The Office for Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees (PCMR) facilitates the ecclesial integration and full participation of immigrants, refugees, migrants, and other ethnic groups in the life of the Church. The Archdiocese provides pastoral care to Catholics of diverse ethnic backgrounds through ethnic or personal parishes and through apostolates, which provide liturgical services and care to Catholics of various languages, cultures, and rites. In particular the office ministers to Asian, African, European, Caribbean, Brazilian, and Native American Catholics.
In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, we have mass in 17 languages other than English or Spanish. The office currently supports Catholic immigrant and ethnic Church communities made up of people who come from the following countries: Brazil, Haiti, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, France, Italy, Ireland, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Francophone Africa, Liberia, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, China, Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In addition the Office supports Native American Catholics and seafarers who temporarily stop in our shipping ports for their work. The Office is happy to collaborate with Priests, Religious, and lay people to address needs of communities who are newly arriving and may not currently not be supported by any ministerial outreach.
The main ministerial responsibilities for the Director are:
1. To make sure that each PCMR community has a priest that speaks their language and knows their culture and that each community has a parish to call home
2. To serve as a link between the Archdiocese and the PCMR communities to ensure that the communities are invited to, welcomed, and able to participate in any activity or ministry of the Archdiocese
3. To develop relationships with the PCMR priests, Religious Sisters, Deacons, lay leaders and community as a whole to know better their ideas, desires, and needs and how we can collaborate to bring them to reality
4. To create opportunities and space where the PCMR communities can share their talents, goodness, and gifts of faith and culture to build up the entire Church of Philadelphia
5. To act as a reference person for other social needs, linking people to needed services including immigration support and English and citizenship classes.
- It's not only Central Americans in cities who are fleeing their country because of gangs. Rural residents believe the only way to build a home and start a family is to work in the U.S. But their rose-colored dreams meet harsh realities.
- Getting from Central America through Mexico town by town is perilous, say migrants. "I'm scared being here, but I don't have any other choice," said an 18-year-old.
- In reversing the Trump administration's 2020 bar of immigrants, the new policy would allow family unification in the U.S. and help domestic industries "utilize talent from around the world."
- Though pundits say the bill has little chance of becoming law, it shifts the debate by targeting aid to Central America and its corruption that causes people to migrate to the U.S.