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 Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People

People on the Move - N° 87, December 2001


World Meeting 
on the Pastoral Care of Migrants

Nilda M. CASTRO,
Official of the Pontifical Council

On October 10-12, 2000, fifty-three National Directors or Bishop Promoters from forty-six countries or regions attended a World Meeting on the Pastoral Care of Migrants in Rome. It was the first time that the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People organized a gathering of this kind. It concluded a series of preparatory Regional Meetings that discussed the issues related to this specific pastoral care in Asia and the Pacific (Kaohsiung, Taiwan, September 22-24, 1999), Africa (Cape Town, South Africa, March 7-9, 2000), Europe (Strasbourg, France, September 13-15, 2000) and America (Mexico City, September 17-20, 2000).

Preceding issues of “People on the Move” already published a roundup[1] (no. 84) and the final or summary statements of the four regional meetings (no. 85). In the last issue (no. 86), some selected papers from the Mexico meeting were carried. The present issue reports the papers presented at the World Meeting.

The first article, “La Pastorale dei Migranti e le Sue Strutture secondo i Documenti della Chiesa” (The Pastoral Care of Migrants and its Structures according to the Documents of the Church), is a scholarly overview of the pastoral care of migrants, according to the various documents of the Church, and the appropriate structures that they indicate in order to effectively carry out this pastoral care. The author, Fr. Velasio De Paolis, c.s., is Professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University and one of the most authoritative voices in this field.

The other four articles are self-explanatory. They are concrete experiences of a diocesan bishop, a national director, a diocesan director and a missionary in carrying out their specific task for the pastoral care of migrants. Bishop Ramon C. Arguelles is the Military Bishop of the Philippines and is currently President of the Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Fr. Abraham-Roch Okoko-Esseau, s.j. is the National Director in the Episcopal Commission for Migrants and Refugees of Congo-Brazzaville while Fr. Bruno Mioli, cs, is the National Director for the Pastoral Care of Immigrants in Migrantes, a foundation in favor of migrants of the Italian Bishops Conference. Fr. Mioli monitors the work of the diocesan directors throughout Italy. Fr. Ildo Griz, cs is a Brazilian Scalabrinian missionary for migrants operating in Argentina.