JERUSALEM – On Tuesday, December 4, some pastoral workers of the Vicariate for migrants and asylum seekers gathered at the Latin Patriarchate. The meeting proved to be very fruitful, taking stock of the situation, comparing and planning future commitments.
The Vicariate for migrants and asylum seekers is a young structure, established last Pentecost in place of the CPCM (Coordination for Pastoral Care for Migrants). Its task is to develop pastoral care for that part of the Christian community (and not only) made up of migrants and asylum seekers. The Vicariate, directed by Father Rafic Nahra, proposes to offer a service to migrants and asylum seekers throughout the territory of Israel and, in order to do so, organizes meetings in order to coordinate the work of all the vicarial realities of the region. Because of the ethnic diversity of the pastoral recipients, the Vicariate itself is actually divided into different communities, including Filipino, Indian, Sudanese, Romanian, Polish, Latin American, and those of the Geez Rite (Ethiopian Abyssinian community), Sri Lankan and French speaking-African.
The need for this meeting was also born from the young age of this Vicariate that only took place a few months ago in response to the ever-increasing request for help from foreigners, to whom the Church of Jerusalem was able to respond promptly. The need therefore needs to come together to fine-tune the organization and objectives of this new Vicariate.
The meeting also served pastoral workers to share with one another what is being done, to discuss, to share the things done up to now and to coordinate the future work programmatically.
Present at the meeting were many members of the communities of reference, especially consecrated religious: Franciscans, Comboni Sisters, Sisters of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, Sisters of Perpetual Help, Passionists, diocesan priests ….
“Every time we meet, explains Father Rafic Nahra, we invite a person who comes to talk about something similar to the activity of the Vicariate, or a member of an organization that offers and promotes services to migrants or asylum seekers. This meeting was attended by Marina Fedosina, Manager of AVRR (Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration) and spoke about the activities related to material, logistic and legal support for migrants who, for various reasons, wish to return to their country of origin but they are not able to do it or they do not know how to orient themselves.
This association helps them at the bureaucratic level to arrange all the documents necessary for repatriation, to provide them with the tickets and also to assist them once they reach their destination through material support in the search for a job, and morale in the constant offer of care and reassurance.
At the end of the meeting there were the ritual announcements and the appointment at the next meeting.
Filippo De Grazia