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.
- Some 400,000 immigrants from countries such as El Salvador, Haiti and Myanmar cannot remain permanently in the U.S. if they first entered without authority to do so, the Supreme Court ruled June 7.
- On the final day of a historic meeting of international bishops and Catholic organizations, they discussed the challenges the church faces even while trying to get Catholics to understand church teaching on migrants.
- Last year Catholic leaders warned that the close quarters of detention and lack of health care put the detainees and personnel at risk, and now a report shows COVID infections at 20 times the general population.
- The message of a Georgetown University webinar on immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border: Don't believe everything you hear from politicians. The issues are more complex than they mention.