When comprehensive immigration reform failed to pass the Senate in 2007 – and it became apparent there would be no legislative reform in the near term – Chicago’s immigrant community wondered what they could do to help one another in light of their increasing, urgent basic human and pastoral needs in the absence of any immigration reform.
In response we developed our immigrant leadership ministries, called the Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry (e.g. Pastoral Migratoria and Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry) that are empowering Hispanic and Polish immigrant lay leaders through service and justice actions in parishes.
Mission & Objectives
Leadership Formation – Empowerment – Integration
Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry invites Polish immigrants to respond to their baptismal call to be engaged in service and justice actions in their parish communities. Currently, over 50 Polish lay leaders (10 Polish parishes) are actively participating in Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry also responds to the call to evangelize individuals and society. Faith-based leadership formation enables immigrant lay leaders to transform society as agents of evangelization and an embodiment of the Church. Candidates for this ministry participate in a training series based in Catholic social teaching and the listen-learn-proclaim (see-judge-act) methodology. Training integrates reflection on Scripture from the immigrant perspective and current civic issues.
Leadership Development & Reflection
Candidates for Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry participate in a leadership training series based in Catholic social teaching and the listen-learn-proclaim (see-judge-act) methodology. Training integrates 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)
After completing their initial training and being commissioned for this ministry, the lay leaders work at the parish level to identify and prioritize the social and pastoral needs of their local community, and respond with service and justice actions.
Service – Justice – Accompaniment
The pastoral agents play major roles in advancing immigrant rights and integration by working toward systemic change in society, while also meeting immediate social and pastoral needs of the local immigrant community. In support of the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform Justice for Immigrants, they participate in the planning and implementation in their local parishes of advocacy initiatives such as postcard and petition campaigns. They organize prayer vigils, pilgrimages, and congressional visits involving their parish communities. They take leadership roles in the local rollout of new immigration policies such as the Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, etc.
The pastoral agents also provide basic needs support and accompaniment. They work in collaboration with community organizations and partner institutions 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.
Please follow the link to see an album of the PIIM ministry.
Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry [Brochure]
Map of Parishes with Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry and Pastoral Migratoria [Click Here]
Pastoral Migratoria (Hispanic Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry) [Click Here]
Please like the Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry on Facebook! Follow the link
If you have any questions, please contact Mark Wolski, the Liason for the Polish Immigrant-to-Immigrant Ministry, at Mwolski@archchicago.org.
"Ktokolwiek wiec przymie najmniejszego wsrod was mnie przyjmuje..." ~Mateusza 18:5
"Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me..." ~Matthew 18:5