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SOUTHWEST SIDE PARISHES TO LAUNCH IMMIGRANT-TO-IMMIGRANT MINISTRY
Thanksgiving Mass and Commissioning Ceremony to be Held on December 14

Chicago, IL (December 9, 2009) – The Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education of the Archdiocese of Chicago will commission its third group of immigrant parish leaders for immigrant-to-immigrant ministry through its Pastoral Migratoria initiative on Monday, December 14, at 7 p.m., at St. Nicholas Tolentine Church, 3721 West 62nd Street in Chicago. 

Chicago’s Greater Woodlawn area on the southwest side is critical for this initiative because census data shows that 44 percent of this community’s total population is of Latino decent.

The celebration will include a Mass of thanksgiving and a commissioning of 40 Pastoral Migratoria leaders from six Chicago parishes:  St. Nicholas Tolentine, St. Adrian, St. Rita of Cascia, Queen of the Universe, St. Gall and St. Clare of Montefalco.  Most Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Chicago, will be the main celebrant.  Manuel Rodriguez Arriaga, General Consul of Mexico, will participate in the celebration.

Begun in June of this year, Pastoral Migratoria now operates in 21 parishes with over 100 leaders throughout the Archdiocese.  This immigrant-to-immigrant ministry of reflection, leadership formation and service, works to improve the accessibility of the Mexican Consulate’s Network of Information, Support and Prevention services to local immigrants who are Mexican citizens.  Information and services dealing with preventative health, identity documentation, housing and educational support will help immigrants better adjust to living in the United States.  The ministry also enables immigrants to fulfill their baptismal call.

The Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education of the Archdiocese of Chicago is coordinating Pastoral Migratoria and the Mexican Consulate is providing technical training and professional support for their resources.  A similar model of immigrant-to-immigrant ministry to Polish immigrants is planned for 2010.

For more information please contact Elena Segura, Director of the Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigration Education of the Archdiocese of Chicago, 312-534-5333.

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