EUROPE/ITALY - Scalabrini International Migration Institute offers theological and sociological formation on themes of Migration and a new Masters

Thursday, 15 July 2004

Rome (Fides Service) - “We are very happy that our Institute has been recognised by the Congregation for Catholic Education. We intend to continue our work of studying the different migratory realities, from two approaches: pastoral-theological approach and social analysis. We offer a new Masters course to give ulterior qualification to our formative proposal”: this is the picture traced by Father Graziano Battistella, Rector of the Institute in a conversation with Fides. The Scalabrini International Migration Institute in Rome, affiliated to the Pontifical Urban University, is on the last lap of its five year trial period.
Father Isaia Birollo, Superior General of the Scalabrini Missionaries, explained how the Institute came to be: “The Church asked us to offer formation by means of specific theological reflection to people preparing to work for evangelisation among migrants. The Institute responds to the Church’s awareness that the problems of migration which affects the entire world must be addressed with lucidity and apostolic courage”.
Describing briefly the situation of migration in the world Father Graziano said “There are 175 million people who are not living in the country in which they were born, 86 million are migrant workers and about 14 million are refugees. In this situation the Church sanctioned the need for specialised preparation approving the incorporation of our Institute in the Theology faculty of the Pontifical Urban University. Our programmes are marked by an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of migration and by dialogue among social sciences and theological sciences”.
In these four years of activity the Institute has enrolled 80 students from 30 different countries and 40 have already finished the course. Starting from next year, in collaboration with LUMSA University in Rome, the Institute will offer a Masters in “Migration: policies and resources for social cohesion”, mainly for teachers, public officials, NGO operators.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/7/2004 lines 34 words 376)