Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
People on the Move
N° 106, April 2008
CIRCULAR LETTER TO ALL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES AND CORRESPONDING HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURES OF THE CATHOLIC ORIENTAL CHURCHES
Vatican City, 22nd December 2007
Prot N. 3537/2007/M-ST
Today with increased mobility, globalisation and the growth of tertiary education worldwide, we find in our midst in many countries considerable numbers of foreign students. This is the case in your country. These come with their gifts, talents and contribution, but they also carry with them particular needs that also require a specific pastoral care. The Holy Father reminded us that the Church needs these young students and is counting on their contribution, especially as they “can show that the Gospel is alive and suited to every situation”.
I would therefore like to take this occasion to stress Pope Benedict’s words and to encourage all those who are concerned with ministering to students, in whatever capacity, to continue to form and exercise a specific pastoral care for this important group of the young. We are all too aware that many of these students can find themselves on the margins as they try to integrate, in a certain sense, in their host country.
Thus, the Pope’s message is opportune in encouraging all of us to a renewed apostolate with young migrants and foreign students in particular. From what I see, it is necessary to open up further the ordinary pastoral care to these young student migrants and to create for them, if necessary, a special structure of welcome, destining some pastoral agents for their specific pastoral care.
I would be very grateful to you if your Episcopal Conference/Hierarchical Structure of a Catholic Oriental Church will give this matter careful attention.
With cordial regards and best wishes, I remain,
Yours sincerely in Christ,
X Archbishop Agostino Marchetto
To Episcopal Conferences
and corresponding Hierarchical Structures
of the Catholic Oriental Churches