Archdiocese of Chicago trains Hispanic leaders

Members of the Mexican Consulate in Chicago meet with representatives from 11 dioceses in 2018 to discuss the consulate’s collaboration with pastoral immigration to serve the immigrant community of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago will welcome 13 dioceses this week (July 10-14) to train diocesan, pastoral and lay leaders on how to start their own ministry with the goal of forming a nationwide network of Catholic, parish-based immigration ministries. (Pastoral Migatoria photo)

The Archdiocese of Chicago will welcome representatives from 13 Catholic U.S. dioceses at the Instituto Pastoral Migratoria from Wednesday (July 10) through Sunday (July 14) at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

Members of the archdiocese’s Pastoral Migratoria (Hispanic Immigrant-led ministry) will train diocesan, pastoral and lay leaders on how to start their own ministry with the goal of forming a nationwide network of Catholic, parish-based immigration ministries.

Delegates from Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Fresno, Kansas City-Saint Joseph (Missouri), Los Angeles, New York, Richmond, Salt Lake City, St. Cloud (Minnesota), St. Petersburg (Florida), Stockton (California), and Washington D.C., as well as a representative from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will attend the institute, which will be conducted in Spanish.

“In the Old Testament, God clearly and consistently urges hospitality and generosity toward the stranger and the Catholic Church welcomes migrants and stands in solidarity with them,” said Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “Instituto Pastoral Migratoria answers the call for us all to return to our baptismal and ancestral heritages to support the human rights of all people and provide them pastoral care, human dignity and social support, no matter what the circumstances of entry into this country, especially for those who find themselves in desperate circumstances. It is an honor that the USCCB recognizes Pastoral Migratoria as a best practice for immigrant leadership development and missionary discipleship.”

Instituto Pastoral Migratoria will provide attendees with training and resources based on Catholic social teaching aimed at equipping them to develop and implement Pastoral Migratoria in their own dioceses. During the institute, attendees will visit parishes in Chicago where this ministry is active, attend a dawn prayer vigil at the Broadview Detention Center and attend an evening peace circle, which is a restorative justice practice that is used to address conflict holistically and emphasize healing and learning through a group process to repair harm done by talking through the problem in a safe and trusting environment.

After completing their training and being commissioned for this ministry, the lay leaders will work at the parish level to identify and prioritize the social and pastoral needs of their local communities, and respond with service, justice and accompaniment actions.

Pastoral Migratoria was established in 2007 as a parish-based ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity. It was created as a result of the failure of comprehensive immigration reform. Pastoral Migratoria has been recognized for its support of undocumented and documented immigrants through developing lay leaders dedicated to serving the needs of immigrants. Through the support of the USCCB, Pastoral Migratoria is being embraced in dioceses throughout the United States.

More than 200 Hispanic lay leaders, across 40 parishes, participate in Pastoral Migratoria in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Since 2005, the Archdiocese of Chicago, its bishops, priests and religious congregations have been a voice for immigrants through the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform. The campaign was established by the USCCB to educate Catholics and the public about the need for immigration reform and to influence legislation for a permanent and fair solution to immigration issues in this country.