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Migrations are more than movements of people from one place to another; they are related to cultural, social, political and religious transformations of people and nations, and to the continuous reshaping of communities.Therefore, they represent a major challenge to humanity, as well as an opportunity of reshaping it today. They raise questions of greatest relevance for the global agenda, as they affect governments, religions in general and the Catholic Church in particular, global, national, regional, and local communities, families, and countless individuals.

To tackle these challenges responsibly, the local Churches from sending, transit, and receiving countries all over the world are called to promote theological reflections and studies on the phenomenon as well as enable and encourage con- crete pastoral actions.To this end, a group of congregations guided by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), the Union of Superiors General (USG), and the Scalabrini International Migration Institute (SIMI) are convening a group of international biblical scholars and theologians and pastoral agents to present and debate about the status of their research, and respond to the reality of current migration movements.This 3-day-long International Conference is an important occasion for a reflection open to action.

Migrants and Pilgrims as Our Ancestors (1 Chr 29:15)

In the context of the consecration of the first temple, according to the account of the biblical chronicler, King David makes a prayer of thanksgiving and offering to God. In this prayer, the King presents himself before God as one who recognizes the migration history of his ancestors in Egypt and in the desert, his own identity, and God’s love for migrants, which he expresses: «We are migrants before you and pilgrims like all our ancestors!». Being a migrant, in David’s perspective, is not just the socio-political status of the chosen people, but a fundamental part of its identity.Thus, he refers to migration and pilgrimage as theological categories, evoking God’s call, «The land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants» (Lev 25:23). David’s prayer makes us reflect on the condition of human existence as a passage: no one has a fixed abode in the earth. Consequently, if one visits his/her historical memory, he/she will certainly find in his/her genealogical line an experience of migration.To the point, we can say that this prayer also ex- presses an appeal for solidarity with migrants, since migration is an inherent dynamic of human life.


The event will be streamed on the channel: http://directenglish.uisg.link

for more information contact info@simieducation.org

PROGRAM

20 SEPTEMBER

OPENING SESSION

(12:00-12:45 CET)

Welcoming remarks and opening prayer

  • H.E. Card. João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  • H.E. Card. Silvano M. Tomasi, cs – Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
  • Fr. Leonir Chiarello, cs – Superior General of the Scalabrin- ian Missionaries, Member of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

Keynotes remarks

  • Fr. Fabio Baggio, cs – Under-Secretary, Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

SESSION I (PLENARY)

Biblical Reflection (12:45-13:45 CET)

The first session will present deepening of the biblical teaching of the migration phenomenon offered by the following experts of the subject:

Moderator: Elizangela Chaves Dias, mscs, Professor of Biblical Studies and Human Mobility, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, Italy

  • Nuria Calduch-Benages, Professor of Old Tes- tament, Faculty of Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
  • vănThanh Nguyễn, svd, Professor of New Tes- tament Studies and Holder of Bishop Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, USA.

13:45-14:00 Break

SESSION II (PLENARY)

Experiences. North & South America: Crossing Borders and the Protection of Human Rights (14:00-15:00 CET)

During the second session concrete experiences will be presented with a specific focus on the Americas’ missions and projects working in the migratory routs and the implication for the local churches in defense of the migrants and refugees rights and in their accompanying.

Moderator: Barbara Staley, msc, General Superior, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

  • Pat Murphy, cs, Director of Casa del Migrante in Tijuana, Mexico
  • Rosita Milesi, mscs, Migration and Human Rights Institute (IMDH) Brasilia, Brazil

15:00- 15:15 Break

SESSION III

Group Discussion (15:15-16:15 CET)

During the third session participants will be divided into groups, taking into consideration the different languages. Within these groups they will debate about the topics discussed during the first session, share their current experiences and proposals for the future. The proposals will be collected and might be used during the last session of the Conference to pro- mote concrete actions for the future.

21 SEPTEMBER

SESSION I (PLENARY)

Theological Reflection (12:00-13:00 CET)

The first session is dedicated to the theological reflection on migration aiming at underlying the fundamental principles of the Catholic Theology on which the vision of the Church for the accompanying of migrants and refugees is based. During the first session, the following theologians are invited to speak on the subject:
Moderator: Gioacchino Campese, cs, Professor of Pastoral Theology of Human Mobility, Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, Italy

  • Regina Polak, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • Daniel Groody, csc, Associate Professor of Theo- logy and Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, USA

13:00-13:15 Break

SESSION II (PLENARY)
Experiences. Africa & Europe: Forced Migration and Human Trafficking (13:15-14:15 CET)

The second session will give particular emphasis to the organ- izations in which religious participate with a specific focus on the African continent. The roots of migration in general, and forced migration in particular, and human trafficking will be the center of the discussion.

Moderator: Michel Veuthey, Ambassador of the SMOM to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

  • David Holdcroft, sj, Professional and Post Se- condary Education Specialist at Jesuit Refugee Ser- vice, Rome, Italy
  • Yvonne Clémence Bambara, rgs, Talitha Kum 14:15-14:30 Break

SESSION III Group Discussion (14:30-15:30 CET)

During the third session participants will be divided into groups, taking into consideration the different languages. Within these groups they will debate about the topics discussed during the day, share their current experiences and proposals for the future. The proposals will be collected and might be used during the last session of the conference to promote con- crete actions for the future.

22 SEPTEMBER

SESSION I (PLENARY)

Pastoral Experiences (12:00-13:00 CET)

The first session is dedicated to the deepening of the concrete pastoral actions that the Church and religious congregations implement in countries of origin, transit, and arrival. The following experts in the field of pastoral theology are in- vited to speak on the subject:
Moderator: Monica Martinelli, mss, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy

  • Cheryl Lee Chan, Consultant of the Episcopal Commission on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples (ECMI), Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
  • Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, sj, President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar, Nairobi, Kenya

13:00-13:15 Break

SESSION II (PLENARY)
Experiences. Asia & Oceania: Education and Health Promotion for Improving Integration (13:15-14:15 CET)

The second session is dedicated to a regional focus on Asia and Europe. In this session topics related to education and in- tegration will also be discussed in-depth.
Moderator: Carmen Elisa Bandeo, ssps, Coordinator of Magistories – Non Formal Education Project, Jesuit Refugee Service, Greece

  • Rafael Matas Roselló, fsc, General Councilor of the Brothers of the Christian Schools
  • Valdícer Civa Fachi, fms, Director of CMI (Col- laboration for Mission International) of the Marist Brothers: Fratelli Project, Lebanon
  • Suresh Sundram, Director of Research, Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Program, Melbourne, Australia

14:15-14:30 Break

SESSION III Group Discussion (14:30-15:30 CET)

During the third session participants will be divided into groups, taking into consideration the different languages. Within these groups they will debate about the topics discussed during the day, share their current experiences and proposals for the future. The proposals will be collected and might be used during the last session of the conference to promote concrete actions for the future.

CLOSING REMARKS (PLENARY) (15:30-16:15 CET)

Chairman: Aldo Skoda, cs – Director of SIMI

Jolanta Kafka, rmi – President, UISG
Arturo Sosa, sj – President, USG