With the desire to be one multi-cultural community, the Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education has formed and connected itself with different ministries that seek to work with immigrant and native born parishes in the Archdiocese.
In line with our mission and goals, our work focuses in education, advocacy, empowerment, and accompaniment through these ministries:
Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform
Since 2005 the Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education has been implementing the goals of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform Justice for Immigrants program, which includes: Educating the public, especially the Catholic community, on immigration issues, enacting legislative reforms based on the principles developed by the USCCB, and to organize Catholics networks to assist immigrants on the benefits of reform.
Introduced in 2010, Pastoral Migratoria invites Hispanic immigrants to be engaged as lay leaders (or pastoral agents) in actions of service and justice, responding to the needs of their parish communities. Through Pastoral Migratoria, immigrants are empowered towards their leadership formation, active participation, and integration in their parish communities and society. Currently, over 250 Hispanic lay leaders (40 Hispanic parishes) are actively participating in Pastoral Migratoria in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry
Responding to the social and pastoral needs of Polish parish communities, Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry engages Polish immigrants as lay leaders (or pastoral agents) in actions of service and justice. Utilizing a similar framework as Pastoral Migatoria, this ministry forms the leaders in their parish communities and empowers them to organize information sessions after masses, bring resources to the parish community (e.g. health fairs, legal clinics, counseling services), and accompany families who are experiencing detention or deportation.
In support of our mission and goals, we partner with our various networks of lay leaders, clergy, and religious sisters and brothers, which include:
Immigration Parish Coordinators
This network of lay leaders serve as educational liaisons to 129 native-born parish communities that may not be directed affected by immigration issues, or that may not be very well informed the issues. Immigration Parish Coordinators facilitate the education process in their parishes including the dissemination of education resources.
Priests for Justice for Immigrants
Since 2005, over 200 local priests have stood in solidarity with immigrants and engaged in education, pastoral care and legislative advocacy. The Priests for Justice for Immigrants continue to influence the public conversation regarding immigration policy, and to promote the basic human rights and well-being of immigrants and their families living in our communities.
See the Priests for Justice for Immigrants page for more information.
Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants
Since 2007, members of 59 religious orders have engaged in prayers, pastoral care at detention centers, support of separated families, education, public witness, and legislative action. The Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants are a powerful, collective voice seeking justice for immigrants. In doing so, they respond to the Gospel mandate to honor the value of each person.
See the Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants page for more information.
"I cry with those who cry, laugh with those who laugh." ~Maria, Pastoral Migratoria