Tegucigalpa (Agenzia Fides) – "They are a visible sign of Christian solidarity " said Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Catholic archbishop of Tegucigalpa, during a Mass of thanksgiving for 25 years of commitment on the part of the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters at the service of hundreds of migrants who reach and cross Honduras. Their tireless service received public acknowledgement by the local Church and the civil authorities during a ceremony held on Monday 18 July at the auditorium the Catholic University of Honduras (UNICAH).
According to a report sent to Fides, when in 1987 Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga was elected secretary general of the Council of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Latin America (CELAM), one of his priorities was to promote Pastoral Care for Migrants all over Latin America. With the help of the Scalabrinian Missionaries he succeeded in launching Pastoral Care for Migrants in the continent’s 22 Bishops’ Conferences.
In Honduras the initiative was led forward by Bishop Raúl Corriveau emeritus of Choluteca who worked with the very first Scalabrinian Sisters when they arrived in Honduras 25 years ago, laying the foundations for a service for migrants which continues today. In 1991 the Bishops’ Conference and the Missionary Scalabrianini Sisters signed an agreement regarding this activity.
The Scalabrianini Sisters are a Catholic religious institute of brothers and priests founded by Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, Bishop of Piacenza in Italy, in 1887. Its mission is to "maintain Catholic faith and practice among Italian emigrants in the New World." Today, they and their sister organizations, the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo (founded by Scalabrini on 25 October 1895) and Secular Institute of the Scalabrinian Missionary Women (founded 25 July 1961) minister to migrants, refugees and displaced persons. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 25/07/2016)