AMERICA/BRAZIL - Local teams, advocacy, networking: the priorities of the Pastoral Care Service for Migrants

Tuesday, 3 December 2019 emigration   local churches  


Luziânia (Agenzia Fides) - Organizing local teams, in particular involving young people; intensifying “advocacy” actions and presence in public policy councils to safeguard the rights of migrants and refugees; strengthening networking, according to the guidelines of the Church in Brazil and a spirituality embodied in the life of a migrant Jesus. These are the priorities indicated for the next four years by the 19th National Assembly of the Pastoral Care of Migrants (SPM), with the theme "Migration and refuge - breaking walls, building bridges", which took place from November 29th to December 1st in Luziânia.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, Mgr. Mário Antônio da Silva, Bishop of Roraima, second Vice President of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB), attended the meeting and spoke of the Church's commitments towards migration in Brazil, underlining what the new guidelines of the Church's evangelizing action say about migration. This Assembly also marks the beginning of the journey to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the birth of the migrant pastoral sector, whose culminating moment will be in October 2020.
Mgr. Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo, Archbishop of Belo Horizonte and President of the CNBB, in a video message expressed his support for the SPM and recalled that the Brazilian Church has given testimony of reception to immigrants, especially Venezuelans, even if it is not yet enough. In his message, the President of the CNBB thanked the SPM for its testimony and its service: "This path is important. Our Church is the house of the Word, house of Charity, of the Mission and House of the Bread. This is why we are committed to the good of others, especially those who suffer the most".
The meeting was also attended by prof. Márcia Oliveira, of the Federal University of Roraima, who illustrated the topic migration and refugees in Latin America, focusing in particular on the actions of Pope Francis. During the Assembly, the experiences of the SPM in the Brazilian regions were presented, followed by seminars on different aspects of the migration phenomenon, taking into account the biblical studies and pastoral challenges. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides, 3/12/2019)