Serving migrants and their families
«Knowing full well that the Kingdom of God expresses itself through human realities and is built in their midst, we are able to discern the positive values that characterize the life of the migrants and represent their own peculiar contribution to the solidarity of all peoples and to universal brotherhood: namely, their longing for dignity, for participation, for justice, and for the salvation of the whole person. At the same time, we hold in high esteem the spiritual heritage of thought, tradition, culture and religion the migrants bring along from their place of origin, as well as the heritage of values of the new place where they come to live.
To appreciate these values and to channel them into the building up of the Kingdom of God, while at the same time taking into account the requirements of the Congregation – which has members of various nationalities and serves people of different ethnic groups – we put a genuine missionary spirit at the very foundation of our formation and ministry. This spirit makes us completely available not only for working outside our own native country but also – in the absence of a natural homogeneity – for acquiring a spiritual, psychological, and language affinity with the migrants entrusted to our care, whatever their origin.
On the practical level, the Congregation appreciates the natural homogeneity and acquired affinities of its members, because it recognizes it as fitting and pastorally effective to normally entrust the care of migrants to those who know their language and mentality, their culture, and the traits of their spiritual life».
Rules of Life, 6
Old and new migrations
«We acknowledge the precious work our confreres are doing in traditional long standing positions. Many of them have opened up to new migrants and need to be supported and encouraged in this process, while others need to be re-evaluated.
Together with the ever present situations of provisional urgency, today’s migrations are marked by situations of particular concern, with new scenarios of massive migrations in Europe, from Asia towards Australia, within Asia and along the western cost of North America. There are new migrations from Latin America and the Caribbean Islands towards the United States, Canada and Japan. Latin-Americans are found in Europe and especially in Spain. Many are undocumented (indocumentados). Refugees and displaced people (desplazados) are in Colombia, in Africa, in Asia and in the Middle East. There are internal migrations as well as migrations from neighboring countries. There are derelicts fleeing along the Mediterranean shores and there is the precarious situation of the people of the sea. In this moment of history, the Congregation is called upon to give priority and respond concretely to the above listed new phenomena, given their seriousness and urgency.
The evolution of the phenomenon of migration is being studied and made known in our Congregation through Centers of Study, Mass Media, Ecclesial Migration Offices and NGO. Our advantage and our uniqueness as a Congregation are found in our geographical presence worldwide, in the Scalabrinian reading of migration and in our pastoral response».
Final document of the 13th General Chapter