The Catholic Church's institutions and ministries - education, health, charities, labor, legal services, refugee resettlement, community-organizing, pastoral, and others - face critical opportunities and challenges in meeting the needs of today's immigrants. Over the last year, a number of leaders from diverse institutions have been meeting to discuss the Church's role in integrating immigrants, with the aim of increasing the Church's collective work in this area. These leaders have documented the Church’s past and present work with immigrants, worked toward a distinctly Catholic definition of integration, and identified promising integration programs and practices in diverse institutions.
On February 24, 2014, the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) hosted a full day conference on the Catholic Church's work to further the integration and well-being of immigrants and how Catholic institutions might collectively expand and improve this work. The public event also marked the beginning of a year-long celebration of CMS's 50th anniversary.
Donald Kerwin, Executive Director, Center for Migration Studies
Session 1: The Theological and Pastoral Grounding for Immigrant Integration
This session presented a vision of integration from a pastoral and theological perspective. It grounded immigrant integration in Catholic teaching and in the lived experience of the Church’s pastoral ministries to diverse immigrant groups.
• Moderator: Donald Kerwin, Executive Director, Center for Migration Studies
• Sr. Anna Nguyen, Assistant Director, Asian Pacific Island Affairs, Committee of Cultural Diversity in the Church, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
• Fr. Aniedi Okure, Executive Director, Africa Faith and Justice Network
• Dr. Timothy Matovina, Professor of Theology and Executive Director of the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame