Peñalosa; The Importance of Culture, by Mr. Victor Montejo; the Importance of the Participation of Women, by Juana Domingo; and the Importance of the Truth, by Mr. Gustavo Monzón.
Congratulations were extended at the conclusion of the discernment process on Sunday morning to the representatives from across the United States chosen to sit on the first National Directional Board for the Maya Pastoral Project: Juan Francisco Díaz, Nicolas Francisco, Antonio Pedro Márcoz, Martín Miguel, Andrés Martínez, Mavia Márcoz, and Pascual Matéo Pedro. In the afternoon, Encuentro participants could choose among four videos in Spanish available for viewing dealing with Maya themes: "Pueblo Creyente" Chiapas (Chiapas "Believing People"), "Somos Guatemaltecos" (el retorno) ("We Are Guatemalans " (the return), "En las Páginas de la Historia Maya" ("In the Pages of Maya History" and "Escuela de Asesinos" ("School of Assassins").
Fr. Loren Riebe led the community in the closing celebration of the Mass. At its conclusion those who had attended the entire conference received a certificate of acknowledgment. The 1st National Maya Catholic Encuentro concluded with an evening social and dance accompanied by marimba music played by local Maya musicians.
For further information about how you can help support the Maya Pastoral Project, contact Sr. Nancy Wellmeier at 2162 North Spring Street, Mesa, AZ 85203-1849, Tel/Fax: (602) 890-1075, e-mail: Wellmeier@aol.com.
For resource publications about Maya culture and history, contact Mr. Fernando Peñalosa at the Yax Te' Foundation at 3520 Coolheights Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-6231 Tel/Fax: (310) 377-8763, e-mail: email@example.com, internet: www.yaxte.org.
2nd Annual Migrant Farmworker Pastoral Formation Course Course offered for first time at the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio
In December 1999, the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network (CMFN) was awarded a grant from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas to continue offering the Migrant Farmworker Pastoral Formation course for three more years. Members of CMFN developed the curriculum for the five-day experience at a planning meeting in November 1997 and offered it for the first time at the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) in San Antonio, Texas in February 1998.
The curriculum and process for identifying candidates for the course was revised by Celine Caufield, Executive Director of CMFN, and Sr. Tobie Lardie, HM, from the MACC staff, based on evaluations from the 1998 participants and their local diocesan mentors. One of the additions to the course was an invitation to the 1998 students to return for a second level pastoral formation class from February 9-11 and to act as mentors for the new participants. Sr. Charlotte Hobelman from the PCMR staff participated in the entire course and assisted Celine Caufield.
Sr. Therese Ann Wolf, OSB, Director of Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Crookston, presented a workshop to them on differences in leadership styles and skills to develop a participative style. The Level II students were able to implement what they had learned immediately by dividing into prayer, arrangements and dynamics committees to prepare for the arrival of the 1999 students and facilitate their course from February 11-16. They also had the opportunity to meet with Archbishop Patrick Flores on the afternoon of February 11.
The nineteen Level I students came from California, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon and Texas while the ten Level II student/mentors came from California, Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Sr. Anita de Luna, MCDP, was a new presenter on Mexican American History and Values as was Ms. Juanita Cantú on the San Antonio small base communities. New topics covered in the revised Level I curriculum were a workshop by Fr. Dick Notter and Zeferino González, two of the founders of CMFN, on the history of the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network and how to use the En Marcha evangelization workshop process in their local church communities. Each of CMFN's catechetical materials was also briefly presented as possible resources for use in sacramental preparation and adult faith formation.
The 29 Level I and Level II students and the course team members from CMFN and MACC visited several of the San Antonio missions on their last afternoon together on February 15 and viewed the beautiful murals inspired by Mexican American history painted on the sides of many of the apartment buildings on several blocks of the Southwest side of the city. The course concluded with a morning evaluation process and the final Mass, graduation and conferring of certificates on February 16.
For information about the Migrant Farmworker Pastoral Formation course in 2000 contact Celine Caufield at the Catholic Migrant Farmworker Network national office in Boise, Idaho at (208) 384-1778 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PCMR Convenes Regional Meetings PCMR's Ethnic Ministries has been convening regional meetings of diocesan directors around the country during the months of February and March. The meetings took place as follows:
Feb. 8; New York City
Feb. 23; New Orleans
Feb. 25; Chicago
March 24; Los Angeles
March 26; Seattle
March 29; Oakland
The purpose of these meetings has been to dialogue and explore pastoral care issues with newcomers and new immigrants. MRS/PCMR staff has used these meetings to share PCMR's vision of ministry to newcomers, to discuss diocesan structures of ethnic ministry offices, and to comment on the Guidelines for Receiving Pastoral Ministers in the United States. Other issues discussed at the regional meetings include Connections (a program to stimulate volunteerism), Encuentro 2000, and the upcoming Jubilee Justice Gathering which will take place July 15-18, at U.C.L.A.
Another topic discussed at the meetings was INS Detention Centers. PCMR is trying to educate their network on ways of extending pastoral care to these detainees.
For more information on INS Detention Centers, please contact Tim Reid at 202-541-3366.
Walking in Their Footsteps
Fr. Daniel Taillez, O.M.I., a national representative for the Hmong, has just written a book entitled: Walking in Their Footsteps. It is published by Queenship Publishing, P.O. Box 42028, Santa Barbara, California 93140-2028 (800-647-9882), ISBN: 1-57918-069-8. As noted in the forward by Francis Cardinal George, Walking in Their Footsteps is a series of imaginary conversations among people we have met in the New Testament and between them and others created by Fr. Taillez.
Catechism for Filipino Catholics
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has produced a Catechism for Filipino Catholics. It is available through Irma Isip at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Catechetical Office: Office of Religious Education, 3424 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241; (213) 637- 7669.
La Red de Proteccion
Fr. Esequiel Sanchez, Director of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Chicago, in conjunction with the Mexican Consulate has created La Red de Proteccion ("The Net of Protection"), which seeks to educate people on immigrant rights. The materials include a video, an identification card which lists an immigrants' rights, and a resource binder that can be used in group settings. This material is available in English and Spanish. To receive copies, contact Fr. Sanchez at: 155 East Superior Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611; 312-751-5207.
MRS/PCMR has copies of the Conclusions from the IV World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which was held October 5-10, 1998, at the Vatican. If you would like a copy of the Conclusions, please contact Tim Reid in the PCMR office at: 202-541-3366.
Sons and Daughters of the Light
Men and women in their late teens, twenties, and thirties bring tremendous gifts to the Church. With this in mind, the U.S. bishops created Sons and Daughters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults. This pastoral plan addresses the life situation of young adults and offers a comprehensive and workable plan of action for connecting young adults with the Church, Jesus Christ, the mission of the Church in the world, and a peer community. Although previously only available in English and Spanish, Sons and Daughters of the Light will be available in Korean as well beginning 15 April 1999. To order, contact NCCB/USCC Publishing Services at 1-800-235-8722.
- The Federation of the Diocesan Liturgical Commissions is sponsoring a workshop entitled: Liturgy and Culture in a Multicultural Church: A Dialogue. It is being held April 30 - May 1, in Los Angeles. For more information contact FDLC at: P.O. Box 29039, Washington, DC 20017; (202) 635-6990.
- The Archdiocese of Chicago is sponsoring overnight workshops on racism and ethnic sensitivity. This program invites participants to an intensive program at a comfortable site to sensitize them to racial differences, ethnic traditions, customs and behavioral characteristics. If interested in more information, please contact:
Fr. Thomas Swade - 312-751-8348
Mrs. Sheila Adams - 312-751-8376
Mrs. Terri Nuval - 312-751-8301
- The Office of Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in collaboration with Mount St. Mary's College, is sponsoring a workshop entitled: "Building Inclusive Communities" August 9-13, at Mount St. Mary's College. This five-day institute is designed for diocesan, parish and community leaders to develop competence for intercultural relations and communication. The cost is $200/person. For more information contact Irma Isip at 213-637-7669.
On the cold and snowy weekend of February 26-28, 35 church leaders met at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, at the invitation of Fr. Paul Philibert, OP, Director of the Institute for Church Life.
Among the participants were theologians, sociologists, bishops, priests, an abbot, teachers, catechists, pastors, editors from the United States, Samoa, the Philippines, and representatives of the Khmhu' community, China, Vietnam, Japan, and Korea. The purpose of the meeting was a national consultation on Asian Catholic Pastoral Life in the United States.
Two main presentations were given by Rev. Dr. Peter Phan, professor at the Catholic University of America on "The Challenge of East Asian Adaptation and Inculturation in a North American Context" and by Bishop John Cummins of Oakland on "Responsibilities and Concerns of a Diocesan Ordinary for the Evolution of Asian Catholic Pastoral Life." The responses and discussions which followed created a sense of urgency to develop centers of education, formation, and research to more adequately prepare leaders for more fruitful ministry to Asian Catholics and to evangelize Asian non-Catholics.
Since the meeting ended, the staff of the Instutitute for Church Life has been printing up the conclusions and priorities. PCMR is committed to be part of the process to see that the conclusions and priorities from this most important meeting will come to pass.