AMERICA/CHILE - New home for migrants "Simone di Cirene" inaugurated

Friday, 30 October 2020 emigration   reception   integration   local churches  

Valdivia (Agenzia Fides) - On 28 October, the accommodation for migrants named "Simon of Cyrene" was inaugurated. The project was initiated by the Office for Social Pastoral Care of the Chilean Diocese of Valdivia in collaboration with the Department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and with the support of the International Association Pope John XXIII. Nine migrants are to be admitted there for four months and integrated into Chilean society as part of support programs.
The project was made possible by government grants, contributions from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Father Dirk de Witt Foundation. The ownership of the building where the property was set up belonged to the parish of Santos Juan and Pedro, which made it available to carry out the project.
The inauguration was attended by the Governor of Valdivia, Christian Alejandro Cancino Gunckel, the Head of the IOM Mission in Chile, Richard Custodio Velázquez Fernández and the Apostolic Administrator of Valdivia, Fr. Gonzalo Espina.
In his address, Fr. Espina stressed the importance of "welcoming and protecting migrants as they are often mistreated; to promote them so that they can grow and integrate into our society, to ensure that they are not only helped, but that they can also be a resource for us". In conclusion, he underlined how this project fits in with the aid programs of the Catholic Church, which it carries out in many Catholic parishes, often in collaboration with other organizations, neighborhood associations or NGOs and many others, providing space and materials. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 30/10/2020)