Our office also seeks to empower immigrants towards their leadership formation, active participation, and integration in their parish communities and society. We do so through the Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry (e.g. Pastoral Migratoria, Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry), which constitutes our immigrant leadership ministries in the Hispanic and Polish communities.
Empowering immigrant lay leaders in their parish communities
Indeed, immigrants can “offer… valuable missionary contribution to the communities that receive them” (Aparecida, 415). Pastoral Migratoria (Hispanic Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry) and Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry provide the infrastructure where new immigrants often go for assistance and support – their local church. These ministries invite immigrants to be engaged as lay leaders – or pastoral agents – in actions of service, justice, and accompaniment, responding to the needs of their parish communities and the baptismal call to serve God and our neighbors.
Facilitating lay leader development
These ministries are also designed to respond to the call to evangelize individuals and society. The leadership formation process is based in Catholic social teaching and the listen-learn-proclaim (see-judge-act) methodology. Training incorporates reflection on Scripture from the immigrant perspective, with reflection and analysis on civic issues facing the immigrant community. Ongoing leadership skills development includes public speaking, conducting meetings, teamwork, organizing workshops and information tables, community organizing, etc. There are also ongoing opportunities for prayer and biblical reflection (e.g. retreats, forums).